Warblers & Woodpeckers: A Father-Son Big Year of Birding

Warblers & Woodpeckers: A Father-Son Big Year of Birding

by Sneed B. Collard III


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2018 Montana Book Awards Honor Book
2019 High Plains Book Awards Finalist in Creative Nonfiction

“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

"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

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 & Wood peckers, 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781680511369
Publisher: Mountaineers Books, The
Publication date: 10/01/2018
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 1,170,905
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

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.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 April 1, 2016, southeastern arizona 7

Chapter 2 Blame owen wilson 13

Chapter 3 Arctic beginnings 18

Chapter 4 Planning over owls 27

Chapter 5 Midwinter blahs 33

Chapter 6 Arizona bound 36

Chapter 7 A split decision 41

Chapter 8 Legal immigration 49

Chapter 9 Homeland insecurity 54

Chapter 10 Cochise stronghold 59

Chapter 11 Gas station birding 65

Chapter 12 Houston or bust 69

Chapter 13 High adventure at high island 77

Chapter 14 Meta-birding 86

Chapter 15 Unprecedented historical weather event 93

Chapter 16 Terror at 31,000 feet 100

Chapter 17 Upping expectations 104

Chapter 18 The big weekend, day 1 110

Chapter 19 The big weekend, day 2 115

Chapter 20 The big weekend, bonus day 123

Chapter 21 The big lead-up 129

Chapter 22 Layover birding 135

Chapter 23 Birding across borders 138

Chapter 24 The bird feeders of evolution 143

Chapter 25 Bucking for birds 152

Chapter 28 Dog days 158

Chapter 29 California 163

Chapter 28 Pitching and tossing 169

Chapter 28 Peregrine shortcake 174

Chapter 30 Golden state dash 179

Chapter 31 Din tai dilemma 188

Chapter 32 Trumpeter tragedy 197

Chapter 33 Snipe hunting 204

Chapter 34 Shots in the dark 211

Chapter 35 A christmas basket of birds 217

Chapter 36 Frozen 223

Chapter 37 The final countdown 227

Epilogue 233

Sneed's big year list 237

Braden's big year list 244

Chirps and tweets 251

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