The Big Year

The Big Year

A Tale of Man, Nature, and Fowl Obsession

Book - 2004
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Every January 1, a quirky crowd storms out across North America for a spectacularly competitive event called a Big Year -- a grand, expensive, and occasionally vicious 365-day marathon of birdwatching. For three men in particular, 1998 would become a grueling battle for a new North American birding record. Bouncing from coast to coast on frenetic pilgrimages for once-in-a-lifetime rarities, they brave broiling deserts, bug-infested swamps, and some of the lumpiest motel mattresses known to man. This unprecedented year of beat-the-clock adventures ultimately leads one man to a record so gigantic that it is unlikely ever to be bested. Here, prize-winning journalist Mark Obmascik creates a dazzling, fun narrative of the 275,000-mile odyssey of these three obsessives as they fight to win the greatest -- or maybe worst -- birding contest of all time.
Publisher: New York : Free Press, c2004
ISBN: 9780743245463
Characteristics: xiii, 268 p. ; 22 cm


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SPPL_János Mar 19, 2018

Every year hardcore birdwatchers scramble throughout the continental United States in a quest called a Big Year: an attempt to spot and identify—on their honor—as many bird species as possible. Not only must they track down every native species, no matter how rare or inaccessible, but must fly on a moment's notice when the word goes out that a non-native bird has been blown in by storm, wanderlust, or confusion. Obmascik recounts the Big Year of 1998, when three very different birders vied for the longest species list, a list so long the ultimate winner's record may never be broken. Obmascik paints a vivid portrait of hardcore birders past and present, and of nature, obsession, and competition.

Mar 01, 2017

I am not a birder, but this is one of my most enjoyable, entertaining and informative reads in a while, especially on human nature.


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Feb 12, 2012

This book follows 3 characters as they attempt to win a Big Year, by spotting the most species of birds in North America over one year. This book was the basis for the 2011 film "The Big Year" with Owen Wilson, Steve Martin and Jack Black.


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