bird migration: 126 consecutive marathons with no food, water, or a moment’s rest

Online book talk with nature writer Scott Weidensaul: A World on the Wing

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On Tuesday, May 25, at 6 p.m., the Camden Public Library welcomes back ornithologist and nature writer Scott Weidensaul for an online presentation about his new book, A World on the Wing.

The book is both a New York Times bestseller and “Editor’s Pick.” It is at once a celebration of global bird migration, an exploration of human’s rapidly evolving understanding of the science that underpins it, and a cautionary tale of the challenges humans have placed in the way of migrating birds, according to the Library, in a news release. 

Email to request a Zoom link to attend.

In the past two decades, people’s comprehension of the navigational and physical feats that enable migratory birds to cross immense oceans, fly above the highest mountains, forgo sleep for days or weeks, or remain in unbroken flight for months at a stretch, has exploded.

“Migrant birds continually exceed what we think are the limits of physical endurance, like a six-inch sandpiper weighing less than an ounce flying 3,300 miles nonstop for six days from the Canadian subarctic to northern South America — the equivalent of 126 consecutive marathons with no food, water, or a moment’s rest, using the earth’s magnetic field to navigate using a form of quantum entanglement that would make Einstein queasy,” said CPL.

A World on the Wing is also the story of Weidensaul’s own journey over the past two decades from a deeply interested amateur to someone immersed in migration research, using cutting-edge technology to answer questions that have fascinated him all his life–and, with fellow scientists, researchers, and bird lovers, trying to preserve global migratory patterns in the face of climate change and other looming challenges. 

Scott Weidensaul is the author of more than two dozen books on natural history, including the Pulitzer Prize finalist Living on the Wind and his latest, A World on the Wing. Weidensaul is a contributing editor for Audubon, a columnist for Bird Watcher’s Digest and writes for a variety of other publications, including Living Bird. He is a Fellow of the American Ornithological Society and an active field researcher, studying saw-whet owl migration for more than two decades, as well as winter hummingbirds, bird migration in Alaska, and the winter movements of snowy owls through Project SNOWstorm, which he co-founded.

For more on this and other programs from the Camden Public Library, visit

Event Date: 

Tue, 05/25/2021 - 6:00pm

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