Cuba Feed

Helping Nature in the Caribbean

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The real James Bond loved birds and the West Indies, and he was an advocate for protecting them both -- especially preaching the need to end the slaughter of rare species in the Caribbean.
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The headline above was from an article in The New York Times in the mid-1930s. Bond was a noted ornithologist with a brand-new book, "Birds of the West Indies," by then. (But contrary to the sub-headline) he had no doctoral degree ... )

The introduction to the book went into great detail about the dangers facing the birds of the West Indies -- from humankind to hurricanes.

 One of the goals of this book is to raise awareness -- and money -- to help the environment in the Caribbean. To that end, all proceeds from talks and appearances generated by this book will go to The Nature Conservancy's Caribbean initiative.

Continue reading "Helping Nature in the Caribbean" »


A Pileated Make an Appearance

_MG_9641I hadn't seen a Pileated Woodpecker all year. Now -- thanks to some friends -- I saw one twice in one day.

This one was next to my backyard. Whenever I see one, I think that it's the closest I'll ever come to seeing an Ivory-billed Woodpecker.

The real James Bond admired them so much that he put one on the back cover of the 1947 edition of "The Birds of the West Indies" (below left), even if the chances of seeing one were remote at best. Earl Poole did the illustration.

If you'd like to learn how to pronounce "Pileated," read this.


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