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.