Birds in Town and Village
William Henry Hudson
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This is a story book. Had he been around at this time, William Henry Hudson would have undoubtedly been in the foreground of media prominence, for he too coupled extensive knowledge, born of decades of observing nature in the field, with a bottomless love for all feathered kind. He is now probably only known to the older generation of the bird enthusiasts, which is understandable. There is a highly active and imaginative group of bird writers and commentators producing books by the score, far beyond the Collins Complete Guide to British Birds or the RSPB Guide to Bird watching. There are also books by Bill Oddie, Kate Humble and many others. In a way, W. H. Hudson was the precursor of them all, a pioneer in his field. He loved birds and he watched them all the time, paying minute attention to their habits, their characters and their activities. His books are not dry field guides dedicated to the identification of our island species, but more a celebration of their habits and social lives. He was an early member of the fledgling Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and Chairman of the committee in 1894. The RSPB was first formed in 1889 by a group of women fired by a specific common purpose. As the RSPB recounts in its history.