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"Kingbird Highway, the biggest year in the life of an extreme birder" (K. Kaufman, 1997)"

Asier Sarasua 2018/02/14 16:50

Txorizale gazte baten ametsak biltzen ditu liburu honek. 1973. urtean, 18 urte zituela, Kenn Kaufmanek erabaki zuen bere bizitzako urte bete hegaztiak behatzen igarotzea. Big Year izenez ezagutzen den lehiaketan parte hartu eta ordura arteko errekorra gainditzea, AEBen ahalik eta hegazti espezie gehien ikusiz. Lortuko ote zuen aurreko marka gainditzea? Urte betean 650 hegazti-espezi ezberdin ikustea Estatu Batuetako 49 estatu kontinentaletan?

Kaufman gaztearen asmoak bazuen alderdi berezi bat, gainera: autostopa eginez bidaiatu zuen urte betez, Estatu Batuetako mutur batetik besteraino, harat-honat, errekor hori gainditu nahian. Kansasen hasi eta Californiaraino; Floridatik Montanara; Carolinatik Alaskara. Zubipeetan eta baso erdian lo egintez. Urte osoan 1.000 dolar bakarrik gastatuz.

Errekor bat gainditzeko asmoz abiatu zen gaztearen asmoekin hasiko da liburua, baina Big Year bezalako antzeko lehiaketen inguruko kezkarekin amaituko, txorizaletasuna zerrendatze hutsa baino askoz gehiago delako. Eta guztiaren gainetik, txoriak eta txoriak. Hegaztienganako pasioa eta maitasuna aurkituko dugu liburu honetako orrialde bakoitzean. Ornitologia betirako aldatzen ari zen garai baten argazkia ere bai, 1970. hamarkadan gauza asko aldatu baitziren txorizaleen mundutxoan (batez ere Estatu Batuetan).

Txoriburuontzat erabat gomendagarria (besteentzat,... beharbada ez).

Kingbird Highway
Kenn Kaufman
(Houghton Mifflin, 1997)

 

"Kingbird Highway", Kenn Kaufman (Houghton Mifflin, 1997)

Hitzaurretik.

People always called us "birdwatchers". (...) Nothing could have been simpler than "birdwatching". An activity by that name would have required nothing more than one person, alone, watching birds, any birds. (...) But in the early 1970s, we were not birdwatching. We were birding, and that made all the diference. We were out to seek, to discover, to chase, to learn, to find as many different kinds of birds as possible - and in friendly competition, to try to find more of them than the next birder. (...) People have always looked at birds, but the hobby and sport of birding really developed in the twentieth century. It developed gradually (...) but there was one brief period when birding went through revolutionary changes. Improvements in communication and in travel made it possible for people to seek birds from coast to coast, and birding changed from a mild local pastime to a continent-wide craze. It is only now (...) that we can see how far-reaching and thorough the changes were. Birding for the 21st century was born in the brief period from 1970 to 1975. This is a story about that time. I was fortunate enough to be traveling thorougout North America, in pursuit of birds, during that formative era. It was a good time to be on the road, a good time to be very young, a good time to learn and travel and grow while we played this great new game called birding.

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Now revered as one of North America's top birders, Kenn Kaufman hit the road at age sixteen and spent a year crosscrossing 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.

Kingbird Highway is an utter delighy. That one of our foremost field guide writers could also write a true, lyric tale of such a high order almost defies the laws of nature... I would follow Kenn Kaufman down Kingbird Highway as far as he wanted to take me on and on.

- Gary Nabhan -

Kingbird Highway is more that a good road story, for Kaufman found something greater than his intended goal. He learned about what is actually important in life.

- Mark Bittner - 

 

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