BOOKS: The Flight of the Red Knot

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 1996:

The Flight of the Red Knot, by
Brian Harrington with Charles
Flowers. W.W. Norton & Company,
Inc. (500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY
10110), published in association with
WGBH–Boston and Manomet
Observatory, 1996. 192 pages; $29.95.

Subtitled “A natural history
account of a small bird’s annual migration
from the Arctic Circle to the tip of South
America and back,” this is a beautifully
illustrated book about the remarkable yearly
journeys of a species of sandpiper known as
the red knot. Measuring approximately 10
inches long and weighing about 20 ounces,
this hardy traveller migrates nearly 18,000
miles every year––an awesome distance by
any reckoning.


As well as being an extremely
detailed and comprehensive study of the red
knot, The Flight discusses bird migration
habits in general, as well as some interesting
sidebars on the life cycles of the various
species which constitute the diet of the red
knot. Harrington also includes observations
about the need for conservation of habitat,
and the disrupting effect that environmental
pollution has on the survival of these species.
––P.J. Kemp

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