The Race to Save the Lord God Bird

The Race to Save the Lord God Bird

Book - 2004 | 1st ed
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Tells the story of the ivory-billed woodpecker's extinction in the United States, describing the encounters between this species and humans, and discussing what these encounters have taught us about preserving endangered creatures. For thousands of years, the majestic Ivorybilled Woodpecker reigned over the dark emerald forests that once carpeted the bottomlands of America's broad southern rivers, as well as the red, rugged mountains of eastern Cuba, where it was called Carpintero real. A phantom bird, always more easily heard than seen, it had a giant, ivory-colored bill prized by Indians and whites alike. But even in the early 1800s, when John James Audubon captured the Ivory-bill's likeness in his ground-breaking book The Birds of America, this species was beginning to disappear. A century later, it was presumed extinct. What happened? The Ivory-bill's story sweeps through two hundred years of history, introducing artists, specimen collectors, lumber barons, plume hunters, and finally -- in Cornell's Arthur A. Allen and his young ornithology student James Tanner -- pioneering biologists who sought to uncover the mystery of birds by studying them alive in their habitats. Their quest to save the Ivory-bill was to culminate in one of the first great conservation showdowns. With lively prose, illuminating images, and meticulous research, Hoose explores the tragedy of extinction. He probes our evolving attitudes toward understanding species and protecting habitat, prompting Publitzer Prize-winning Harvard biologist E. O. Wilson to say: "This is a marvelous book for young and old alike ... a tribute to a legendary animal and the nobility in the human spirit."
Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2004
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780374361730
Branch Call Number: 598.72 HOOSE
Characteristics: 196 p. : ill., maps ; 25 cm


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The Ivory-Billed Woodpecker, now extinct, was so incredible that someone catching sight of it might exclaim, “Lord God, what a bird!” Hoose traces its history through those who observed it, who hunted it, and who studied it, as it became the object of one of the first great conservation efforts.

JCLMeganB Oct 04, 2013

Hoose's narrative non-fiction account of the extinction of the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker and it role in the preservation movement in the United States is as astonishing as it is moving. Appealing to adults as well as younger readers.


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