Red Knots Declared Federally Threatened

B95 (center, with orange leg band) recently in Argentina. (Photo by Luis Benegas)

B95 (center, with orange leg band) recently in Argentina. (Photo by Luis Benegas)

“The rufa red knot makes another appearance in the Washington Post.   The taxa was declared Federally Threatened under the Endangered Species act last week.  As a result, hero of the book Moonbird is back in the news.  He is an adult male knot known as B95 who has survived so long that scientists have tallied up his lifetime frequent flyer mileage.  They’ve found that he has exceeded the distance between the earth and the moon–and most of the way back!

I hope he’s still around.   We last saw him late in May.   If he’s alive, he’s probably in Tierra del Fuego now, and with luck we could soon hear reports of his presence.”  —Phil Hoose


17,400 Support Rufa Red Knots

B95 (center, with orange leg band) recently in Argentina. (Photo by Luis Benegas)

Rufa Red Knot B95 (center, with orange leg band)  in Argentina. (Photo by Luis Benegas)

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will make a final decision by November 28, 2014 on the 2013 proposal to list the rufa red knot as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. During more than 130 days of public comment the Service received more than 17,400 comments on the threatened listing proposal!

Some writers wrote supportive form letters, while others raised issues with the adequacy of horseshoe crab management, the impacts of wind turbines, the inclusion of interior states in the range, and other topics. The Fish and Wildlife Service requested an extension so they could read and consider this mountain of commentary. Learn more at here.

Cheering for the Researchers

We loved this review from Reading by Example because she says she found herself “cheering for the researchers.”  Moonbird is not only a love song to B95, but a love song to all those researchers who band, count, wait, fly to, marvel at, and share their knowledge of the rufa red knot.  Let’s all let out a cheer for the researchers!

Moonbird is that rare book that entertains as much as it informs. The author chronicles one breeding cycle of a red rufa knot, B95. He is the oldest known shorebird of his species. The challenges B95 faces, both natural and manmade, bring a lot of suspense to the topic. I found myself cheering for the researchers who kept persisting in their inquiries about why the red rufa knot’s numbers are dwindling. It could serve by itself as the primary resource for a unit of study. You have got geography, history, environmental science, biology…and that is just the content areas.  —Reading by Example

Happy Anniversary, Green Earth Book Award

Washashore-front-cover.jpgWe congratulate the Green Earth Book Awards on 10 Years of honoring environmental children’s literature and their donation this year of 10,000 environmental books with a message of stewardship to area schools!

Phil Hoose was pleased to join the celebrations on two previous years when they honored his books, Hey, Litte Ant and Moonbird.

“Being able to deliver engaging material about the environment in such a big way is a perfect representation of our first decade of success,” said Ian Kline, chairman of the board. “We’ve engaged thousands of students with books, outdoor classrooms, and even a student-designed nature trail. The impact is incredible – we’ve seen children of all ages embrace environmental responsibility through our programs.”

The 2014 winners are:

Jennifer O’Connell – The Eye of the Whale a Rescue Story (picture book)

Kathi Appelt – The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp (children’s fiction)

Suzanne Goldsmith, Washashore (young adult fiction)

Melissa Stewart and Higgins Bond – A Place for Turtles (children’s nonfiction)

Teena Ruark Gorrow and Craig A. Koppie– Inside a Bald Eagle’s Nest: A Photographic Journey Through the American Bald Eagle Nesting Season (young adult nonfiction)

Patricia Gonzales & B95


Argentine shorebird biologist Patricia Gonzales

From Phillip Hoose on Delaware Bay:

This is Argentine shorebird biologist Patricia Gonzales, minutes after having spotted once again the apparently bionic Red Knot whose leg bears an orange band inscribed B95. He migrates back and forth to his breeding grounds nearly 20,000 miles each year.

His lifetime frequent flyer mileage greatly exceeds the distance between the earth and the moon. Hence his nickname–and the title of my book about him, Moonbird. I’ve never quite been able to spot him, though Patricia, who has an amazing connection with him, has held him in her hands and seen him many times.

Moonbird Spotted in Delaware!

B95 Spotted May 2014

B95 Spotted May 2014

Two photos of B95 taken yesterday by Patricia Gonzalez and Allan Baker at Reeds Beach, NJ. B95 is now at least 21 years old, and has flown enough miles to go to the moon and most of the way back. He has already been declared a Natural Ambassador of the city of Río Grande, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina where he was banded so long ago.

The Moonbird is an inspiration to all!!! —Charles Duncan,  Shorebird Recovery Project

B95 Spotted May 2014

B95 Spotted May 2014