Books & Authors

Penquin: Kingdom of daylight – Memories of a Birdwatcher

News Desk Book Review

In this autobiographical account of a lifetime spent observing, researching and photographing birds, author Peter Steyn shares experiences that span some 70 years

His story starts and ends in Cape Town, South Africa, but in between we read about the 17 years he spent in Zimbabwe – his most productive in terms of ornithological research; his worldwide travels in a quest to study birds; his regular spells as a lecturer on cruise-ship voyages; trips from the Arctic to the Antarctic, to remote Southern Ocean islands and to several Indian Ocean islands and St Helena and his travels also to the USA, South America, Australia, New Zealand and Ethiopia – all in pursuit of birds.

His detailed and fascinating memoir captures the author’s great enthusiasm for birds and their role in his shaping his life and experiences. The book is well illustrated and features more than 400 photographs taken during Steyn’s lifelong journey with birds.

Peter Steyn’s passion for birds began at an early age and saw him develop into both an expert bird photographer and author of nine books and numerous popular and scientific articles on the subject. His published research on birds of prey, in particular, has been widely acclaimed. He has received the prestigious Gill Memorial Medal ‘for an outstanding lifetime contribution to the knowledge of southern African birds’; and the Steven Piper Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to raptor conservation and research.

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