Chasing Birds across Texas: A Birding Big Year

Chasing Birds across Texas: A Birding Big Year

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Chasing Birds across Texas: A Birding Big Year by Mark T. Adams, Kelly B. Bryan

On the morning of January 1, 2000, Mark T. Adams started counting birds. His goal was to find the largest possible number of species in one year in Texas, an undertaking known in birding parlance as a Big Year. By the evening of December 31, he had tied the record of 489 species seen or heard within the state's borders in a single calendar year. Traveling thirty thousand miles across Texas by car and eighteen thousand miles by plane, Adams alone saw 92 percent of all bird species reported in the state in 2000.

In Chasing Birds across Texas, Adams invites birders and others with a broad interest in the outdoors to join him in exploring Texas' varied habitats on his quest for birds -- from the upper coast to the lower coast; into the Hill Country, the Panhandle, and the Chihuahuan Desert; and up the Davis, Chisos, and Guadalupe Mountains. As he happily celebrates the bounty of the Valley's spring migration or desperately searches for a Panhandle rarity, we watch him grow as a naturalist, exult in the Texas landscape, and benefit from the company of some of the world's best birders.

Informative, inspiring, and great fun, Chasing Birds across Texas conveys as perhaps no other bird book can the humor, obsession, dedication, and adventure that are all part of the sport of birding.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781585442966
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
Publication date: 10/01/2003
Series: Louise Lindsey Merrick Natural Environment Series , #35
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 280
Product dimensions: 6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

Mark T. Adams is an astronomer by trade and works at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Charlottesville, Virginia. He serves as subregional director for the Trans-Pecos for North American Birds, published by the American Birding Association, and conducts Breeding Bird Survey counts for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1Birth of a Birder and a Texas Big Year8
Chapter 2Starting Close to Home19
Chapter 3The Rio Grande Valley in Winter29
Chapter 4Pursuing Varied Thrush41
Chapter 5Home and Away Games48
Chapter 6Northeast Texas Rarities58
Chapter 7A Long Weekend in the Pineywoods65
Chapter 8Big Year Nemesis Number One: Painted Redstart72
Chapter 9Dawn at the Lek76
Chapter 10Into the Ooze84
Chapter 11Spring Migration89
Chapter 12The Road to Four Hundred Species103
Chapter 13West Texas Bounty114
Chapter 14Late Spring in the Rio Grande Valley122
Chapter 15Strategies and Surprises129
Chapter 16Big Year Nemesis Number Two: Louisiana Waterthrush137
Chapter 17Into the Gulf of Mexico141
Chapter 18Among Butterflies and Friends148
Chapter 19Red Birds in August153
Chapter 20Adventures while Chasing a Long-tailed Jaeger157
Chapter 21Welcoming the Invaders162
Chapter 22Studies in Pain: American Golden-Plover and Yellow Rail173
Chapter 23Two West Texas Gifts181
Chapter 24Of Owls and Cranes187
Chapter 25Frantic December Days190
Chapter 26Chasing to the End202
Chapter 27Reflections on a Texas Big Year214
Appendix ATexas Big Year Species List221
Appendix BOther Species Seen in Texas in 2000241

What People are Saying About This

Lonn Taylor

. a superb book. I have seldom read a book that opened my eyes to so many things that I did not know about. . . . shows what an attractive and enticing path to learning birding can be as well as how much the author enjoys it.

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