Living on the Wind: Across the Hemisphere With Migratory Birds
AbeBooks Member Since 1996
AbeBooks Member Since 1996
About this Item
Title: Living on the Wind: Across the Hemisphere ...
Publisher: North Point Press
Publication Date: 2000
Book Condition:Very Good
About this title
Bird migration is the world's only true unifying natural phenomenon, stitching the continents together in a way that even the great weather systems fail to do. Scott Weidensaul follows awesome kettles of hawks over the Mexican coastal plains, bar-tailed godwits that hitchhike on gale winds 7,000 miles nonstop across the Pacific from Alaska to New Zealand, and myriad songbirds whose numbers have dwindled so dramatically in recent decades. Migration paths form an elaborate global web that shows serious signs of fraying, and Weidensaul delves into the tragedies of habitat degradation and deforestation with an urgency that brings to life the vast problems these miraculous migrants now face. Living on the Wind is a magisterial work of nature writing.Review:
Did you know that neither temperature nor hunger sparks bird migration? That many species migrate at night? That some birds migrate more than 5,000 miles in a single, uninterrupted flight? "We are such stodgy, rooted creatures," observes the author of this fascinating book. "To think of crossing thousands of miles under our own power is as incomprehensible as jumping the moon. Yet even the tiniest of birds perform such miracles."
For anyone curious about the lives of migratory birds (and, incidentally, those of bird-obsessed humans), this book is a great nest of information. The author has traveled all over the world banding and observing birds and talking to the experts--amateur birders and ornithologists who have made many of the important discoveries about bird biology. From Alaska to Lake Erie to the limestone forests of Jamaica, Weidensaul reaches not only for the scientific particulars but for the universal stories and humanizing, descriptive turns of phrase that keep this book from bogging down in statistics and jargon. By book's end the reader is unable to resist the heart of this compelling story, a plea for the conservation of habitat to keep these miraculous creatures on--or at least circling--the earth. --Maria Dolan
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