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I thought my mother was a dedicated nutso birder. That is, until I read The Big Year by Mark Obmascik. Apparently, you have to be a male to be completely obsessed in the avian way.
The Big Year is an easy read about a contest few people outside the realm of birding have even heard about. A Big Year is a contest to see who can list the most species of birds, in this case, for the year 1998. To accomplish this you have to have a ton of money, an understanding spouse, or a total inability to grasp reality. Obmascik's writing style is easy, informative and non-judgmental. That's a good thing, considering the characters (i mean that both ways) he's describing are quirky, to say the least. Obmascik finely captures a fringe sport in all its feathered glory. The book captures an event (listing 745 species) that likely won't be repeated in these days of locked-down airports. We're sadly no longer free as birds.
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