Bernd Brunner

Birdmania. The Story of a Remarkable Passion


Birdmania. The Story of a Remarkable Passion

Complete English translation available
Recommended by New Books in German
Carey Institute Nonfiction Residency, New York 2016
Nominated for “Science Book of the Year 2016” by Bild der Wissenschaft in the category "Surprise – a book that tackles a topic in an inventive way"
Website Bernd Brunner

"An exquisitely beautiful book, Bernd Brunner’s survey of our historical and cultural relationship with birds is packed with anecdote and interest, and populated with a cast of fascinating and memorable figures who helped forge how we think of birds today, from adventurers to bird-keepers, artists to ornithologists. These stories about birds are ultimately reflections on the curious nature of humanity itself." Helen Macdonald, Author of H is for Hawk and Falcon on the Birdmania (Greystone Books)

Bernd Brunner explores the fascinating stories of people who devoted their lives to birds. His examples of more “moderate” bird enthusiasts include Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, Leonardo da Vinci, Charles Darwin and Konrad Lorenz.

Other bird lovers were clearly bitten by a stronger bug. Millionaire Phoebe Snetsinger, for example: after she was diagnosed with cancer, she made it her mission to view as many birds as possible in their natural habitats. When she died, she had seen more species than anyone before her.

She is joined by criminologists who used their ornithological prowess to solve mysterious cases; parrot collectors whose insatiable cravings drove entire species to the edge of extinction; conservationists who waged veritable battles to protect the objects of their dedication; and bird lovers driven to swindle, murder, or even die for their passion.

Birdmania opens up a unique perspective on why we are attracted to birds and how we encounter and describe them, and yields insights into the long and convoluted history of a passion that has never adequately been sketched. Along the way, Bernd Brunner lays out the history of ornithology and shares surprising facts and memorable insights drawn from the study of birds.

Cultural History


ISBN: 978-3-86971-117-1
release: 08. October 2015
264 pages, gebunden mit SU


24,99 €
0,00 sFr
25,70 €

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sample translation

About the Author

For more than ten years, Bernd Brunner has written acclaimed, highly entertaining books on topics that inspire a mixture of scientific investigation and cultural inquiry. His books have been sold to numerous countries.

Further titles by the author:
Als die Winter noch Winter waren (When Winters Were Still Winters)
Die Kunst des Liegens (The Art of Lying Down)