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The Race to Save the Lord God Bird (The…

The Race to Save the Lord God Bird (The Boston Globe-Horn Book Award… (edition 2004)

by Phillip M Hoose

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2141380,679 (4.52)1
Title:The Race to Save the Lord God Bird (The Boston Globe-Horn Book Award (Awards))
Authors:Phillip M Hoose
Info:Farrar, Straus and Giroux (2004), Edition: 1st, Hardcover, 208 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Child2010, informational book, Week 7

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The Race to Save the Lord God Bird by Phillip M. Hoose


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Phillip Hoose has done it again. An amazing historical narrative of the plight of the ivory-billed woodpecker in the United States. The narrative takes the reader through a chronological and historical look at the events and way of life that eventually led to the extinction of wild species in the U.S. especially the Ivory-billed woodpeckers disappearance from the southeastern U.S. The author also describes the research of James Tanner and other scientists at Cornell University to find and document the ivory-billed woodpecker. The author describes the beginnings of wildlife conservation in the United States that were established because of the work of scientists trying to save the ivory-billed woodpecker and its specific habitat. The author not only tells the story of the ivory-billed woodpecker but also the story of the people who contributed to its extinction and those who tried to save it. The most compelling story was that of the last person to ever see an ivory-billed woodpecker in its wild habitat, a twelve year old boy. I cried at various points of this book. I have been up close to pileated woodpeckers in the wild and they are amazing creatures. I just cannot believe all the things that were done to the habitat of the ivory-billed and I can just imagine what an amazing bird it was. The author really draws the reader in at every turn and keeps you wanting to read more. The ivory-billed woodpecker is an amazing creature that could not adapt quickly enough to the changes in its habitat made by humans. It is believed by some to still exist although no one has been able to document one. This is a great book for studying wildlife conservation and inspirational to future generations. Inspiring as the ivory-billed once graced the swamps of Louisiana and students here can relate more easily to the topic. Even if you are not a conservationist or do not feel compelled to help with any type of conservation efforts, you will feel compelled to take a look at how you impact wildlife on this earth after reading this book. ( )
  ldbecker | Mar 11, 2018 |
This book could just as easily be titled "Extreme Bird Watching," or perhaps even "Endangered Birds and the Wild-eyed People who Love Them." By tracking the history of American efforts to save the doomed Ivory-billed Wood Pecker, this book explains the history and importance of ornithological conservation in the United States. This story is framed in the larger context of examining the ongoing sixth mass extinction, and concludes by exploring modern success stories, which counterbalances the disappointment of the failure to save the Ivory-billed Wood Pecker.

This is not your grandmother's birding. At least, my grandmother's idea of birding was to keep a pair of binoculars on the window sill with an Audubon field guide at hand. But the birders in this book camp in swamps, narrowly avoid death by terrifying animals, and even have to navigate encounters with NAZIs. This is as exciting as birding will ever sound.

While I think the book could have benefitted from being a little bit faster paced, I would recommend it for use in Louisiana classrooms. This is because its tale is as relevant to Louisiana today as 100 years ago - depletion of our state's natural resources by corporations without concern for ecological consequence. ( )
  EBolles | Feb 15, 2017 |
Not only conveys the tension of saving the bird but how this contributed to the study of birds and conservancy movements, and highlighted the importance of maintaining biodiversity. Author really into his subject, very passionate. Makes you feel it, too. You hate to hear about the Chicago Mill tearing down the forest, about Singer selling it off. Plenty of intriguing and dramatic photos. You're excited to see the live bird photos.

The author describes the glory of the Lord God Bird and its eventual extinction in the United States through hunting and extensive logging. Several individuals were key in attempting to understand and save the ivory-billed woodpecker, including James Tanner, his Cornell professor Doc Allen, John James Audubon, and James Baker, president of the Audubon Society. ( )
1 vote Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
Quick and easy history of the Ivory Bill with an emphasis on the early 20th century, in particular Jim Tanner who drove his Model A Coup around the swamps of the south during the 1930s searching for the elusive "peckerwood". Fond times it seemed, an experience that can never been recreated. The dark history of the destruction of the great virgin forests of the south are difficult to take, so much has been forever lost to short term thinkers.

The Ivory Bill is at an intersection of the early conservation movement and has become one of the great icons of extinction. Although this could have been a depressing book Hoose does a good job balancing historical context, he doesn't leap to judgements and ends with other more successful stories of conservation, and the hope that Lord God Bird still exists somewhere. ( )
  Stbalbach | Mar 18, 2014 |
One of the best nonfiction books ever written. A mesmerizing true story about the desperate attempts to save a species from extinction. ( )
  Sullywriter | Apr 3, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374361738, Hardcover)

The tragedy of extinction is explained through the dramatic story of a legendary bird, the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, and of those who tried to possess it, paint it, shoot it, sell it, and, in a last-ditch effort, save it. A powerful saga that sweeps through two hundred years of history, it introduces artists like John James Audubon, bird collectors like William Brewster, and finally a new breed of scientist in Cornell's Arthur A. "Doc" Allen and his young ornithology student, James Tanner, whose quest to save the Ivory-bill culminates in one of the first great conservation showdowns in U.S. history, an early round in what is now a worldwide effort to save species. As hope for the Ivory-bill fades in the United States, the bird is last spotted in Cuba in 1987, and Cuban scientists join in the race to save it.

All this, plus Mr. Hoose's wonderful story-telling skills, comes together to give us what David Allen Sibley, author of The Sibley Guide to Birds calls "the most thorough and readable account to date of the personalities, fashions, economics, and politics that combined to bring about the demise of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker."
The Race to Save the Lord God Bird is the winner of the 2005 Boston Globe - Horn Book Award for Nonfiction and the 2005 Bank Street - Flora Stieglitz Award.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:00 -0400)

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."… (more)

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