Announcing "The Real James Bond"!

I am pleased to announce that my book about the life and times of the real James Bond will be published by Schiffer Publishing next February. I think Schiffer did a great job on the cover. Can't wait to see the finished book, which features 108 color and black-and-white images -- including several that are rare or never before published. The book is packed with all sorts of great information about Bond, his landmark book "Birds of the West Indies," his explorations in the Caribbean, Ian Fleming and Goldeneye, lots of real spies, Philadelphia, Mt. Desert Island, Jamaica, Cuba and... Read more →

Advance Praise for 'The Real James Bond'

In advance of the book's publication, I asked a few experts on birds, the real James Bond, and Ian Fleming, to look at the manuscript in hopes they'd have a kind word or two. I share them now, with my great appreciation. If The Real James Bond does nothing more than convince readers that an ornithologist can be something other than proper, stodgy, or dull, it will have done a great service. This fast-paced, fun book puts the lie to the Miss Jane Hathaway stereotype, painting a portrait of a man who more than lived up to his role as... Read more →

Subscribe to This Blog

As the book's publication date (Feb. 28) approaches, I will post items more frequently -- including a calendar with all my upcoming book-related appearances. In the meantime, the easiest way to keep track of this blog is to subscribe by typing your email address in the right-hand column under "Subscribe" and then hit the gray "Subscribe" button. It's that easy. Read more →

The Real James Bond and 007

In the 2002 007 film "Die Another Day," James Bond the secret agent posed as James Bond the ornithologist and even held a copy of one of the later editions of Bond's landmark field guide -- with Bond's name obliterated. There's a classic scene between Pierce Brosnan's binoculars-toting, mojito-drinking James Bond (below) and Halle Berry's bikini-clad Jinx Johnson in which Bond professes he's in Cuba "for the birds." As a result, the book has become a bit of a collector's item, though the book is often misrepresented in on-line sales. The actual one is the 1990 Collins U.K. edition, pictured... Read more →

More About the Birdman

The cover of my upcoming book has generated a bit of speculation. Is the bird's head that of: a. A Cuban Green Woodpecker. b. A Flameback Woodpecker from Asia c. Another species of woodpecker, going undercover. I decided to ask Molly Shields, who should know -- she designed the cover for Schiffer Publishing. Molly says: "I had fun working on this cover! I got the image from a Cuban stamp... a Cuban green woodpecker, Xiphidiopicus percussus. More about the Cuban Green Woodpecker here. (The photo in the link is by Michael J. Good of the Caribbean Conservation Trust, the leader... Read more →

Who Is the Birdman on the Cover?

I am a big fan of the bird/man on the front cover of my upcoming book, but what kind of bird's head is that? A couple of birding experts weighed in. It is either a Cuban Green Woodpecker or a Flameback Woodpeck from Asia. Or another species of woodpecker, going undercover. I will post the definitive answer (from the cover designer) this Friday. Read more →

Real James Bond & the Bahama Nuthatch

By now, many people have heard about the likely extinction of the Bahama nuthatch. When one wrestles with the destruction that Hurricane Dorian wrought on the Bahamas and its people, the extinction of a bird pales in comparison -- especially a bird few folks have heard of. One reason the bird is relatively obscure is that it has long been considered a subspecies -- even by ornithologist James Bond, who discovered it. It will likely become a separate species after its extinction. As I write in my soon-to-be-published book, after traveling on a rum runner's sailboat to High Rock on... Read more →

Helping the Hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The real James Bond was an advocate for the environment in the West Indies and the Bahamas and did some amazing research on Grand Bahama and the Abacos; that's why I plan to donate all proceeds from my talks about "The Real James Bond" to The Nature Conservancy's Caribbean Initiative. At present, the far greater need is hurricane relief efforts in the Bahamas. A list of places to donate to relief efforts is at the end of this post. TNC's Bahamas Program Director Shenique Albury-Smith writes: Dear Colleagues, As you know Hurricane Dorian affected the Northern Bahamas, in particular, the... Read more →

Watch this space!

"The Real James Bond," an unconventional, lavishly illustrated biography of the author/ornithologist whose name was stolen by Ian Fleming, will be published in February 2020. Stay tuned for news about the book and upcoming speaking engagements by the author, Jim Wright. Read more →