320 pages, no illustrations
Chronicle of the 275,000-mile odyssey of three unlikely adventurers who take their birdwatching so seriously it nearly kills them. From Texas, in hot pursuit of the Rufus-Capped Warbler, to British Columbia in search of Xantus' Hummingbird and chasing the Great Skua across Cape May, these obsessive enthusiasts braved roasting deserts, storm-tossed oceans, bug-infested swamps, disgruntled lions as they vied for victory in the race to become North America's number-one birdwatcher.
Here's a rare species: a book on birdwatching that turns out to be charming, engrossing, and educational even for people who can't tell a mudhen from a magpie. It was so much fun, I didn't want the big year to end. When it did, there was only one thing to say: 'Where'd I put those binoculars?'
- T.R. Reid "Washington Post's" Rocky Mountain Bureau Chief, regular commentator on National Public Radio's "Morning Edition", and author of "Confucius Lives Next Door"
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Mark Obmascik has been a journalist for two decades, most recently at the "Denver Post", where he was lead writer for the newspaper's Pulitzer Prize in 2000 and winner of the National Press Club Award for environmental journalism in 2003. An obsessed birder himself, he lives in Denver with his wife and sons.