The Life of the Skies is a beautifully crafted book that blends birding, religion, and history. Birding is portrayed as a great paradox of the natural world and the technological advancements that make birding a possibility.
“Edward O. Wilson wrote in his recent book The Creation: ‘Civilization was purchased by the betrayal of nature.’ This does not make civilization bad, of course; it just makes it founded on a paradox that – paradoxically – civilization alone is capable of acknowledging.” –from Life of the Skies
But the paradox isn’t just in technology but in the battle between Darwinism and religious beliefs. Of course, each individual must choose their faith (or lack of) for themselves, but as Jonathan Rosen explains, ornithologists of the past have had this struggle and the act of being part of nature elicits deep thoughts of the purpose of protecting the natural world in which we live and love.
The Life of the Skies focuses on the wonders and enjoyment of living creatures. Birding celebrates life and the preservation of this life is what will ensure the survival of humanity. The respect of nature is respect for ourselves and when all is said and done, we are all birders.
This thought-provoking book provides any person with an appreciation for nature an entertaining adventure from New York City, to the Louisiana swamps, to one of the most fascinating birding destinations in the world – Israel. But this adventure is intertwined with the pains of lost habitat and extinction, and the importance of bird conservation.
“This is the magic hour. There is still time, before the light fades and there is no longer anything left to see.”
We agree that there is still time to conserve the land, not just for the birds but for all of us. The Life of the Skies provides an eloquent backing to this feeling.
Rating: 10 out of 10 feathers