|It does not need a naturalist or an artist to appreciate the beauty of wild birds, their free joyous spirit gives heart to everyone. Ronald Steven's writing captures this feeling in an enjoyable and original way.
Over the years Ronald and I enjoyed each others company. Talking mainly of birds and the pleasure they give to our lives. For the most part I was content to sit back and delight in the wonderful stories of a man whose lie, quite literally, was a life with birds. I remember once his excitement when I told him of a pair of sparrowhawks nesting close by my house. What made it so remarkable was that the female sparrowhawk was hunting and feeding her young on snipe, captured from the surrounding bogland. The male sparrowhawk confining himself to the normal bill of fare: larks and pipits. Ronald wondered, could the female sparrowhawk be the answer to hawking in the west of Ireland? Where snipe are plentiful, but, sadly, grouse have all but disappeared. This attitude of innovation and enthusiasm is so typical of the man whose name is synonymous with falconry.
In these pages, I welcome most warmly the chance to share some of the experiences of A Life With Birds, and at the same time wish the book every success.
- Richard Ward - Letter Lodge