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12 Reviews
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Terrific Book!, October 12, 2012
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This review is from: Rare Birds: The Extraordinary Tale of the Bermuda Petrel and the Man Who Brought It Back from Extinction (Hardcover)
In Rare Birds, Gehrman tells the story of David Wingate and the Bermuda Cahow (or Bermuda Petrel), a bird long thought to be extinct. Along the way, Gehrman explores the ecology of Bermuda and gives the best account I've ever read of the complex interactions between species and environment. I started reading Rare Birds last night during the Orioles-Yankees game -- the U.S. human male has the amazing ability to read and watch baseball on TV simultaneously -- but I could not stop reading Gehrman's book. I love Bermuda, and Gehrman describes the natural beauty of Bermuda in words that are unforgettable. Her writing in the first 30 pages or so is maybe a bit over-the-top, but then she settles down into a classic The New Yorker/E.B. White style that reminds me strongly of John McPhee (my favorite non-fiction author). I won't spoil the book by saying what happens, but one part of the book almost brought me to tears (and I'm not, shall we say, a tearful person). This is (apparently) Gehrman's first book, and if this is her first try, then we have some superb books to look forward to in the future. Jim Miller
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book, could have been better., January 10, 2013
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This review is from: Rare Birds: The Extraordinary Tale of the Bermuda Petrel and the Man Who Brought It Back from Extinction (Hardcover)
Let me say first of all that the four-star rating is not a result of the writing! The book is well-written, the research is obviously excellent and the story of one man's life mission to save these little birds is as compelling as any you'll ever read. BUT----if you want to know what the Cahows (Bermuda Petrels) look like, you'll have to look in another book or on-line because, aside from the picture of a chick on the cover, there are no pictures in the book! Seriously? Not a picture of David Wingate looking in burrows? Not one of him planting all the trees? Not one of an adult Cahow? I think this is a serious flaw in a book of this caliber, especially since it isn't some cheap self-published softcover, but a fairly pricey hardback. I'm going to pass my copy on to another birding friend, but I'm also going to print off pictures from the internet to go along with it. The publisher should have known better!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully Crafted, June 26, 2013
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This review is from: Rare Birds: The Extraordinary Tale of the Bermuda Petrel and the Man Who Brought It Back from Extinction (Hardcover)
The writing here is sharp and professional. The story is important and mirrors in many ways
so many environmental tragedies and triumphs. The science is accessible and woven seemlessly
into this wonderful true tale.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rare Birds, November 7, 2012
By 
michael heslop (Devonshire, Dev Bermuda) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Rare Birds: The Extraordinary Tale of the Bermuda Petrel and the Man Who Brought It Back from Extinction (Hardcover)
This is one of the best books I have read in years. I am not really a bird person but a friend gave me a copy of Rare Birds and told me "it's a must read", I couldn't agree more!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rare Birds, October 19, 2012
This review is from: Rare Birds: The Extraordinary Tale of the Bermuda Petrel and the Man Who Brought It Back from Extinction (Hardcover)
Rare Birds by Elizabeth Gerhman grabbed my attention from the first page. The story of one man's mission to save a species long thought to be extinct. Having never been to Bermuda, I was drawn in by her descriptions of the island's geography and feel like I have an insight to the look and feel of the place. (This could sway me to visit there).
She paints a fascinating picture of the the island's ecology and outside influences that have changed it over the last century. A look at man's attempts to control and manipulate nature.
I also have a great feel for this man who has put so much of himself into the seemingly overwhelming task he has taken on. A real life local hero who has made a difference to the world.
It's a timely story that we all should take note of if we care about the world we live in. I recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting account of an amazing man and his accomplishments!, April 8, 2013
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This review is from: Rare Birds: The Extraordinary Tale of the Bermuda Petrel and the Man Who Brought It Back from Extinction (Hardcover)
Bermuda is a small area of islands where slight changes in environment can make a huge difference. David Wingate spent a lifetime bringing areas of Bermuda back to a landscape where the once thought extinct Bermuda petrel (cahow) has been able to recover to a sustainable population. This is a well told account of his successful efforts!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great tale of the bird and the man who saved it, January 16, 2013
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This book gives not only a detailed history of the Bermuda Petrel's disastrous fate as a result of the activities of humans and the pigs, rats, and other creatures that they introduced to Bermuda. It also tells how the petrel was saved due to the life-long dedication and sacrifice of a single individual. It just goes to show how numerous are the threats, mostly man-made, to an endangered species are how much effort is required to overcome these threats.
I would reccommend this book to anyone who is concerned about the way humans are destroying our planet's wildlife.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring, January 6, 2013
This review is from: Rare Birds: The Extraordinary Tale of the Bermuda Petrel and the Man Who Brought It Back from Extinction (Hardcover)
Let me first make clear that David Wingate is my father in law, so you might well expect me to be biased. It would be more accurate to say that it makes me a more critical reader. I picked up this book with great trepidation, hoping it would do justice to David's life story and exemplary conservation work, saving a species from doom and restoring an original Bermuda ecosystem in the process.
It does. I was very impressed with Elizabeth Gehrman's narrative, which is factually sound and well written. (Appropriately enough, Elizabeth also references "Nonsuch Summer" my wife's semi-autobiographical adventure book for younger readers, which is also available on Kindle - here http://www.amazon.com/Nonsuch-Summer-ebook/dp/B004H8G2DU )
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating conservation success story, December 21, 2012
By 
J.O (Athens, Ga, US) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Rare Birds: The Extraordinary Tale of the Bermuda Petrel and the Man Who Brought It Back from Extinction (Hardcover)
Ms. Gehrman has produced a fascinating book on a strange bird and the eccentric but dedicated stewards who have saved it from extinction. Though the book is a serious account of the plight of an endangered bird, it lacks the preachy and often depressing tone found so often in accounts related to rare species conservation. On the contrary, the book seems to fly by, and the reader is drawn into the story by both the interesting characters and subject. She gives sufficient background information in such a deft manner so that the reader feels a near expert by the time the book is finished without ever seeming plodding. I highly recommend the book for those interested in conservation, island life or Bermuda, but even if those topics are not enough to draw you in, the characters, the setting, and the bird itself make for a most satisfying read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Rare birds n, August 5, 2013
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This review is from: Rare Birds: The Extraordinary Tale of the Bermuda Petrel and the Man Who Brought It Back from Extinction (Hardcover)
Loved the book.I spent 13 glorious years living in Bermuda & know what a gorgeous Island it is,so I was disappointed especially for readers who have not had this pleasure,that it was sadly lacking in photos of this special Country or God's Country as the Bermudian's call it.
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Rare Birds: The Extraordinary Tale of the Bermuda Petrel and the Man Who Brought It Back from Extinction
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