One September, after writing about ospreys on Cape Cod for years, David Gessner impulsively decided to follow the birds on their annual migration. Each fall these graceful raptors, with wingspans of up to six feet, cruise over the eastern United States, then soar over Cuba and winter in South America, returning north with the spring. In 2004, Gessner went along for the ride, traveling illegally into the mountains of Cuba and deep into Venezuela as he competed with the crew of a BBC documentary to be the first to follow the full migration, trailing the birds by car, boat, foot, and plane. He called his favorite osprey Fidel.
Soaring with Fidel is about the exhilaration of migration, but it is also a deeper meditation on the nature of human happiness. In describing the thrill of travel, the antics of these swashbuckling birds, and the cast of characters he meets (and drinks with) along the way-including scientists, students, tour guides, and an online group of birders-Gessner gives us a profound lesson in the importance of following what you love
"This is a thoughtful and loving examination."
– Booklist – April 1, 2007
"Gessner's account is filled with nitty-gritty details about the days and nights of an itinerant birder and beautifully detailed descriptions of ospreys in action. When actual observations were not possible, he imagined what the ospreys were doing and writes intelligently [...] A grand adventure, not just for birders and nature lovers."
– Kirkus – January 15, 2007
"Gessner writes beautifully, with grace and humor."
– Publisher's Weekly – January 29, 2007
"An engaging, lyrical guide to osprey migration, Cuba, and a common humanity. On his impulsive journey, Gessner meets other devotees of this magnificent raptor, and experiences the thrill of following what he loves."
– Orion Magazine – March 1, 2007