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. Certain species, such as thrushes, avoid dehydration by "drinking" from their own muscles and organs, extending their flight range by more than two thousand miles; it now seems all but certain that birds orient themselves using Earth's magnetic field through a form of quantum entanglement that made Einstein queasy.
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 readers to those scientists, researchers, and bird lovers trying to preserve global migratory patterns in the face of climate change and other environmental challenges.
Scott Weidensaul is the author of nearly thirty books, including the Pulitzer Prize finalist Living on the Wind. A writer and re-searcher specializing in birds and bird migration, he is a native of Pennsylvania now living in New Hampshire.
"In vivid prose that conjures up the rich spell of each landscape, Scott Weidensaul takes us on exhilarating expeditions that crisscross the globe and travel deep into the heart of nature. For lifelong experts and backyard birders alike, he’s a superb guide to the winged marvels that share our planet and our lives."
– Diane Ackerman, author of The Zookeeper’s Wife
"Weidensaul’s dispatches are fascinating. Chapter by chapter, my jaw dropped and my eyes widened. The science of bird migration has reached a golden age, and we’re lucky to have such a graceful guide. This book is instantly among my all-time favorites, and one I’ll keep to re-read."
– Noah Strycker, author of Birding Without Borders
"The miracle of birds meets the miracle of technology in Scott Weidensaul’s wondrous new book A World on the Wing. While there are huge gaps in our knowledge of migration, and despair in our race to save species, advances in technology from microscopic transmitters to agile drones are changing the equation and making the future look hopeful. This is a book you won’t want to put down."
– Jane Alexander, actress, writer and wildlife conservationist
"Scott Weidensaul, one of our finest nature writers, has produced another instant classic. In A World on the Wing he takes a pair of highly complex subjects – global patterns of bird migration, and the research into those patterns – and brings them to life with his own amazing adventures around the world. Here is proof that a book of solid science can also be a pageturner. Highly recommended for anyone curious about the natural world."
– Kenn Kaufman, author of the Kaufman Field Guides