“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
How many birds have their own Wiki page?
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.
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
Thank you to Ryan in Bloomington, IN for this amazing poem! Ryan wrote “World” after a school visit from Phillip Hoose featuring the book Moonbird.
“Students got to know B95, a small bird that has flown the distance it takes to get to the moon and halfway back, when author and Indiana University graduate Phillip Hoose came by Summit Elementary. To tell third-, fourth- and fifth-graders about B95, Hoose shared pictures of the red knot, a shore bird with a speckled back that travels more than 9,000 miles from its breeding grounds in the Arctic to South America each year. He played his guitar, leading students in sing-a-longs, and the crowd of almost 200 students “awww-ed” at the sight of photos of baby red knots, with their fuzzy white feathers and tiny beaks.
When Hoose asked for questions, their hands shot up into the air. They wanted to know if the baby bird’s mother and father help it learn to fly and how the red knots are able to fly such long distances. They also asked how Hoose got his ideas to write a book like “Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95” and what his other books were about. Talking with youngsters gives Hoose a chance to spread awareness about the reduced populations of animals like red knots.
“My major weapon is a good narrative,” the author said. The nonfiction story of B95 doesn’t only describe the life of one bird, but it also “portrays the worldwide crisis in species loss.” During his presentation, Hoose referred to young people who were working to protect red knots, and he said, “we could use some letters,” because writing messages to legislators might help the long-distance fliers become recognized as an endangered species.
Hoose has been going from school to school talking to kids for about 30 years. “I love kids,” he said. “I want them to know that a writing life is available and there are real people who do this.”
Erika Peek, a fifth-grade teacher at Summit, had a similar idea when she invited Hoose to speak. “It’s inspiring to see someone doing something that they love,” Peek said. As a teacher, she hopes students will grow up into people who can make their passions their livelihood. “It was nice for the kids to meet a speaker with Bloomington ties,” she noted. She hoped it helped the students realize that authors could be among their next-door neighbors.
After Hoose’s presentation, Peek’s students settled into their desks to write poetry or read his books. Leading up to the author’s visit, they had been working in all of their classes on projects related to writing or the subjects of Hoose’s nonfiction, and they will continue to do so after his visit. Peek intends to tailor her upcoming lessons to the students’ interests by exploring areas they were curious about through research activities.
“The speaker may be gone, but we can find other ways to answer their questions,” she said.”
“The last we heard of a red knot known as B95 — after his tag — he was in Canada. It was August, and he was on his way south.
As usual, scientists studying red knots figured it might be their last sighting of him. No bird lives forever, they keep telling themselves.
But recently, he’s been spotted — several times! — on wintering grounds at Rio Grande, at the southern tip of Argentina.”
Read more from the Philadelphia Inquirer