Bird migration remains perhaps the most singularly compelling natural phenomenon in the world. Nothing else combines its global sweep with its inherent ability to engender wonder and excitement. The past two decades have seen an explosion in our understanding of the almost unfathomable feats of endurance and complexity involved in bird migration – yet the science that informs these majestic journeys is still in its infancy.
Pulitzer Prize-shortlisted writer-ornithologist Scott Weidensaul is at the forefront of this research, and A World on the Wing sees him track some of the most remarkable flights undertaken by birds. His own voyage of discovery sees him sail through the storm-wracked waters of the Bering Sea; encounter gunners and trappers in the Mediterranean; and visit a forgotten corner of north-east India, where former headhunters have turned one of the grimmest stories of migratory crisis into an unprecedented conservation success. As our world comes increasingly under threat from the effects of climate change, these ecological miracles may provide an invaluable guide to a more sustainable future for all species, including us.
This is the rousing and reverent story of the billions of birds that, despite the numerous obstacles we have placed in their path, continue to head with hope to the far horizon.
‘A vaulting triumph of a book’ Isabella Tree, author of Wilding
‘A master storyteller, Weidensaul communicates so much joy in the sheer act of witnessing and such exhilaration in the advances of the science behind what he sees that we are slow to grasp the extent of the ecological crisis that he outlines.’ Observer