Wednesday, April 7, 2021

A World on the Wing

A World on the Wing: The Global Odyssey of Migratory Birds

Scott Weisenthall’s new book, A World on the Wing: The Global Odyssey of Migratory Birds provides an exhilarating exploration into the science and wonder of bird migrations worldwide. During the past two decades our understanding of bird’s navigation and physiology enable birds to cross oceans, fly above the highest mountains, or even remain in unbroken flight for months at a stretch has exploded through the use of new and improving technologies, and Scott has a wonderful way of sharing the extraordinary nature of bird migrations that everyone will enjoy.

Bird migration stories reveal almost unfathomable endurance, like a sparrow-sized sandpiper that flies nonstop from Canada to Venezuela – the equivalent of running 126 consecutive marathons without food, water, or rest – all while avoiding dehydration by consuming moisture from its own muscles and organs, while orienting itself using the earth’s magnetic field through a form of quantum entanglement that made Einstein queasy.

Crossing the Pacific Ocean in 9 days of nonstop flight, as some birds do, leaves little time for sleep, but migrants can put half their brains to sleep for a few seconds at a time, alternating sides which helps their reaction time actually improve.

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 breath-taking work of nature writing from Pulitzer Prize finalist Scott Weidensaul also introduces readers to the biologists, researchers, and birders who are trying to preserve global migratory patterns of birds in the face of climate change, habitat changes, and other environmental challenges.

Drawing on his own extensive fieldwork, Weidensaul unveils with dazzling prose the miracle of nature taking place over our heads in A World on the Wing. For your copy, visit Buteo Books at