Big year - Obmascik, Mark
Summary: Follows the 1998 Big Year competition between Sandy Komito, Al Levantin, and Greg Miller, during which the three rivals risked their lives to set a new North American birding record. - (Baker & Taylor)
There is a well-known competition among birders called the Big Year, in which one abandons one's regular life for one whole year in order to see more species of birds in a geographic area than one's competitors. Environmental journalist Obmascik follows the 1998 Big Year's three main competitors--a New Jersey roofing contractor, a corporate executive, and a software engineer--as they crisscross the country in search of birds. Whether looking for flamingos in the Everglades, great grey owls in the frozen bogs near Duluth, or Asian rarities on the Aleutian island of Attu, these obsessed birders not only faced seasickness, insects, altitude sickness, and going into debt, they also faced each other. Their drive to win propelled all three past the rarified count of 700 species seen, and the winner saw an extraordinary 745 species--a number that will probably never be equaled. With a blend of humor and awe, Obmascik takes the reader into the heart of competitive birding, and in the process turns everyone into birders. ((Reviewed January 1 & 15, 2004)) Copyright 2004 Booklist Reviews.