About the Author
David V. Stirling
He married Ruth Carter in 1951. After working with the federal ministry of fisheries in Windsor and Winnipeg, they left on a two-and-a-half year journey around the world that included travelling by motorcycle, working at seasonal jobs and enjoying the natural world in New Zealand and Australia.
On his return to Canada, David Stirling worked for the federal forestry ministry. He later moved to British Columbia Parks where he helped establish a nature interpretation and research program that was recognized as a model for other Canadian provinces.
At this time he became involved in the research and organization of overseas nature and wildlife tours. He led nature tours to Turkey, the Yukon, East Africa, the Galapagos Islands and other locations. After his retirement from BC Parks, David Stirling devoted more time to nature tours and travelled to Antarctica, the Russian Far East, the North West Passage and China.
David Stirling served on the boards of the American Birding Association, the Canadian Nature Federation and the Pacific Northwest Bird and Mammal Society. He helped in the founding of the Federation of British Columbia Naturalists. He was a member of International Council for Bird Protection, and is a member of The East Africa Wildlife Society and the Ornithological Society of the Middle East. He taught bird identification courses at Victoria's community college, and toured Canada and the United States with the National Audubon Society's wildlife films and Jim Bowers' wildlife presentations.
David Stirling received the Victoria Natural History Society's distinguished service award in 1989 and was given an honorary life membership in recognition of his long involvement with the society. He received Parks Canada's Interpretation Award of Merit in 1985. He was presented with the Queen's Jubilee Visit Medal in 2002 and also honoured in 2006 for his work with BC Parks. In 2008 he received the BC Field Ornithologists Award for ornithology.
Ruth Stirling died in 2002. Daughter Patricia, husband Cyril and their two children, Siobhan and Rory, live in Duncan, BC. David Stirling lives in Victoria, BC, Canada.
About The Book
BIRDS, BEASTS AND A BIKE UNDER THE SOUTHERN CROSS
This is the story of David and Ruth Stirling immersed in the birds, beasts, weather and stars in New Zealand and Australia in the 1950s. Stirling has a knack for spinning tales of grand misadventures with delightful understatement. While traveling by motorcycle and camping rough, they take up a string of temporary jobs to keep alive and healthy. In that post-World War II era, intentionally travelling in such nomadic fashion was quite unusual -- enough to prompt news coverage in local papers wherever they went.
"David is a superb naturalist, an uninhibited storyteller and vivid word painter of landscapes, wildlife and people whose fun memoir will leave you learning and laughing," comments noted author Lyn Hancock.
Birder-naturalist Alan MacLeod predicts "David Stirling's lively account of a two-year-long motorcycle odyssey among the wonders of Australia and New Zealand is sure to quicken the blood and impel you to pursue your own dreams."
Stirling's previous books include Where to Find Birds in Canada (with Jim Woodford), A Naturalists' Guide to the Victoria Region (with Jim Weston) and Birds of British Columbia (with David Hancock).
Read an Excerpt
Check at Amazon's Search Inside and Google's Book Search.
David Stirling was interviewed on C-FAX radio on January 24/09 by Remember When host Susan Woods. Click here to listen! (45 minute interview - 41.7 Mb file in MP3 format, should open quickly in a new window and begin playing while the rest downoads)
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COMMENTS FROM EXPERTS
"David is a superb naturalist, an uninhibited storyteller and vivid word painter of landscapes, wildlife and people whose fun memoir will leave you learning and laughing." -- Lyn Hancock, well-known author of many popular books, including Looking for the Wild, Tabasco the Saucy Raccoon and There's a Seal in My Sleeping Bag
"A rip-snorting tale for those who prefer the extraordinary over the mundane. David Stirling's lively account of a two-year-long motorcycle odyssey among the wonders of Australia and New Zealand is sure to quicken the blood and impel you to pursue your own dreams." -- Alan MacLeod, birder-naturalist and sometime wayfarer among the wonders Down Under
"An insightful and interesting read about travel and nature in the lands Down Under post World War II." -- Bill Merilees, naturalist, writer and tour leader
"It's a wonderful travel book written by a naturalist who just drank in all the interesting natural history of the area in the two years he was 'down there'. And it is really quite lovely... Some lovely photographs and some really good humour. This book reminds me of John Guzzwell's Trekka Around the World - [David Stirling's] book is the same calibre." -- Susan Woods, C-FAX radio 1070, host of Remember When, during her interview with David Stirling on January 24, 2009.
Great feature article on David Stirling in Victoria Times-Colonist, January 11, 2009, page A4
RECENT AND UPCOMING APPEARANCES
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