A heartwarming account of the trials and triumphs a hummingbird rehabber encounters while caring for her tiny, fragile patients.
Before he collided with a limousine, Gabriel, an Anna's hummingbird with a head and throat cloaked in iridescent magenta feathers, could spiral 130 feet in the air, dive 60 miles per hour in a courtship display, hover, and fly backward. When he arrived in rehab caked in road grime, he was so badly injured that he could barely perch. But Terry Masear, one of the busiest hummingbird rehabbers in the country, was determined to save this damaged bird, who seemed oddly familiar.
During the four months that Terry worked with Gabriel, she took in 160 hummingbirds, from a miniature nestling rescued by a bulldog and a fledgling trapped inside a skydiving wind tunnel at Universal CityWalk to Pepper, a female Anna's injured on a film set.
In their time together, Pepper and Gabriel formed a special bond, and together, with Terry's help, learned to fly again. Woven around Gabriel's and Pepper's stories are those of other colorful birds in this personal narrative filled with the science and magic surrounding these fascinating creatures.
©2015 Terry Masear (P)2016 Audible, Inc.
This book offers a fascinating and in-depth look at hummingbirds and hummingbird rescue operations in Hollywood California. It is funny, fact filled and brimming with quirky insights about life in southern California. It's as much about the rescuers as the birds they are trying to help. But, believe me, you will learn a great deal about the birds too.
My problem lies in the narration. The voice is hard to describe--sort of Valley Girl meets Betty Boop. It grates from the start and then becomes intolerable after an hour for me. Somehow the narrator makes everything the author has to say seem trite and just plain stupid. Enter my Kindle. It turns out I purchased the whisper-sync when I bought the book. I don't usually do this unless it is some sort of deal/cheaper offer. Hum. Thank goodness I did because it has really paid off. I was easily able to switch over to reading instead of listening and the book was saved for me.
Be sure to listen to the sample to decide if the narrator will be ok for you. Be aware that if I was rating just the audio recorded version my rating would have been all one stars. The higher stars rated here for story and overall are for the Kindle version only. Good book--terrible narration.
The arc of her foray into hummingbird rescue is fascinating but she has a somewhat patronizing attitude towards the public bringing her birds to rescue. On the other hand her devotion to her little feathered patients is truly fanatical. One wonders why she never asks for help from the clearly interested ranks of hummingbird enthusiasts. The narrator's voice is more tolerable if listened to at 1.5X speed.
Terry Masear is one of the few people in the world with the breadth of experience and command of language to communicate the science, dedication, and fascination of hummingbirds. She delivers about 40% of the expectation, with the balance of the book devoted to self admiration. I wish she would have spent far more time on the birds and far less time telling me how much smarter she is than everyone else. Particularly I take exception with the author's immediate dislike of anyone from certain zip codes in Los Angeles.
Insight about hummingbirds
never - She can not pronounce the simplest and most common Los Angeles landmarks. Her cadence is annoying.
I expected too much from Terry Masear, since her expertise and dedication are so special. I must put some responsibility for this train wreck on the editors for not guiding her away from the "I'm so smart-you're so not" stories, but I have no idea who approved the narrator. No explanation, no excuse. Certainly the author herself must have noted the mispronunciations starting with Fred Segal! How could this have happened with a topic with so much potential?
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