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The (Big) Year That Flew by: Twelve Months, Six Continents, and the Ultimate Birding Record (Paperback)
"A fast-paced page-turner and a unique adventure story . . . filled with insights about landscapes, people, and a world of wonderful birds."―Kenn Kaufman, author of Kingbird Highway
An epic tale of one passionate birder's record-breaking adventure through 40 countries over 6 continents--in just one year--to see 6,852 bird species, rare and common, before many go extinct.
When Arjan Dwarshuis first heard of the "Big Year"--the legendary record for birdwatching--he was twenty years old, it was midnight, and he was sitting on the roof of a truck in the Andean Mountains. In that moment he promised himself that, someday, somehow, he would become a world-record-holding birder.
Ten years later, he embarked on an incredible, arduous, and perilous journey that took him around the globe; over uninhabited islands, through dense unforgiving rainforests, across snowy mountain peaks and unrelenting deserts--in just a single year. Would he survive? Would he be able to break the "Big Year" record, navigating through a world filled with shifting climate and geopolitical challenges?
The (Big) Year that Flew By is an unforgettable, personal exploration of the limits of human potential when engaging with the natural world. It is a book about birds and birding and Arjan's attempts to raise awareness for critically endangered species, but it is also a book about overcoming mental challenges, extreme physical danger, and human competition and fully realizing your passions through nature, adventure, and conservation.
"Dwarshius' exhilarating race against time across 40 countries and 6 continents in his attempt to break the world record will thrill armchair readers and bird enthusiasts alike."―Booklist
"I sped through this] book, trying to ignore feelings of jealousy as Dwarshuis described moments with species I've dreamed of seeing."--The Washington Post
About the Author
Arjan Dwarshuis, a professional bird guide, writer, and lecturer, holds the current Guinness Book World Record for observing the largest number of bird species in a single year. In 2016, he launched his global "Big Year" and ultimately observed 6,852 of the world's roughly 10,700 bird species, setting a record that stands to this day. His yearlong adventure raised nearly $50,000 for the BirdLife Preventing Extinctions Program. Arjan also starred in the award-winning documentary Arjan's Big Year and appears regularly on radio, television, and podcast programs in the Netherlands and beyond. He is a columnist for several magazines about nature, and as the ambassador for the IUCN NL Land Acquisition Fund, he is committed to the protection of birds across the globe. Mark Obmascik is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and bestselling author. His first nonfiction book, The Big Year, was turned into a Hollywood movie. His second, Halfway to Heaven, was winner of the National Outdoor Book Award for Outdoor Literature. He was winner of the National Press Club Award for Environmental Journalism, and lead writer for the Denver Post team that won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Columbine High School massacre. He and his wife live in Denver. They have three sons.