Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95 by Phillip Hoose
B95 can feel it: a stirring in his bones and feathers. It's time. Today is the day he will once again cast himself into the air, spiral upward into the clouds, and bank into the wind.
He wears a black band on his lower right leg and an orange flag on his upper left, bearing the laser inscription B95. Scientists call him the Moonbird because, in the course of his astoundingly long lifetime, this gritty, four-ounce marathoner has flown the distance to the moonand halfway back!
B95 is a robin-sized shorebird, a red knot of the subspecies rufa. Each February he joins a flock that lifts off from Tierra del Fuego, headed for breeding grounds in the Canadian Arctic, nine thousand miles away. Late in the summer, he begins the return journey.
B95 can fly for days without eating or sleeping, but eventually he must descend to refuel and rest. However, recent changes at ancient refueling stations along his migratory circuitchanges caused mostly by human activityhave reduced the food available and made it harder for the birds to reach. And so, since 1995, when B95 was first captured and banded, the worldwide rufa population has collapsed by nearly 80 percent. Most perish somewhere along the great hemispheric circuit, but the Moonbird wings on. He has been seen as recently as November 2011, which makes him nearly twenty years old. Shaking their heads, scientists ask themselves: How can this one bird make it year after year when so many others fall?
National Book Award–winning author Phillip Hoose takes us around the hemisphere with the world's most celebrated shorebird, showing the obstacles rufa red knots face, introducing a worldwide team of scientists and conservationists trying to save them, and offering insights about what we can do to help shorebirds before it's too late. With inspiring prose, thorough research, and stirring images, Hoose explores the tragedy of extinction through the triumph of a single bird. Moonbird is one The Washington Post's Best Kids Books of 2012.
Phillip Hoose is the widely-acclaimed author of the National Book Award winner Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice, which is also a Newbery Honor Book, a Robert F. Sibert Honor Book, a YALSA Finalist for Excellence in Young Adult Fiction, and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, among other honors. His other books include The Race to Save the Lord God Bird, winner of the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, and We Were There, Too!, a National Book Award Finalist. Mr. Hoose lives in Portland, Maine.
Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95 4.5 out of 5based on
More than 1 year ago
Since this is an audio recording of a published children's book I feel like it's age appropriate by default. The author, Phillip Hoose, gives a word-for-word reading and starts off by talking about B95 in the present tense and his awe-inspiring migration. To put things into perspective, he takes the time to explain about the Red Knot bird species as a whole and its current plight. He also delves back in time to speculate on B95's early years based on current knowledge of Red Knots and their known habitats and migration paths. Despite B95's renown, he is described as hard to capture for research and scientific purposes, although he has faithfully returned to the same locations or nearby places along his known migration route. The story focuses on this elusiveness. What makes this story more compelling is that Hoose participated in shorebird banding and is personally invested in B95's story. Other highlights include interviews of people involved in conservation efforts and who have personally heard of B95's story. Chapter 9--the appendix--is especially helpful for children who feel compelled to help shorebirds, including Red Knots, in any way they can. The only real issue I had was the lack of pictures/CD covers to go with the chapters since I added this to my music player. Overall, I would recommend this book to families with children or, specifically, parents looking for a way to help instill an environmental ethic and stewardship values in their children. The length of the book is good in terms of details and overall content.
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