EarthFlight: Breathtaking Photographs from a Bird's-Eye View of the World

John Downer, Author
John Downer. Firefly, $49.95 (240p) ISBN 978-1-77085-039-2
Hardcover - 239 pages - 978-1-84607-973-3
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Using a variety of techniques including hang-gliders, "bird-shaped model gliders," and bird-mounted cameras to capture footage of birds in flight, veteran BBC wildlife photographer Downer and his crew spent three-and-a-half years collecting footage for what would become the BBC series EarthFlight. Here, he shares truly stunning images from the program, accompanied by commentary. The photos—of cranes gracefully soaring over the Château de Chenonceau in France's Loire Valley, an African eagle beneath a rainbow, migrating geese, tens of thousands of flamingos nesting in South Africa and Kenya, pelicans gobbling up grunion in Mexico's Sea of Cortez, bats seething from Texan caves, gannets in search of food plunging into the Scottish seas, and the brilliantly colored Australian budgies ("nomadic parakeets")—offer extraordinary glimpses of wildlife on every continent (but Antarctica) from a perspective rarely—if ever—seen before. Though the photos are spectacular, the final chapter might be the most remarkable aspect of the book, as Downer details how he and his team captured these amazing shots, as well as discussing the many obstacles they faced. A genuine treasure, Downer's work must be seen to be truly appreciated. Photos and map. (Mar.)
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