The Gift of Birds is a large collection of true story excerpts from various authors. The stories are separated into different parts as described by previous reviewers. Many of the authors are 'professional' birders, scientists and ornithologists. They're not what you'd call common bird watchers. When I bought this book I was expecting short complete stories from backyard bird watchers.
Sorry to say, some of the stories I found tedious to finish. To be fair, I've never been an excerpt fan and this book is chalk full of story excerpts. Many of the stories I'm sure, lose much of their charm by not reading them in their complete state. Again- that's why I don't like excerpts.
One story in this book disturbed me a bit. 'The Scarlet Pimpernel' was a story where an older man captures unsuspecting city pigeons & relocates them in a country area. While, I'm sure the man intended the pigeons no harm, I couldn't held but wonder if he waited until after mating & clutch-rearing season to capture these birds. During this story I kept imagining an abandoned nest full of baby pigeons with no parents around to feed them! Not a pretty thought if you love birds.
On a brighter note, if you are a serious birder and you don't mind excerpts, you will probably enjoy this book. If you prefer common jargon from common folk who love birds- you might want to check this one out of the library instead of purchasing it.