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Warblers & Woodpeckers: A Father-Son Big Year of Birding Kindle Edition
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For those interested in basic birdwatching, natural history, ecotourism, U.S. travel, and father-son relationships, this accessible personal account is full of warmth and wonder. (Henry T. Armistead Library Journal)
Part travelogue and part celebration of family, this endearing book will appeal to birders, nature lovers, and armchair travelers. (GrrlScientist Forbes)
Accompanying Sneed and Braden is a pleasure whether or not you’re a birder. And if you’re not, these travels might get you started. (Irene Wanner The Seattle Times)
A sweet tale of world travel and adventure.... The bonding that happens over this father and son’s shared obsession with ornithology in this light read is the real story of the book. Birders who may have their eye on doing a Big Year of their own, as well as non-birders who may find the whole idea baffling but charming, would enjoy this book about discovery and family. (Erin H. Turner Big Sky Journal)
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) --This text refers to the hardcover edition.
About the Author
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. --This text refers to the hardcover edition.
- Publication Date : August 17, 2018
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print Length : 282 pages
- File Size : 5741 KB
- Publisher : Mountaineers Books (August 17, 2018)
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B07HNCV26G
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #753,470 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Beyond the bird counts and travelogue, a picture of an endearing father-son bonding experience emerges. We see the maturation of the author’s teenage son, and the ups and downs of any parent-teenager relationship. The author’s observations and reflections on this relationship, combined with the armchair thrill one feels when following the species count, make for a very satisfying read.
Collard and his teenage son explore their home state Montana, with trips to parts of Arizona, Texas, Miami, The Galapagos, California, Oregon, and Washington, including celebrated birding spots such as High Island (TX), the South Eastern mountains of Arizona, and pelagic trips out of Monterrey (CA). In one year, they see each over 300 species (better in AOU than alphabetical order), and develop a love of birds and nature.
That’s pretty much it. The writing is not very good. Hurrah for fathers and sons spending time together, but it doesn’t necessarily make for a book. A good idea, but not well done. They don’t really see many of the birds (and are frank about it). At points, their environmental and political views (anti-Trump, anti-fossil fuels, anti-hunting, anti-gun—typical erroneous liberal views, badly expressed and taken for granted) are all too evident. No. The world as we know it is not about to be disintegrated! The author’s views would have been better left out. Or, if they were different and more courageous, they could have expressed knowledge and approval of the good done by the energy industry and conservative environmentalists, who have been saving people, animals, birds, and the environment long before modern "progressives" came on the scene with fake environmentalism.
Sneed Collard has writing chops. He is the author of many nature nonfiction books, several middle grade novels, and a memoir of his childhood, Snakes, Alligators, and Broken Hearts: Journeys of a Biologist's Son. He and his teenage son had a vague interest in birding, but then decided to ramp it up and devote a year to extensive travel in order to see as many birds as they could. Their travels took them all over the US as well as to the Galapagos islands. Such traveling always involves adventure, mishaps, and moments well worth remembering, on top of the enormous list of birds sighted that the two compiled.
I have zero interest in birding. I like a good walk in the woods more than the average bear, but perhaps my eyesight isn't good enough to stare into the leaves and try to tell the difference between an Ivory-billed or Red-cockaded woodpecker. That said, this book was still an interesting window into what it would be like to go on birding adventures, without the discomfort of being attacked by bees while doing so.
This is more of a book for young adults or adults, given the size and density of the text. It also has a fantastic level of detail concerning different facets of locating, identifying, and enjoying the avian world. There's also a wistfulness concerning connection with family, and especially the difficult process of remaining close to teenage children.
Reminiscent of Bill Byson's travel books with their sometimes slapstick anecdotes, vivid descriptions of places and humorously introspective take on life, Warblers and Woodpeckers will introduce the pastime of birding to the uninitiated and delight birding aficionados with delicious details of an epic year of birdwatching.
The book is just plain fun. I started to pull out my bird guides to look up the birds that they find and I started looking for the sites they go to on Google Maps. And they don't stick to Montana. I won't tell you the locations because that would spoil the excitement. Soon, I started to remember my old bird watching experiences - the American Dipper that flew INTO the waterfall and the Marbled Godwits on that beach shore with the sun hitting their incredible brown paisley coats... Reading the book became a very personal experience. By the end, I thought I knew the author as a friend.