Birds of the West Indies Feed

'Birds of the West Indies' in Action!

IMG_0462Charlie Quinn shared this terrific shot of the endemic Barbados Bullfinch getting ready to peruse James Bond's classic Birds of the West Indies. In Barbados. Thanks, Charlie!

You can read more about this smart bird here:

I love what Bond wrote in the fifth edition: "remarkably tame in gardens of Barbados."

(I'll be giving away a free copy of this edition at my talk on Tuesday at the Ridgewood Public Library).




The Real James Bond and 007

Die Another Day Birds of the West Indies
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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 the scene,  set in Cuba, Bond says he's an ornithologist and professes he's there "for the birds."

As a result, the book has become a bit of a collector's item, although the book is often misrepresented in on-line sales.

The actual one is the 1990 Collins U.K. edition, pictured above left.

Much more about the real James Bond, Ian Fleming and 007 are in my upcoming book.

Brosnan as ornitholoigist in die another day

More About the Birdman

RealJamesBond_CVR(1)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 on my Cuba trip three years ago.)

Below: Earl Poole's drawing of the Cuban Green Woodpecker from Bond's Birds of the West Indies (1936 first edition).

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