The Slender-billed curlew is one of the world's rarest birds.
A beautiful, fragile creature, it once bred in Siberia and wintered in the Mediterranean basin, passing through the wetlands and estuaries of Italy, Greece, the Balkans and central Asia twice a year.
Then, for mysterious reasons, the population crashed.
The Slender-billed curlew now exists as rumour, hope, unconfirmed sightings and speculation.
The only certainty of its story is that it now stands at the brink of extinction.
Birds are key environmental indicators - their health or hardship has a message for us about the planet, and our future.
But we do not know what the fate of the Slender-billed curlew means for us, or what happened to it, or why.Orison for a Curlew is the story of a journey into that mystery.
Following the bird's migratory path takes the award-winning writer Horatio Clare on an odyssey through a fractured Europe, to the edges of the land, and into the lives of the men and women who have fought to save and preserve the worlds to which the bird belonged.We travel with soldiers, beggars, students and green superheroes, including the father of ornithology in Greece, an extinction myth-buster in Romania, a Hungarian who invented the Danube delta biosphere reserve, and a birdwatcher who drew the preservation map of Bulgaria. This is a story of beauty, triumph,mystery and struggle, and a homage to a creature that may never be seen again.
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 100 pages
- Publisher: Little Toller Books
- Publication Date: 02/11/2015
- Category: Wildlife: birds & birdwatching
- ISBN: 9781908213334