Bernd Brunner

Ornithomania. Geschichte einer besonderen Leidenschaft
(Birdmania. The Story of a Remarkable Passion)

Galiani Berlin (Verlag Kiepenheuer & Witsch), October 2015, 200 pp.
ISBN: 978 3 86971 117 1

Bernd Brunnerís own fascination with birds infuses every page of this wonderfully quirky book, which starts from the premise that we are all birdwatchers, whether we know it or not. The book presents a series of thumbnail sketches of individuals throughout history and from all over the world who have been interested in birds, either as a hobby or a profession. These birders come from all strata of society, from royalty through the educated classes to foresters, even including an Auschwitz guard. Brunner also discusses developments in general attitudes to birds, such as the founding of the RSPB in England, and the influence of modern technology on our relationship with birds.

A number of famous people appear in these pages: St Francis, who regarded birds as his brothers; Mozart, who mourned the death of a starling which imitated his compositions; Aristotle, who described the character of birds; Leonardo, who was the first to work on a flying machine to imitate birdsí flight; and Teddy Roosevelt, who banned ladies from wearing birdsí feathers in their hats. This is a tapestry of many colours and infinite variety, packed with scholarship and knowledge.


Bernd Brunner was born in 1964. For the past decade he has been writing entertaining, high-profile books at the intersection between cultural and scientific history. His subjects have included the invention of the Christmas tree, our fascination with the moon and the relationship between humans and bears.

Previous rights sold:
China, Estonia, France, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Turkey and the USA.

Previous works include:
Die Kunst des Liegens (2012)


Application for assistance with translation costs Ė Germany

Translation rights available from:
Verlag Kiepenheuer & Witsch
Contact: Iris Brandt
Tel: +49 221 376850

Galiani Berlin is an imprint of Kiepenheuer & Witsch. For further information please contact NBG.