A Nifty Ornithology Story

The Academy of  Natural  Sciences in Philadelphia -- James Bond's home base for six decades, has a neat story about its Ornithology Department nowadays.

(Above, a tag from a Bee Hummingbird that Bond collected for science on the Isle of Pines (now called the Isle of Youth) in Cuba.

You can read it here:

https://www.anspblog.org/day-in-ornithology-dept/

Trick question: The Isle of Youth is the second-largest Cuban island. What is the largest?

See the answer below:

 

 

 

Cuba

 


For the Bond Fan on Your Gift List

Screen Shot 2022-11-08 at 5.57.27 PM

I was doing some 007 surfing on the Internet yesterday and came across a webpage for Top Gift Ideas from James Bond fans.

My book is included on the list. I thought they described it quite nicely:

Hardcore Bond fans already have the original novel versions of their favorite films. And if they don’t, it’s easy to get these books online.

If you’re looking for a book that a true Bond fan will appreciate, try Jim Wright’s The Real James Bond: A True Story of Identity Theft, Avian Intrigue, and Ian Fleming.

It tells the story of the American ornithologist whose name was borrowed by Fleming to create Agent 007.

It’s a chronicle of the background, adventures, misadventures, and scientific expeditions of the real-life James Bond – a glimpse into Fleming’s creative process.

The link is here:

https://www.giftideasclub.com/top-gift-ideas-from-james-bond-fans/

I kinda like the bird wallpaper in the background, too. It would make some nice gift wrap.

Also came across a couple of reviews of the book in Portuguese and Romanian, also very cool.


A Hard-to-find 'Birds of the West Indies'

Img20221022_19481035
In my several years of researching and writing about the real James Bond, I have found only one edition of the nearly 70 years of Birds of the West Indies next to impossible to get -- the 1985 fifth edition published by  Collins.

Although it has one of the most striking covers of the later editions, it has caught the eye of collectors for another reason: It is featured in the 2002 Bond film “Die Another Day," when Pierce Brosnan's  007 examines this edition of the Birds of the West Indies in a Havana hotel (with the real Bond's name crossed out).

James Bond poses as a birdman in a memorable sequence with Halle Berry.

When the binoculars-toting 007 meets Jinx (played by Halle Berry), he makes a typical movie Bond quip.

“I’m just here for the birds,” he explains. “Ornithologist.”

Every time I tried to buy a copy online, I received a different edition -- even when I sent a photo of the cover of the edition I sought. Eventually, I gave up.

Imagine my surprise last weekend when I visited NJ Audubon's Scherman-Hoffman Sancturay last weekend and found a pristine copy of that very edition in the gift shop's used books section.

Sometimes, when you wait long enough, good things come your way.



 

 

 

 


Today Is James Bond Day

Wright Rosate Spoonbill. IMG_9924
Today is James Bond Day, marking the premiere of  "Dr. No"  in 1962.

For those keeping score, Ian Fleming's 007 book of the same name had some excellent birding references.

In Dr. No, the sixth 007 novel, several birders, lots of birds and tons of bird guano play a major role. Bond is sent to Jamaica to investigate the disappearance of Commander John Strangways, the head of MI6 Station there, and his secretary Mary Trueblood.

Upon his arrival, 007 learns that the disappearances are tied to mysterious goings-on on Crab Key, a British territory owned by Dr. Junius No. Half the island is an Audubon sanctuary for Roseate Spoonbills (above), and the other half is a guano mine.

When one of the wardens dies from bad burns sustained on the key, the Audubon Society goes to investigate, but their plane crash-lands on the island, killing the pilot and the two Audubon staffers.

The U.S. military looks into the crash but finds nothing suspicious. Bond eventually gets involved, and (spoiler alert again), Dr. No gets his due for killing that colony of beautiful spoonbills when 007 buries Dr. No alive with a load of the bird droppings -- far more poetic than the justice Dr. No received in the 1962 movie of the same name, when Bond boiled him alive in a nuclear reactor.

 The episode was inspired by a 1956 expedition that Fleming and his pal Ivar Bryce made to the southernmost Bahamas island of Inagua, near the northeast coast of Cuba. Wrote Bryce in his memoir, You Only Live Once:


“The remainder of Inagua is a large lagoon, a hundred square miles in area surrounded by impenetrable mangroves. No man lives there, but it is home to myriad upon myriad of water birds: flamingos, Louisiana herons, American egets, roseate spoonbills, stilts and a score of other species are there by the thousand.”

 


How 007 Got His Name

James Bond Australia RJB article page
James Bond is in the news again (it never ends).

"Real" James Bonds sharing the name that Ian Fleming bestowed upon his fictional secret agent are the subject of a new documentary, “The Other Fellow.” 9-1 Bond opening door bond00003(1)

The feature-length film, directed and co-written by Matthew Bauer, recently made its Australian premiere at the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival.

The sundry James Bonds who are profiled in the movie include a Swedish 007 super-fan, a gay New York theatre director, and an African-American accused of murder.

The documentary also includes segments on the real Bond.

But how did Fleming choose "James Bond" for the 007's name?

My article for James Bond Australia tells the whole story -- and skewers some baloney that has been dished out over the years.

You can read it here:

https://www.jamesbondaustralia.com/2022/08/03/how-007-got-his-name-by-jim-wright/

You can read my article on how 007 got his number (for Artistic License Renewed, the Literary James Bond magazine) here:

https://literary007.com/2021/09/07/the-origins-of-the-007-prefix/

And you can read an interview I did with James Bond Australia in 2020 here:

https://www.jamesbondaustralia.com/2020/07/02/interview-with-jim-wright-author-of-the-real-james-bond/


A Great Writeup in (201) Magazine

Screen Shot 2022-08-02 at 1.36.42 PMThe August issue of (201) Magazine has a succinct, nicely crafted blurb about the book. Thank you, (201).

On the same page:  a writeup about a book by a guy named Kevin Jonas from Wyckoff, N.J. He is apparently one of the brothers involved in some sort of musical enterprise. I wish them well.

You can read the issue here:

https://201magazine-nj.newsmemory.com/

The writeups are on Page 57.

 


New Documentary about James Bonds

A friend in Australia tells me of a new documentary about all the people who share a name with James Bond. I am sure there's a segment about the real James Bond as well.

I had heard several years ago that the movie was in the works. Glad it made it to the screen.


Going Once, Going Twice...

IMG_2252(1)This weekend is the big silent auction to benefit The Raptor Trust.

Here is the package I donated -- the result of my book about the ornithologist and author James Bond, whose name was stolen by Ian Fleming for his 007:

* A signed copy of my book The Real James Bond.
 
* A new Blu-Ray copy of Goldfinger.
 
* A signed Real James Bond coffee mug, uniquely inscribed,
 
* A  later edition of Birds of the West Indies (by James Bond).
 
* A first edition of How James Bond Got His Name by Mrs. James Bond.
 
* A new toy Corgi James Bond Aston Martin DB10 from Spectre.
 
You can read more about this weekend's events at The Raptor Trust -- a godsend for hawks, falcons, eagles, owls, and other wild birds --  here:

You can view the James Bond/007 here:

https://www.32auctions.com/organizations/64130/auctions/125417/auction_items/3838467


Online Auction: The Bond Package

IMG_2252(1)
This weekend is the big silent auction to benefit The Raptor Trust.

Here is the package I donated -- the result of my book about the ornithologist and author James Bond, whose name was stolen by Ian Fleming for his 007:

* A signed copy of my book The Real James Bond.
 
* A new Blu-Ray copy of Goldfinger.
 
* A signed Real James Bond coffee mug, uniquely inscribed,
 
* A  later edition of Birds of the West Indies (by James Bond).
 
* A first edition of How James Bond Got His Name by Mrs. James Bond.
 
* A new toy Corgi James Bond Aston Martin DB10 from Spectre.
 
You can read more about this weekend's events at The Raptor Trust -- a godsend for hawks, falcons, eagles, owls, and other wild birds --  here: