The Race to Save the Lord God Bird

The Race to Save the Lord God Bird

Book - 2004
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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.

Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2004.
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780374361730
Branch Call Number: 598.72 HOOSE P
Characteristics: 196 pages : illustrations, 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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