The Eastern Curlew
by Harry Saddler
Every year around August, large flocks of Eastern Curlews leave their breeding grounds in the Arctic and embark on a perilous 10,000km journey to the coast of Australia. The birds cannot swim; if they become exhausted and fall into the ocean, they die. But it’s a journey they have taken for tens of thousands of years, tracing invisible flyways in the sky in what is one of the most spectacular mass migrations in the animal kingdom.
Following the Eastern Curlew along its migratory path, award-winning nature writer Harry Saddler explores how these incredible birds have impressed themselves on the cultures of the countries they fly through, the threat to their survival posed by development, and the remarkable ways these birds and humankind may be entwined. The Eastern Curlew is a delightful and vivid portrait of a fascinating natural phenomenon.
‘Much like the curlew, Harry Saddler probes a rich field for morsel after tasty morsel to produce an outstanding story of a most remarkable bird.’ SEAN DOOLEY
‘The Eastern Curlew is both intimately personal and widely expansive in its scope, and I defy the reader not to remain unaffected by the author’s wonder and delight of this most remarkable bird.’ Australian Birdlife
‘Saddler has done us a great service in bringing this most astonishing migrant to our attention — one hopes in time to save it.’ TIM FLANNERY, THE AUSTRALIAN
‘Saddler successfully conveys both the curlew’s plight and its magic. Readers will come away from this book understanding both the urgent need to conserve these wondrous birds, as well as the joys of birdwatching more generally.’ BOOKS + PUBLISHING MAGAZINE
‘It might be surprising that Saddler can wrangle a whole book centred on just one, relatively little-known species of bird, but there is no shortage of material. ★★★★1/2 stars.’ Good Reading
‘The Eastern Curlew is a marvel. Tender, wise, profound, expansive, it takes the story of an ordinary bird and reveals not just what is extraordinary about it, but also the ways in which human activity s imperilling its very existence. In a moment of profound ecological crisis we urgently need more books like it, and more writers like Harry Saddler.’ JAMES BRADLEY