Naturalist Book Nook
Living on the Wind Across the Hemisphere with Migratory Birds by Scott Weidensaul
From the Platte River in Nebraska and the Sandhill Cranes to the pampas of Argentina and the Swainson’s Hawks, Weidensaul takes you to, across and through various areas of the world to learn of the phenomenon of migration. As the jacket cover states “Bird migration is the world’s only true unifying natural phenomenon, stitching the continents together in a way that ever the great weather systems fail to do.” Weidnesaul delves into the how and why of these ‘miraculous migrants.’ A lot of territory and ground, in all meanings, is covered from describing many details specific to a number of birds, the fragility of the migratory web across the globe due to habitat fragmentation, deforestation, the use of pesticides to the conservation challenges that lie ahead.
As Weidensaul writes …….“Over the course of more than six years, I traveled virtually the length of the hemisphere, logging nearly seventy thousand miles by jet, car, bush plane, sailing ketch, tundra buggy, dugout canoe, horseback and on foot—yet traveling fewer miles than a single small sandpiper would in its short lifetime, propelled only by muscle and the instinct to migrate.”
I truly appreciated his writing style of weaving in and out of scientific facts to a beautiful naturalistic style and his portrayal of the people he meets adds an extra layer of interest.
This book was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in the non-fiction category in 1999 and after reading the book, I understand why! A very informative book!