A very good hardcover in a worn dust jacket. First published in Germany in 1951. The interplay of Western philosophy and ornithological observation is one of the dominant themes of this book, which is not merely a history of ornithology but an essay in the history of ideas, only some of them scientific. The narrative is enlivened by the author's humor, obvious love of his subject, and fascination with the lives of great ornithologists, many of whom were quite eccentric. Includes a foreword and an epilogue on American Ornithology by Ernst Mayr.