Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Kingbird Highway: The Biggest Year in the Life of an Extreme Birder Paperback – April 11, 2006
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
If you’re the author, publisher, or rights holder of this book, let ACX help you produce the audiobook.Learn more.
Top Customer Reviews
I first read Kenn Kaufman's KINGBIRD HIGHWAY, a year and a half ago, on a trip to Churchill, Manitoba. It was such a compelling story, I knew immediately that I had to review it. Although I run the risk now of being the last reviewer in America to cover this book, KINGBIRD HIGHWAY is too good to pass up. It's a cut above anything written so far by an American birder and will surely be regarded as a classic in future years.
KINGBIRD HIGHWAY tells the tale of how, at age 16, Kenn Kaufman dropped everything and hit the road in search of birds. It's a remarkable story. There he was: honor student; president of the student council-obviously a gifted kid with a bright future in college. But his overwhelming yearning to learn everything he could about birds could not be suppressed or even postponed. He dropped out of school and began hitchhiking back and forth across the continent, searching for birds and adventure.
"I knew that, back at home, kids my age were going back to school," wrote Kaufman. "They had the clang of locker doors in the halls of South High in Wichita, Kansas. I had a nameless mountainside in Arizona, with sunlight streaming down among the pines, and Mexican songbirds moving through the high branches. My former classmates were moving toward their education, no doubt, just as I was moving toward mine, but now I was traveling a road that no one had charted for me . . . and my adventure was beginning."
Kaufman learned to survive on pennies a day (he budgeted himself only one dollar a day for food). He sold blood plasma twice a week, for five dollars a pint. He went to temporary employment agencies and would work by the day, until he had $50, then hit the road again.Read more ›
If you're a birder, or at least trying to be a birder, you'll be jealous of the amount of ground Kenn Kaufman covered in the span of a few short years to see and marvel at 100's of birds.
If you're a writer, whether published or not, you'll be jealous of Kenn Kaufman's ability to write a such vividly-rendered account of his souped-up travails engaging in one of the most sympathetic pastimes to develop among modern humans, that of birding, contextualized with his growing awareness of the impact of human encroachment on the wilderness as an increasingly serious environmental problem. Whether the story surveys Kaufman's encounters with the awfully unlucky Myrtle Warblers stuck on North Carolina's Outer Banks in the winter of '73, the transplanted Skylarks of the San Juan Islands in the Pacific Northwest, or the migrating warblers stopping for a respite at Fort Jefferson in the Tortugas; or whether Kaufman is birding with his group of friends self-dubbed the "Tucson Five," or enduring the numbing experience of "thumbing" on the road for months on end; he makes you see what he's seeing and feel what he's feeling.
Finally, if you're someone who treasures the comforts of a soft pillow at night and a warm, dry roof over your head, you have to admire Kaufman's tenacity in dealing with -- and his almost joyful tolerance of-- bad weather, having to hike for miles before finding that much-needed ride or the 669th bird for his Big Year List, and, especially, the hunger born of a budget that probably didn't quite reach shoe-string level.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Insightful look into "extreme birder" behavior. I am a fair weather birder - was amazed at what the extreme ones will do. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Linda McLernon
Something to read to begin to understand the obsession that is birding. Fun, freewheeling, and occasionally funny book. Well worth it for birders and their family and friends.Published 20 days ago by R. Hole
I’m what you might call a casual birder. I don’t get out as much as I’d like to, and I’m certainly not in Kenn Kaufman’s league. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Karl Janssen
My birdwatcher brother is raving about this book. He isn't a big reader so it has to be interesting for him to stay with it.Published 2 months ago by hankthecowdog
Finally got around to reading this classic. If you love birds and the spirit of adventure you won't be disappointed.Published 4 months ago by CT Rich
This was a gift to my Mom, who is a birder herself, and she has really enjoyed it. She said that one thing she enjoyed very much was reading about the places he'd been to watch... Read morePublished 6 months ago by R. Strickler
I found this book very entertaining and informative. Kaufman's love of birds will touch any one who watch these amazing creatures . Read morePublished 6 months ago by Amazon Customer