Hope Is the Thing with Feathers: A Personal Chronicle of Vanished Birds

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9781585427222: Hope Is the Thing with Feathers: A Personal Chronicle of Vanished Birds
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A prizewinning poet and nature writer weaves together natural history, biology, sociology, and personal narrative to tell the story of the lives, habitats, and deaths of six extinct bird species.

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A decade ago, new to the Flint Hills of eastern Kansas, poet, journalist, and amateur birder Christopher Cokinos spotted an unusual sight: a pair of green parrotlike birds in flight, chased by a hawk. Uncertain of what he had seen, he turned to his guidebooks and neighbors to discover, eventually, that he had likely spotted a couple of escaped pet conures, tropical birds that were likely to offer some lucky predator an exotic lunch.

In sifting through the ornithological records, Cokinos learned that another brightly colored bird once haunted the skies over eastern Kansas: the Carolina parakeet, long ago driven to extinction by hunting and habitat destruction. Hope Is the Thing with Feathers, a mournful and beautifully written book, offers a powerful meditation on the parakeet's fate, as well as that of other extinct species that lived in North America until the early years of the 20th century: the great auk, the Labrador duck, the heath hen, the passenger pigeon. In a rejoinder to Peter Matthiessen's Wildlife in America, Cokinos celebrates these ghost species, urging the protection of those that remain. "These days hope asks much from us," he allows, grimly observing the carnage that has gone before us. But hope remains, he adds, that some day endangered species will flourish once again. --Gregory McNamee

About the Author:

Christopher Cokinos is an award-winning writer and poet, and a professor of English at Utah State University. He has received the Whiting Writers’ Award, the Glasgow Prize for an emerging writer in nonfiction, and the Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award.

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9781585420063: Hope Is the Thing with Feathers: A Personal Chronicle of Vanished Birds

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ISBN 10:  1585420069 ISBN 13:  9781585420063
Publisher: Tarcher, 2000
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9780446677493: Hope Is the Thing with Feathers: A Personal Chronicle of Vanished Birds

Grand ..., 2001
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9780756761653: Hope Is the Thing With Feathers: A Personal Chronicle of Vanished Birds

Diane ..., 2000
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