Camden Public Library will welcome back ornithologist and acclaimed nature writer Scott Weidensaul at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 25, for an online presentation about his new book, “A World on the Wing.”
Both a New York Times bestseller and “Editor’s Pick,” the book is at once a celebration of global bird migration, an exploration of our 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.
In the past two decades, our 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, according to a library news release. 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 could make Einstein queasy.
“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.
Weidensaul is the author of more than two dozen books on natural history, including the Pulitzer Prize finalist “Living on the Wind.” He is a contributing editor for Audubon and a columnist for Bird Watcher’s Digest, and he 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.
To attend, email [email protected] to request a Zoom link. For more about this and other programs from the library, visit librarycamden.org.