Birding Without Borders
Noah Strycker, Kenn Kaufman
One of the Guardian’s Best Paperbacks of November
‘Astonishing … If by chance you can’t meet these 6,042 species yourself, this book is a close second’ Jennifer Ackerman, author of The Genius of Birds
‘Even readers who wouldn’t know a marvellous spatuletail from a southern ground hornbill will be awed’ Publishers Weekly
Noah Strycker set himself a goal: to become the first person to see half the world’s 10,000 species of bird in one year.
With an itinerary covering 41 countries, spanning all seven continents, and armed with a backpack, binoculars and a series of one-way tickets, he sets out on the greatest adventure in the birding world. Along the way he meets a colourful cast of fellow birders – and discovers a world of blood-sucking leeches, chronic sleep deprivation, floods, war zones, ecologic devastation and conservation triumphs.
Vivid, charming and full of wonder, Birding Without Borders is a celebration of passion, exploration and the birders’ ethos that, if you keep your eyes and mind open, you never know what you might see.
The world's greatest birdwatcher * Independent * Lighthearted and filled with stories of exotic birds, risky adventures and colorful birding companions. * New York Times Book Review * Even readers who wouldn't know a marvellous spatuletail from a southern ground hornbill will be awed by Strycker's achievement and appreciate the passion with which he pursues his interest. * Publishers Weekly * Strycker's description of a year 'expanded to its maximum potential' will inspire readers to explore the world, "from the tiniest detail to the biggest panorama." ... Colorful but unassuming-and unexpected-lessons for living life fully, presented from a birder's-eye view. -- STARRED * Kirkus Reviews * What an astonishing peregrination. If by chance you can't meet these 6,042 species yourself, this book is a close second. Strycker is the perfect companion-smart, thoughtful, intrepid, and at times, very very funny. I loved the birds and the people he met and was sorry when his journey was over. -- Jennifer Ackerman, author of The Genius of Birds Every generation has a few naturalist-writers who have a spirit as unlimited as their talent-that's Noah Strycker. The sheer demographics of his travels are mind boggling; he stretches life to the limits, and he has an ability to describe incidents of travel, landscapes, and people with splendid and self-deprecating intimacy. This book goes to the top of my life-list. -- Howard Norman, author of My Darling Detective Noah Strycker is a fantastic birder, savvy traveler, and astute observer. Best of all, though, he is a fine writer. I really enjoyed this book. -- Mark Obmascik, author of The Big Year: A Tale of Man, Nature, and Fowl Obsession Noah Strycker's ark is big enough for six thousand birds-and then some!-but just as impressive is the way this gifted gatherer makes room for wonder, joy, and friendship found in far-flung places. This is one of those rare, beautiful books that enlarges the world with adventure and makes it feel, at the same time, like a mysteriously intimate place, inhabited by good people in love with the natural world willing to help a stranger on his extraordinary journey. -- Jonathan Rosen, author of The Life of the Skies: Birding at the end of Nature Birding Without Borders is an absolute tour de force. Every birder knows the day-dream lure of exotic species from far-away places, but Noah Stryker turned that dream into the greatest birding adventure of all time. The story of his round-the-world Big Year is one of joy, adrenaline, exhaustion, discovery, and a global fellowship of those for whom, like Noah, birds are everything. I guarantee it will make you want to grab your binoculars and your passport, too. -- Scott Weidensaul, author of Living on the Wind Birding without Borders is about bird nerdery taken to a magnificent, even beautiful extreme. Noah Strycker goes from country to country seeking out five thousand species of birds, and that quest is an adventure in itself. Armchair birders like myself, watching a Pygmy Nuthatch watching me, can appreciate the passion and courage that Noah displays. -- Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist Highly recommended for anyone interested in travel, natural history, and adventure. * Library Journal * PRAISE FOR THE MAGIC & MYSTERY OF BIRDS: -- . * . * Mr. Strycker has the ability to write about the worlds of man and fowl without simplifying either. ... He thinks like a biologist but writes like a poet, and one of the small pleasures of [The Magic & Mystery of Birds] is watching him distill empirical research into lyrical imagery. ... Part the palm fronds behind his sentences, and you can almost see the British naturalist and broadcaster David Attenborough standing there in a pith helmet, smiling with amused approval at Mr. Strycker's off-center sensibility. * Wall Street Journal * [The Magic & Mystery of Birds] turns a shrewd, comparative eye on a succession of bird families to explore what [Strycker] calls their 'human' characteristics ... This is an engaging work which illuminates something profound about all life, including our own. * Economist * [Strycker] combines the latest in ornithological science with snippets of history and his own vast experience in the field to hatch a thoroughly entertaining examination of bird behavior ... In Strycker's absorbing survey, we find out how much fun it is simply to watch them. -- STARRED * Booklist * One of the best bird books you'll read this decade. Guaranteed. * BirdWatching * [The Magic & Mystery of Birds] will encourage you to take a closer look at the natural world around you, and perhaps learn more not only about what you see but who you are. * Seattle Times *
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