Rufa red knots are small shorebirds that make an incredible journey every year. Knots only weigh about 4 ounces, but each year, they fly from Tierra del Fuego at the southern tip of South America to the arctic regions of Canada and back. While it’s incredible that such a small bird can do this at all, B95 (the number on his band) is even more amazing – he’s done it at least 20 times! He was first banded in 1995 and was already at least three years old at that time. He is legendary in the birding world and has earned the nickname “Moonbird.” His nickname stems from the fact that through his annual migrations, he has flown enough miles to reach to the moon and halfway back!
Unfortunately, B95 has less company each year. The population of rufa red knots has plummeted in recent years due to the degradation of their stopover sites along their migration route. Delaware Bay is a very important feeding stop for knots. There they feast on horseshoe crab eggs to give them the necessary fat to fly 2,000 miles without stopping. People have begun harvesting horseshoe crabs as bait, though, and their numbers are dwindling. With the decline in horseshoe crab eggs, fewer rufas are making it to their breeding ground in northern Canada. People are starting to step up to help these birds, though, and Hoose profiles them throughout the book. The last chapter offers ways that anyone can help these birds continue to make their amazing journey each year.
reviewed by Jessica