Wrynecks and other woodpeckers
Gerard was born in Merseyside, England but has lived most of his adult life abroad. He has been interested in wildlife, especially birds, since childhood. He made a name for himself as a pioneering guide in Eastern Europe, starting before the political changes of the early 1990s, exploring every country from the Baltic to the Black Sea. His birding travels have also taken him to many other parts of the world from the Americas to Africa to Asia.In 1994 he was the first recipient of the Eric Hosking Trust Award for a writing project entitled Birds and Political Change in Eastern Europe which highlighted the problems for nature conservation which arose at the end of the Cold War.
His main ornithological interest is in woodpeckers and he is regarded as authority on the family. Gerard has published numerous papers and an unprecedented six books on these fascinating birds including the acclaimed Woodpeckers of the World: The Complete Guide (Helm 2014) and most recently the monograph The Wryneck: Biology, Behaviour, Conservation and Symbolism of Jynx torquilla (Pelagic Press 2022). He is currently working on a book on the Green Woodpecker.
When not writing, Gerard is ultimately a field guy, a forest guy and has put his innumerable hours watching woodpeckers to good use, as his publications testify. If all that is not enough, Gerard is also a keen bird sound recordist. He currently lives in Budapest in Hungary and is a founder member and leader of the Hungarian Woodpecker Working Group.
The Wryneck: the woodpecker oddity