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Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95

by Phillip Hoose

Published by Farrar Straus Giroux, 2012
148 pages
ISBN: 978-0-374-30468-3

Age 11 and older

In a fascinating look at a shorebird called the rufa red knot, Phillip Hoose focuses on one extraordinary survivor, a bird known as B95. First banded as an adult in 1995, he was still being tracked on the 2010-2011 migratory journey from Patagonia to the Arctic and back-- a trek that often involves thousands of miles of uninterrupted flying. But the overall population of rufa red knots has been decreasing drastically. Scientists speculate reduced feeding opportunities on their migratory route are the reason. Hoose—who participated in some of the tracking and banding during the 2009-2010 rufa migration as part of his research—reveals many discoveries made in recent years about these birds’ amazing capacity to physically adapt for the journey. He also details the routes they take, and the places they return to each year that are essential to their survival. His account describes his work with researchers in the field (many of whom feel a strong emotional attachment to B95), and follows B95 into the sky. Profiles of individuals from scientists to commercial fisherman to bird enthusiasts to environmental activists, all who have roles to play in the red knots’ survival, are included. In his Source Notes, Hoose makes clear that he has imagined the sections of narrative in which he describes B95’s migratory flight, and carefully documents his sources for information and quotes. Color photographs, maps and other visual matter enhance this arresting and inspiring volume. (MS) ©2012 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

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