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Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95by Phillip Hoose
Synopses & Reviews
B95 can feel it: a stirring in his bones and feathers. Its 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 moon—and 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 circuit—changes caused mostly by human activity—have 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 worlds 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 its 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.
"National Book Award — winner Hoose (Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice) introduces readers to the small rufa red knot shorebird known as B95, which makes an 18,000-mile migratory circuit from the bottom of the world to the top and back again each year. 'Something about this bird was exceptional; he seemed to possess some extraordinary combination of physical toughness, navigational skill, judgment, and luck,' writes Hoose. Eight chapters offer an extraordinarily detailed look at everything red knot, from a description of its migratory paths and the food found at each stopover to the physiology of its bill and factors that threaten the species with extinction. Profiles of bird scientists or activists conclude most chapters. The information-packed narrative jumps between past and present as it follows a postulated migration of B95, accompanied by numerous sidebars, diagrams, maps, and full-color photographs. Readers will appreciate Hoose's thorough approach in contextualizing this amazing, itinerant creature that was last spotted in 2011. Those motivated to action will find an appendix of ways to get involved. An index, extensive source notes, and bibliography are included. Ages 10 — up. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
A stunning addition to the Scientists in the Field series that explores mercury pollution found in the rivers and streams of Western Montanaand#160;that might cause harm to humans--and the extinction ofand#160;the entireand#160;ospreyand#160;species.
Today, an ancient world is vanishing right before our eyes: the age of giant animals. Over 40,000 years ago, the earth was ruled by megafauna: mammoths and mastodons, saber-toothed tigers and giant sloths. Of course, those creatures no longer exist, due to the evolution and arrival of the wildly adaptive human species, among other factors. Many more of the worldandrsquo;s biggest and baddest creaturesandmdash;including the black rhino, the dodo, giant tortoises, and the great aukandmdash;have vanished since our world became truly global. Last of the Giants chronicles those giant animals and apex predators who have been pushed to extinction in the modern era.
This meticulously researched and photographed account follows three University of Montana scientists and their interdisciplinary work with osprey: fish-catching birds with gigantic nests and a family that functions with teamwork and cooperation. Today the osprey is studied to monitor the effects of mercury on living things. The osprey hunts in a very small area around its large nest and so scientists can pinpoint where mercury is coming from. In Missoula, Montana, the scientists have been following ospreys for six years, collecting data on the amount of contaminants found on their feathers and in their blood. The rivers and streams in Western Montana are still suffering effects from inappropriate mining activities performed more than a hundred years ago. This man-made pollution is still dangerous to people and to wildlife.
About the Author
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.
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