Thursday 11 June 2020
Living on the Wind by Scott Weidensaul
Living on the Wind is a comprehensive overview of bird migration in the Western hemisphere. It delves into the evolution and mechanics of migration, looking at the journeys of some individual species and using these to investigate more overall patterns of migration.
The book looks at the history of the science around migration, the reasons behind migration and the perils faced by many migratory species. Of course long distance migration has always held perils but these have increased hugely as people have decimated habitats in the breeding and wintering zones and the stop-overs of many species. This means that many migratory birds are under a huge amount of pressure and the book (which is already 20 years out of date) contains some sobering examples.
This is a fascinating book, full of amazing facts and insights and written in an engaging and accessible style. It's a must read for anyone interested in bird migration and conservation and underlines just how interconnected the world's ecosystems are.
As a UK birder, I would love to read the same type of investigation into the migration of birds between Europe and Africa!
Living on the Wind by Scott Weidensaul, published (1999) by North Point Press, an imprint of Farrer, Straus and Giroux.
A book review for 30 Days Wild.