Review of Birders of Africa by Andrew McKechnie


Ornithology, like any branch of science, is an incremental process whereby new layers of information and understanding are gradually added to an edifice that may have been under construction for centuries.

In Birders of Africa: History of a Network, social and environmental historian Nancy Jacobs traces the development of ornithology in Africa. Her book reviews the history of knowledge and the network of people involved, with a particular focus on the interactions between three broad categories of bird-related knowledge: vernacular, ornithological and recreational. The backdrop for the journey on which the reader is taken is the shifting social and political landscapes of the African continent over the past millennium.

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