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The Feather Quest Hardcover – February 1, 1992


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Adult; First Edition edition (February 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525933921
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525933922
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,128,104 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Toward the beginning of this diary of a birder's ideal year, Dunne ( Hawks in Flight ) describes the sighting of a Ross Gull in Newburyport, Mass., as "the equivalent of reaching into your pockets for change and coming out with the Hope Diamond." The book may be the Hope Diamond of natural history diaries, sparkling throughout with vivid depictions of birds ("a drab, dirt-colored finch that would have to stretch to see the top of a saltshaker"), birding ("looking at birds is a little like viewing art in a gallery") and the people and places he comes across in his journeys throughout North America, driven by that which "makes people bind hours of their lives to the horizon." In the introduction, Peterson, whose guides have accompanied millions of birders in the field for more than five decades, points out that "birds can be anything or everything depending on the person. . . . They can even be a bore if you are a bore." In The Feathered Quest they are not, because Dunne is not. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Pete Dunne seems destined to be the next dean and spokesperson for American birding--not only through his books Hawks in Flight ( LJ 3/1/88) and Tales of a Low-Rent Birder (Rutgers Univ. Pr., 1986), but as a regular on the birding lecture circuit, positions as director of the prestigious Cape May Bird Observatory and New Jersey Audubon Society, as a nature columnist for various newspapers, and as organizer of the first World Series of Birding. In The Feather Quest , he and his wife live out the birder's dream of following the birds and the seasons around the United States. Such a voyage has not been reported on so mellifluously since Roger Tory Peterson published Wild America in 1935. In prose that reads as smoothly as the best of John McPhee, Dunne muses on birds, on the 22 birding hot spots they visit, on birders as a group, on famous birders they meet, and on the philosophy, spirit, and almost everything that touches the love of birding. Great reading.
- Janice Dunham, John Jay Coll. Lib., New York
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 7 customer reviews
Dunne is a good writer rather than a great one.
Rob Neyer
So if you don't have a lot of time to read, you can finish a chapter, put the book down and pick it up again when you have time.
rockgeek56
In reading this book, all the birds seem to be your first one.
B. Brukner

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By B. Brukner on March 25, 2000
Format: Paperback
Pete Dunne and his wife Linda are lucky enough to take a whole year off to go birding. And we are lucky enough to come along with them in this part travel book, part bird life list. They start in his boyhood home of Whippany, New Jersey, and criss-cross North America in search of birds. They travel from the tip of the USA at the Everglades to the top of the continent at the Artic Refuge in Alaska. Not only do they write about the birds they see and hear but they also take a look at the many differnent types of people who bird. And it is all done in a comic style but with serious overtones concerning the environment, pollution, and urban sprawl. It makes you want to dust off your binos, find your bird book, and head out into the fields and forests. There is nothing more stirring then seeing a new bird for the first time. In reading this book, all the birds seem to be your first one.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By J. Guild TOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 22, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is a supurb overview of birding in North America.Pete and his wife Linda spent a year on the road and came up with this excellent book that covers every aspect of birding and does it with a passion that he makes you feel you are right there beside him.Birding means something different to each person who engages in this pursuit;but Pete makes a pretty good observation when he states "the coin of tribute in birding's realm is not skill,it is shared intrest.With it an individual buys passage into the ranks of North American birders.Skill is just something birders acquire over time.But the intrest, and the pleasure people derive from watching birds,ah,those things are constants;those things are a priority.Those are the qualities that distinguish birders from society,s rank and file."
I ran across and recognized Pete one day in Portal, Arizona and struck up a conversation with him.I felt he had as much intrest in me as I had in meeting him.He hit the nail on the head;generally it's the interest one shows,not the knowledge onehas that counts.
I am sure that anyone with any interest in birding will find this book by one of the top,in every way,birders in North America an excellent book;that I guarantee ! ! !
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Birder Lover "Steve" on August 1, 2003
Format: Paperback
A great read for the crazy birder crowd. Take it with you when you hit the important birding places, read it to learn more about the high-end of the birding subculture, and read it when you need a laugh. The short stories on Attu and the World Series of Birding are worth the price alone.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Rob Neyer on September 14, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dunne is a good writer rather than a great one. But this book is very nearly great, because of the passion and the sensitivity that he brings to the subject. What's most impressive to me is how Dunne avoids reveling in the (often) competitive nature of birding. In one memorable chapter, he writes at length about a competition between teams of birders to spot (or hear) the most species in one 24-hour period. We're caught up in the competition, and we think we're about to find out who won this good-spirited contest when . . . the chapter simply ends. And we never do find out who "won."

Dunne's point, I think, is that everybody won, and while the real winners certainly did enjoy finding a few more birds than the runners-up, ideally birding is about something bigger than winning and losing and the number on your life list.

THE FEATHER QUEST also functions as a sort of travelogue for birders, and I'm sure I'll be referring to it for years when deciding where to take my annual trip.
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