Meet rufa red knot B95. Scientists call him the Moonbird because, in the course of his astoundingly long lifetime, this robin-sized shorebird has ?own the distance to the moon—and halfway back! Each February he joins a ?ock that lifts off from Tierra del Fuego, headed for breeding grounds in the Canadian Arctic, nine thousand miles away. Late in the summer, he begins the return journey.
B95 can fly for days, but eventually he must descend to refuel and rest. However, recent changes at stopover sites along his migratory circuit—changes caused mostly by human activity—have reduced the food available and made it harder for the birds to reach. During B95’s lifetime, the worldwide rufa population has collapsed by nearly 80 percent. Still, the Moonbird wings on; he is now nearly twenty years old. Shaking their heads, scientists ask themselves: How can this one bird make it year after year when so many others fall?
National Book Award–winning author Phillip Hoose shows the obstacles rufa red knots face, introduces a worldwide team of scientists and conservationists trying to save them, and offers insights about what we can do to help shorebirds before it’s too late. With inspiring prose, thorough research, and stirring images, Hoose explores the tragedy of extinction through the triumph of a single bird.