In the past two decades, our understanding of the navigational and physiological feats that enable birds to cross immense oceans, fly above the highest mountains, or remain in unbroken flight for months at a stretch has exploded. Certain species, such as thrushes, avoid dehydration by “drinking” from their own muscles and organs, extending their flight range by more than two thousand miles; it now seems all but certain that birds orient themselves using Earth’s magnetic field through a form of quantum entanglement that made Einstein queasy.
These and other revelations convey both the wonder of bird migration and its global sweep, from the mudflats of the Yellow Sea in China to the remote mountains of northeastern India to the dusty hills of southern Cyprus. This breathtaking work of nature writing also introduces readers to those scientists, researchers, and bird lovers trying to preserve global migratory patterns in the face of climate change and other environmental challenges.
Scott Weidensaul is the author of nearly thirty books, including the Pulitzer Prize finalist Living on the Wind. A writer and researcher specializing in birds and bird migration, he is a native of Pennsylvania now living in New Hampshire.