Collecting the Real James Bond's Books
James Bond's Backyard Bird List?

When Aussies Embraced the real Bond and 007

CBOCJamesBondPostcard                                                                                                Photo by Tony Peri

In advance of my talk this Saturday at the virtual Cape May Spring Festival, I am re-posting one of my favorite posts each day this week.

In my new book, I wrote about the enduring bond between bird-watchers and 007 fans. 

One of the most imaginative mash-ups of the two was by the Cumberland Bird Observers Club in Sydney, Australia, which used the Fleming-Bond connection to promote birdwatching in 2001.

The 560-member club produced a flyer and postcard (above) featuring a photo of a dashing, binoculars-wielding birder in a tuxedo, accompanied by four women birders in sexy gowns and miniskirts.

The goal: to attract new members by showing that birdwatching could involve more than folks in drab outfits gawking at ducks through spotting scopes. The club even had a web page devoted to Jim Bond. (Now reinstated, here.)

I was finally able to connect with Andrew Patrick, the birder in the tuxedo in the 2001 photo, who recently recalled:

"Some of our club members have been to the Caribbean and used a James Bond field guide. Most of our members, though, had never heard of the real James Bond (and most of us haven’t been to the Caribbean either because it is a long way away). "

According to Patrick, the club had a James Bond night at one of their meetings. They played the movie theme, and Patrick --  dressed in a tuxedo with field guide in hand --  explained who the real James Bond was.

"We made the James Bond-esque photo for publicity for the bird club," said Patrick. "We got on radio a number of times and had two articles in The Sydney Morning Herald. We also got some new members for the club -- which was the main purpose."

He added that the women in the photo were, from "left to right, Renée, Prue, Andrew, Heather and Aimee."

(Well played!)

The club's website is here.

Special Cape May Festival Posts:
Tomorrow: James Bond's backyard bird list?


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