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The Grail Bird
by Tim Gallagher

The majestic Ivory-Billed Woodpecker, long held to be extinct by the “experts,” has now been rediscovered. The author, who is affiliated with the prestigious Cornell Lab of Ornithology, offers an engrossing firsthand account of his part in the drama.

Aside from the quest for the rare bird, this book offers an illuminating look at egos, jealousies, and private agendas within the scientific community. An undercurrent in the narrative is how supposedly objective scientists fight tenaciously for established orthodoxies in spite of evidence to the contrary and lashing out brutally at those who don’t toe the party line. The author must be commended for taking some career risks in shining this unflattering spotlight on his colleagues.



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