A Life in the Trees: The Great Spotted Woodpecker first bred in Ireland in 2009. Since then the author has followed the daily lives of this species, a family of whom had taken up residence in a wind-torn Spanish chestnut tree near his home in the
depths of County Wicklow. This unique and personal account of a family of woodpeckers raising their young brings the reader deep into the world of this fascinating species: a world of hope, love, death, new life and ultimately success. It explores the richness and diversity of the natural wonders found in County Wicklow against a backdrop of a more general overview of the species in Ireland.; It includes a foreword by filmmaker John Boorman, andfeatures illustrations by Killian Mullarney and Flemming Christoffersen with stunning colour photographs by Dick Coombes. This book is to be treasured by everyone – not just ornithologists, but those with an interest in the natural world around them.
Review from The Sunday Times Culture section: “Declan Murphy has produced a beautifully written account of his personal quest to understand the life, and follow the fortunes, of this magical species in Wicklow; For ornithologists with cameras and tracking devices, Murphy is a reminder of how fulfilling it can be to follow one species with only binoculars and patience.” ( Prof John Quinn, UCC).