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A World on the Wing

Nonfiction: Science
Unabridged   16 hour(s)
Publication date: 03/30/2021

A World on the Wing

The Global Odyssey of Migratory Birds

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Audio CD ISBN:9781696603324
Digital Download ISBN:9781696603317


An exhilarating exploration of the science and wonder of global bird migration.

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Product Description

In the past two decades, our understanding of the navigational and physiological feats that enable birds to cross immense oceans, fly above the highest mountains, or remain in unbroken flight for months at a stretch has exploded. What we've learned of these key migrations is nothing short of extraordinary.

Bird migration entails almost unfathomable endurance, like a sparrow-sized sandpiper that will fly nonstop from Canada to Venezuela—the equivalent of running 126 consecutive marathons without food, water, or rest—avoiding dehydration by "drinking" moisture from its own muscles and organs, while orienting itself using the earth's magnetic field. Crossing the Pacific Ocean in nine days of nonstop flight, as some birds do, leaves little time for sleep, but migrants can put half their brains to sleep for a few seconds at a time, alternating sides—and their reaction time actually improves.

These and other revelations convey both the wonder of bird migration and its global sweep, from the mudflats of the Yellow Sea in China to the remote mountains of northeastern India to the dusty hills of southern Cyprus. This breathtaking work of nature writing also introduces listeners to those scientists, researchers, and bird lovers trying to preserve global migratory patterns in the face of climate change and other environmental challenges.


"Narrator Mike Lenz captures the author's wonder and inquisitiveness as he follows godwits, hummingbirds, snowy owls, great knots, and many others on their journeys.” --AudioFile

"Weidensaul is a peerless guide, sharing his intoxicating passion and decadeslong experience with countless bird species all over the world.... Another winner from Weidensaul that belongs in every birder’s library."― Kirkus Starred Review

"Many mysteries of bird life and migration are revealed in this compelling and illuminating in-the-field narrative complete with maps and photographs." ―Booklist Starred Review

"Each chapter on the different bird species and migration experiences will vibrantly inform readers about the habits of migratory birds―or at least what we know about them so far. Besides appealing to birders, this book will also engage those interested in natural or environmental history." ―Library Journal Starred Review

Author Bio

Scott Weidensaul is the author of nearly thirty books, including the Pulitzer Prize finalist Living on the Wind. A writer and researcher specializing in birds and bird migration, he is a native of Pennsylvania now living in New Hampshire.