B95 can feel it: a stirring in his bones and feathers. It’s 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 world’s 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 it’s too late. With inspiring prose, thorough research, and stirring images, Hoose explores the tragedy of extinction through the triumph of a single bird.
About Phillip Hoose
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.
B95 is a 4-ounce, robin-sized shorebird, a red knot of the subspecies rufa. Each February he joins a flock that lifts off from Tierra del Fuego and heads for breeding grounds in the Canadian Arctic, 9,000 miles away. Late in the summer, he begins the return journey. Scientists call him Moonbird because, in the course of his astoundingly long lifetime of nearly 20 years, he has flown the distance to the moon and halfway back. B95 can fly for days without eating or sleeping but eventually must land to refuel and rest. Recent changes, however, at refueling stations along his migratory circuit, most caused by human activity, have reduced the available food. Since 1995, when B95 was captured and banded, the rufa population has collapsed by nearly 80 percent. Scientists want to know why this one bird survives year after year when so many others do not. In a compelling, vividly detailed narrative, Hoose takes readers around the hemisphere, showing them the obstacles rufa red knots face, introducing a global team of scientists and conservationists, and offering insights about what can be done to save them before it’s too late. – Kirkus Reviews
Young readers: Phillip Hoose’s ‘Moonbird: A Year on the Wind With the Great Survivor B95
The Washington Post Book Review – July 31, 2012 (Excerpt)
Phillip Hoose’s first big book about a bird celebrated the loud, large and almost certainly extinct ivory-billed woodpecker. His new, equally well researched book focuses on a smaller, less distinctive-looking creature, but one that has a decent chance of survival — if humans cooperate.
Just as “The Race to Save the Lord God Bird” (2004) chronicled how conservationists tried to protect the woodpecker’s habitat, “Moonbird” shows a loose-knit team of scientists struggling to figure out why the worldwide population of the shorebirds called red knots has fallen by nearly 80 percent.
The true star of Hoose’s new book, however, is one particular red knot that was tagged with leg band No. B95 in 1995. Since then, the bird has often been seen during his epic migrations — more than 325,000 miles so far, farther than the distance between Earth and the moon.
With an effective mix of facts and conjecture, Hoose conveys B95’s wide experience, from the challenges of his first month in Arctic Canada 20 years ago to the physical demands of flying for three days straight. Hoose’s vivid prose and the book’s close-up photos give a sense of other red-knot talents, like fattening up for a long flight and sleeping while staying alert for predators. And there’s recent good news: B95 was photographed in late May, feasting on horseshoe crab eggs in Delaware Bay. [Read the full article...]
UnBound: Battle of the Half-Angels
The Nephillim Chronicles – Book One by Ronnie Massey
Justin and Theo are just normal teenagers with their teenage problems, until the day they meet their biological fathers, Michael and Uriel, two of the few remaining archangels. They learn, they are nephillim, the half human offspring of angels, and they learn they are not the only ones. In the days of old, nephillim walked the earth. Now heaven’s misfits may be all that stands between mankind and the wrath of Lucifer and the Fallen. But how will a handful of teenagers react when they find out, not only are they not human, but they are the most powerful soldiers in heaven’s army? How will they deal with their newly found powers? And will they be able to stop Lucifer?
We are the only country that makes guns, including military-style assault weapons, available to anyone who wants to buy them. This is not freedom. It is a tyranny of death and destruction — a tyranny of which the National Rifle Association is proud. The Washington Post
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