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Adventures of a Louisiana Birder: One Year, Two Wings, Three Hundred Species

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This candid and humorous chronicle shows how one woman goes from casual observer to obsessive bird nerd as she traverses Louisiana's avian paradise. In Adventures of a Louisiana Birder, readers follow Marybeth Lima across her adopted state in search of 300 species of birds. Bisected by the Mississippi flyway and home to 400 miles of coast, Louisiana has a variety of habit This candid and humorous chronicle shows how one woman goes from casual observer to obsessive bird nerd as she traverses Louisiana's avian paradise. In Adventures of a Louisiana Birder, readers follow Marybeth Lima across her adopted state in search of 300 species of birds. Bisected by the Mississippi flyway and home to 400 miles of coast, Louisiana has a variety of habitats, which serve as a beautiful backdrop to this remarkable journey. In birding circles, some devotees attempt what is known as a "big year," a bird-sighting challenge to identify as many bird species as possible in a particular geographical area over the course of one year. Lima's initial effort amounted to 11,626 miles in sixty-one road trips to log an impressive 280 species. But on a subsequent quest to exceed her record, she endures elusive birds, embarrassing misidentifications, and hungry insects in an effort to reach her goal. In the midst of these obstacles, Lima celebrates the camaraderie and friendly competition among fellow birders, from novices to a world-renown ornithologist. Requiring both mental focus and physical agility, birdwatching becomes an active sport through Lima's narration. She vividly conveys the elation over a rare species seen or heard and the disappointment when one is narrowly missed. An appendix provides the location and date of every species she identifies. Lima's personal experiences are interwoven with the excitement of tracking down one intriguing species after another. She faces a near-fatal burn accident to her spouse, end-of-life care for her mother-in-law, and Louisiana's great flood of 2016. In the midst of these situations, her devotion to birding provides a much-needed outlet. "Somewhere in the roiling confluence of birds, locales, and human personalities," writes Lima, "the center of my heart sings with utter abandon." Adventures of a Louisiana Birder is the author's call to a deeper passion for and awareness of Louisiana's unique natural beauty and vulnerability.


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This candid and humorous chronicle shows how one woman goes from casual observer to obsessive bird nerd as she traverses Louisiana's avian paradise. In Adventures of a Louisiana Birder, readers follow Marybeth Lima across her adopted state in search of 300 species of birds. Bisected by the Mississippi flyway and home to 400 miles of coast, Louisiana has a variety of habit This candid and humorous chronicle shows how one woman goes from casual observer to obsessive bird nerd as she traverses Louisiana's avian paradise. In Adventures of a Louisiana Birder, readers follow Marybeth Lima across her adopted state in search of 300 species of birds. Bisected by the Mississippi flyway and home to 400 miles of coast, Louisiana has a variety of habitats, which serve as a beautiful backdrop to this remarkable journey. In birding circles, some devotees attempt what is known as a "big year," a bird-sighting challenge to identify as many bird species as possible in a particular geographical area over the course of one year. Lima's initial effort amounted to 11,626 miles in sixty-one road trips to log an impressive 280 species. But on a subsequent quest to exceed her record, she endures elusive birds, embarrassing misidentifications, and hungry insects in an effort to reach her goal. In the midst of these obstacles, Lima celebrates the camaraderie and friendly competition among fellow birders, from novices to a world-renown ornithologist. Requiring both mental focus and physical agility, birdwatching becomes an active sport through Lima's narration. She vividly conveys the elation over a rare species seen or heard and the disappointment when one is narrowly missed. An appendix provides the location and date of every species she identifies. Lima's personal experiences are interwoven with the excitement of tracking down one intriguing species after another. She faces a near-fatal burn accident to her spouse, end-of-life care for her mother-in-law, and Louisiana's great flood of 2016. In the midst of these situations, her devotion to birding provides a much-needed outlet. "Somewhere in the roiling confluence of birds, locales, and human personalities," writes Lima, "the center of my heart sings with utter abandon." Adventures of a Louisiana Birder is the author's call to a deeper passion for and awareness of Louisiana's unique natural beauty and vulnerability.

40 review for Adventures of a Louisiana Birder: One Year, Two Wings, Three Hundred Species

  1. 4 out of 5

    Eleanor Canon

    One of my favorite books this year! I am not a birder but I have friends who are. I keep feeders at my house and a healthy portion of my retirement buys seed and feeder accoutrements. Marybeth’s enthusiasm for birding is infectious! Please read this book. It is about way more than birding including loving where you live, caring for people and place, and surviving trauma and loss. There’s humor and friendship and fangirling! It is a great read!

  2. 4 out of 5

    France Davis

    I originally bought this book because it's part of a sub-sub genre of birding books that I have always been fascinated by: the Big Year! That's when a person (or persons) attempts to see as many bird species as possible during a single year, and in a specific geographic locale, be it state, country, continent, or recently, the entire world. Anyway, I figured since I had spent a good part of my life in next-door Texas, and thus birded Louisiana a bit, this book would be of some interest. And, it I originally bought this book because it's part of a sub-sub genre of birding books that I have always been fascinated by: the Big Year! That's when a person (or persons) attempts to see as many bird species as possible during a single year, and in a specific geographic locale, be it state, country, continent, or recently, the entire world. Anyway, I figured since I had spent a good part of my life in next-door Texas, and thus birded Louisiana a bit, this book would be of some interest. And, it was! But not, as it turns out, just for the great birding stories. Marybeth Lima has managed to write a beautiful story about how coping with the challenges of relationships, whether with partners, dogs, or an aging parent, can be understood, and more easily coped with, through a love of the natural world, and most especially...birds! I look forward (hopefully) to her next book!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kerrie Highley

    I am a very part time birder and I really enjoyed this book. She describes the frustration of finding birds you want to see, as well as the excitement when you do! I also like the human and relationship aspect of the book that is about so much more than just finding birds. All of our lives are more than just one aspect and are more complicated than that. So much is woven together to make up our days and life. This book makes me want to do more birding than I have been recently. Thank you Marybet I am a very part time birder and I really enjoyed this book. She describes the frustration of finding birds you want to see, as well as the excitement when you do! I also like the human and relationship aspect of the book that is about so much more than just finding birds. All of our lives are more than just one aspect and are more complicated than that. So much is woven together to make up our days and life. This book makes me want to do more birding than I have been recently. Thank you Marybeth!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Adrienne

    I really enjoyed reading this book. It inspired me want to get better at birding and to go birding more often. Her personal stories really added to the narrative and made it even more enjoyable to read. My favorite part was the epilogue. It is so beautifully written and so touching that it made me cry. Really. I’m not always proud to be from this backward state, but this book helped to remind me of the reasons why I should be.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Maria

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jack

  9. 5 out of 5

    Brandy Luther

  10. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

  11. 5 out of 5

    Brianne Keehan

  12. 4 out of 5

    Laura

  13. 5 out of 5

    Cid Dillard

  14. 4 out of 5

    Chris

  15. 5 out of 5

    Andrew J

  16. 5 out of 5

    SueSue

  17. 4 out of 5

    Olga Ialanskaia

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

  19. 5 out of 5

    Tammy Krueger

  20. 5 out of 5

    Joy

  21. 4 out of 5

    Pestozesto

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mark Nenadov

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tony Lee

  24. 4 out of 5

    Tami

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lauri

  26. 5 out of 5

    Carmine

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tristan

  28. 5 out of 5

    Gwen

  29. 5 out of 5

    Helen Rose Patterson

  30. 5 out of 5

    Nita

  31. 5 out of 5

    Kerry Cravens pickett

  32. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

  33. 4 out of 5

    Janelle Zetty

  34. 5 out of 5

    Sybil

  35. 5 out of 5

    Kathie Lambert

  36. 4 out of 5

    Karin Tuttle

  37. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

  38. 5 out of 5

    Devon

  39. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

  40. 4 out of 5

    Chene

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