Now revered as one of North America's top birders, Kenn Kaufman hit the road at age sixteen and spent a year crisscrossing the country to see as many birds as he could, in a birding competition known as a "big year." In what has become a classic among birders, this memoir chronicles the subculture of birding in the 1970s and a teenager's search for his place in the world. In a new afterword, Kaufman looks at the evolution of bird-listing since his own big year.… (more)
Dedicated to the memory of Theodore A. Parker III 1953-1993 Ted Parker was not destined to slow down, ever. He was like a runaway train, except that he was running on tracks that he had planned out for himself, and he knew exactly where he was going.
I went out on the road, to chase my dream, at the age of nine. That was what I used to tell the girls I met while I was bumming rides around North America in the 1970s; and, of course, they didn't believe me any more than you do.
Now, when I look back many years later, as though from a great distance, I can still see that young man standing out on the jetty. And at least on my better days, I can see myself standing there with him: shaken by experience, perhaps, but still confident that the light will be better, that the birds will come in closer, that we will see everything more clearly at last, before the day is over.