Birding Without Borders: An Obsession, a Quest, and the Biggest Year in the World

Avid birder Noah Strycker travels the globe in his colorful and thrilling memoir Birding Without Borders: An Obsession, a Quest, and the Biggest Year in the World. Strycker (Among Penguins) is associate editor of Birding magazine and brings adventure and enlightenment to the increasingly popular activity. "Birds are real," field guide author Kenn Kaufman says in the excellent foreword. "It's a deep dive into the real world." Strycker elaborates on this naturalist philosophy as he sets out in 2015 to observe and tally more than half of the world's living bird species in one year. His quest begins in Antarctica, continues up through the Americas, then shifts to Europe, Africa and Asia.

Strycker writes clear, naturally flowing prose that rises and dips with the vagaries of travel, allowing Birds Without Borders to soar. It serves as an exciting travelogue--Strycker's ventures in Peru turn truly harrowing when his vehicle breaks down on a remote mountain road. He faces similar problems in other developing countries and strikes a nice balance between suspense and more leisurely reflection on different cultures and customs. The book offers an introduction to the world's diverse bird species; with exquisite personal enthusiasm, Strycker describes the colors, shapes and movements of elusive birds--a harpy eagle in Brazil, an Oriental bay owl in India. He also captures the ethos of emerging conservation groups around the planet, a positive sign for the future. --Scott Neuffer, writer, poet, editor of trampset

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