The  by Dillon Ripley


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Ornithology, with the human touch, in the remote and inaccessible -- and beautiful -- kingdom, by an expert who makes bird hunting and its concomitants sometimes breathless and generally exciting. The troubles and irritations of getting permission, the incentive to bring up to date the early studies of Brian Hodgson in the young 19th century, the challenge of arousing local interest in the Rana family to get beyond the Katmundu Valley, the professional drive for further research along modern lines -- all this sent the author and his fellow workers into almost virgin territory. And besides faraway places and strange sounding names and little known birds there are bits about elephants (not your favorite bedfellow), scenic eye openers, transportation and travel hazards, labor trouble -- and always the lure of the hoped-for, and/or unexpected in feathered families. Along with the netting, shooting and photographing of birds are portraits of Maharajahs, coolies, Nepalese householders (also trains); expedition know (and learn) how, patience (and more patience), clothing and food; and the additional chores of small mammal collecting. Quite a natural history dish which gives more bounce to the ounce of its ornithological weight.

Pub Date: Jan. 23rd, 1951
Publisher: Houghton, Mifflin