The (Big) Year Flew By is the tale of one avid birder's epic, record-breaking adventure through 40 countries over 6 continents – in just 365 days – to see over 7,000 bird species, many on the precipice of extinction.
When Arjan Dwarshuis first heard of the 'Big Year' – the legendary record for birdwatching – he was just twenty years old. It was midnight, and he was sitting on the roof of a truck high up in the Andean Mountains. In that moment, Arjan made a promise to himself that someday, somehow, he would become a world-record-holding birder.
Ten years later, he embarked on an incredible, arduous and perilous journey that took him around the globe; over uninhabited islands, through dense unforgiving rainforests, across snowy mountain peaks and unrelenting deserts – in just a single year. Would he survive? Would he be able to break the 'Big Year' record, navigating through a world filled with shifting climate and geopolitical challenges?
The (Big) Year that Flew By is an unforgettable, personal exploration of the limits of human potential when engaging with the natural world. It is a book about birds and birding and Arjan's attempts to raise awareness for critically endangered species, but it is also a book about overcoming mental challenges, extreme physical danger and human competition and fully realizing your passions through nature, adventure and conservation.
Arjan Dwarshuis, a professional bird guide and writer, holds the current world record for observing the largest number of bird species in a single year. In 2016, he launched his global “Big Year” and ultimately saw more than 7,200 of the world’s roughly 10,700 bird species, setting a record that stands to this day. Arjan also starred in the award-winning documentary Arjan’s Big Year, and appears regularly on radio, television, and podcast programs in the Netherlands and beyond. He is a columnist for several magazines about nature, and he is committed to the protection of birds across the globe. He guides birding expeditions all around the world and gives lectures and workshops on birding.