The Big Year: A Tale of Man, Nature, and Fowl Obsession
The Big Year A Tale of Man Nature and Fowl Obsession Author:Mark Obmascik In one of the wackiest competitions around, every year hundreds of obsessed bird watchers participate in a contest known as the North American Big Year. Hoping to be the one to spot the most species during the course of the year, each birder spends 365 days racing around the continental U.S. and Canada compiling lists of birds, all for the glory... more » of being recognized by the American Birding Association as the Big Year birding champion of North America. In this entertaining book, Obmascik, a journalist with the Denver Post, tells the stories of the three top contenders in the 1998 American Big Year: a wisecracking industrial roofing contractor from New Jersey who aims to break his previous record and win for a second time; a suave corporate chief executive from Colorado; and a 225-pound nuclear power plant software engineer from Maryland. Obmascik bases his story on post-competition interviews but writes so well that it sounds as if he had been there every step of the way. In a freewheeling style that moves around as fast as his subjects, the author follows each of the three birding fanatics as they travel thousands of miles in search of such hard-to-find species as the crested myna, the pink-footed goose and the fork-tailed flycatcher, spending thousands of dollars and braving rain, sleet, snowstorms, swamps, deserts, mosquitoes and garbage dumps in their attempts to outdo each other. By not revealing the outcome until the end of the book, Obmascik keeps the reader guessing in this fun account of a whirlwind pursuit of birding fame.« less
Got birds. Story about birders engaged in a grueling battle for the North American birding record. Three obssessive birders set out on a frenetic pilgrimage in a grand, expensive and vicious 365-day marathon of birdwatching.
Eva L. reviewed The Big Year: A Tale of Man, Nature, and Fowl Obsession on
Helpful Score: 1
I found this a fascinating look at a world that I never knew existed. The book as informative -- the author knows his birds -- and read like a fast-paced adventure. I would recommend to anyone. This is an glimpse at a group of people with a particular passion. (BTW, the amount of money spent is a great argument for protecting natural habitats, although not all birds were found in the wilds of N.A.)