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Books

Is the Slender-billed curlew already extinct?

Horatio Clare travels far and wide in the hope of glimpsing the world’s rarest bird but finds only some eccentric birders attempting to do the same

2 January 2016

9:00 AM

2 January 2016

9:00 AM

Orison for a Curlew Horatio Clare, illustrated by Beatrice Forshall

Little Toller Books, pp.96, £12

This unusual book is beautifully written, produced and illustrated, but its subject — the small Slender-billed curlew — is strangely absent. In his ‘introduction to a ghost’, Horatio Clare explains that, when he was commissioned to tell the story of the western world’s rarest bird, it did, at least officially, still exist.

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