Book Review: Small-headed Flycatcher

By Neil Gilbert


You can’t go wrong with Pete Dunne. He’s one of my favorite authors; I’ve been reading his books since I was ten. That’s why, upon receiving a gift certificate to Bueto Books, I ordered Small-headed Flycatcher. It was one of the few books by Dunne that I had not read.

Like several of Dunne’s other books, Small-headed Flycatcher is a collection of essays about birds, birding, and birders. With his usual creativity, Dunne infuses his stories with wit and humor. Dunne has a way of presenting serious topics from a humorous angle. For example, in “Separating Hoagies,” Dunne approaches the delicate topic of rare bird committees—by comparing rare birds to sandwiches.


Young birders appear frequently in Small-headed Flycatcher. I found it fascinating to read about Dunne as a young birder, as many of his experiences matched those of modern young birders. I could relate to several of his stories. For example, I’ve had encounters with condescending older birders just like in the story “Passing Sights and Sounds,” in which a penniless young birder has to tolerate a rich older birder who…

I shouldn’t spoil it for you.


Small-headed Flycatcher has my solid recommendation. Hardly surprising. I knew it would be good before I even cracked it open; after all, you can’t go wrong with Pete Dunne. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy—and try to read it faster than I did (two days.)


In accordance with the bylaws of the American Birding Association, the Board of Directors has set the date for the next Annual Meeting of the Members of the Association for Saturday, September 22, 2018. Time and place are 4:00 PM, Saturday, September 22, 2018, at the American Birding Expo, to be held at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, 100 Station Ave, Oaks, PA 19456 

The official Notice of the Meeting and the Proxy will be distributed to members on or after July 24, 2018, but no later than September 12, 2018

Please click here for location, electronic proxy ballot and other details >>