A Season on the Wind: Inside the World of Spring Migration

Houghton Harcourt. Apr. 2019. 288p. ISBN 9781328566423. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781328566768. NAT HIST
Naturalist Kaufman, originator of the "Kaufman Field Guide" series, is a lyrical and witty writer, and his latest is no exception. This fine title, unlike his others, focuses on a specific locality, northern Ohio, where concentrations of migrating birds in springtime comprise one of the greatest natural occurrences in the United States. Though it took a while for naturalists to realize this, now thousands of visitors come to the shores of Lake Erie to witness this event, especially in May. This season on the wind, relevant far beyond Ohio, is beautifully described—the personalities involved, its significant economic impact, and the conditions causing it to happen. Kaufman is still full of wonder, awe, and admiration for the birds, some flying thousands of miles across continents. He describes how they do this, and what lies ahead, many winging hundreds of miles more into Canadian wilderness, and does not shy away from controversy: habitat degradation, climate change, and the pros and cons of wind turbine farms.
VERDICT With poetic chapter titles, and enhanced by 21 color photographs, especially of brilliant warblers, this highly recommended account makes for thoughtful reading for both experienced and novice birders.
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