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.
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 1||Birth of a Birder and a Texas Big Year||8|
|Chapter 2||Starting Close to Home||19|
|Chapter 3||The Rio Grande Valley in Winter||29|
|Chapter 4||Pursuing Varied Thrush||41|
|Chapter 5||Home and Away Games||48|
|Chapter 6||Northeast Texas Rarities||58|
|Chapter 7||A Long Weekend in the Pineywoods||65|
|Chapter 8||Big Year Nemesis Number One: Painted Redstart||72|
|Chapter 9||Dawn at the Lek||76|
|Chapter 10||Into the Ooze||84|
|Chapter 11||Spring Migration||89|
|Chapter 12||The Road to Four Hundred Species||103|
|Chapter 13||West Texas Bounty||114|
|Chapter 14||Late Spring in the Rio Grande Valley||122|
|Chapter 15||Strategies and Surprises||129|
|Chapter 16||Big Year Nemesis Number Two: Louisiana Waterthrush||137|
|Chapter 17||Into the Gulf of Mexico||141|
|Chapter 18||Among Butterflies and Friends||148|
|Chapter 19||Red Birds in August||153|
|Chapter 20||Adventures while Chasing a Long-tailed Jaeger||157|
|Chapter 21||Welcoming the Invaders||162|
|Chapter 22||Studies in Pain: American Golden-Plover and Yellow Rail||173|
|Chapter 23||Two West Texas Gifts||181|
|Chapter 24||Of Owls and Cranes||187|
|Chapter 25||Frantic December Days||190|
|Chapter 26||Chasing to the End||202|
|Chapter 27||Reflections on a Texas Big Year||214|
|Appendix A||Texas Big Year Species List||221|
|Appendix B||Other Species Seen in Texas in 2000||241|
What People are Saying About This
. 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.