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"In the grandest sense, the Big Year is more than just a game. Though few mortals will ever tackle the endeavor, most of us can appreciate the decision to follow a passion to its outer limits. Dedicating a whole year to birds is an exhausting, exhilarating, occasionally demoralizing, and addictive pursuit, and anyone crazy enough to go the distance is in for a wild ride."
– Noah Strycker, Audubon
From the killer bee-infested border region of southeast Arizona to the sultry islands of the Galapagos, Warblers & Woodpeckers recounts the quest of a father and his thirteen-year-old son to see as many birds as possible in a single year. With a measured blend of humor, natural history, and adventure, this tale takes readers to great birding hotspots of America and beyond, both to experience their incredible avian wealth and to experience the focused, often eccentric, world of ornithological travel. Along the way, readers share the ups and downs of the relationship between a father and his teenage son.
Writer Sneed Collard and his son Braden set out to establish their own personal Big Year bird species count record. In Warblers & Woodpeckers, Sneed shares the excitement, challenges, perils, and insights that come with crisscrossing the country in search of some of Earth's most remarkable creatures. It's a father-and-son tale, in which the adventure is in the journey and the surprising discoveries and encounters with our wondrous feathered friends. Sneed brings a fast-paced yet generous voice to the attempt, and readers of all stripes will appreciate the way backyard birders can create their own Big Year.
Sneed B. Collard III is the author of more than 75 award-winning books for young people, along with countless magazine articles for both children and adults. A marine biologist and scientist by training, most of Collard's books focus on natural history, science, and the environment. When he is not writing or publishing, Collard can often be found speaking to students, conducting teacher workshops, volunteering for his son's Boy Scout Troop, and walking his Frisbee-catching border collie, Mattie.
"What makes this big-year book different is the father-son bonding element [...] the picture of a teenager that emerges has the ring of truth. A proficient storyteller, Collard writes with style about their travels together."
– Kirkus Reviews