Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95 (Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Honor (Awards))

Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
Grades 4 - 8Grades 6 - 12Y7.929402

B95 can feel it: a stirring in his bones and feathers. It's time. Today is the day he will once again cast himself into the air, spiral upward into the clouds, and bank into the wind.

He wears a black band on his lower right leg and an orange flag on his upper left, bearing the laser inscription B95. Scientists call him the Moonbird because, in the course of his astoundingly long lifetime, this gritty, four-ounce marathoner has flown the distance to the moon―and halfway back!

B95 is a robin-sized shorebird, a red knot of the subspecies rufa. Each February he joins a flock 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 without eating or sleeping, but eventually he must descend to refuel and rest. However, recent changes at ancient refueling stations along his migratory circuit―changes caused mostly by human activity―have reduced the food available and made it harder for the birds to reach. And so, since 1995, when B95 was first captured and banded, the worldwide rufa population has collapsed by nearly 80 percent. Most perish somewhere along the great hemispheric circuit, but the Moonbird wings on. He has been seen as recently as November 2011, which makes him 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 takes us around the hemisphere with the world's most celebrated shorebird, showing the obstacles rufa red knots face, introducing a worldwide team of scientists and conservationists trying to save them, and offering 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. Moonbird is one The Washington Post's Best Kids Books of 2012.

A Common Core Title.

Hardcover, 160 pages
Published on July 17, 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
ISBN-10: 0374304688
ISBN-13: 9780374304683
6 Book Reviews
  • Ashleyover 8 years
    I want to read this book.
    • rozeb
      rozebover 8 years33 stars
      This was a good book, but I like fantasies better. I had to read it for book club.
      • otter
        otteralmost 9 years55 stars
        Moon bird is really good book that will make you amazed. It is about a rufa red knot (a shorebird) who has lived way longer than any other red knot ever recorded. Even if you don't like nonfiction, you will love this book!
        • otter
          otteralmost 9 years55 stars
          Moonbird is a really good book that left me really amazed. It was about a rufa red knot (a shorebird) that flies from the bottom of South America to Canada. Many red knots die after 10 years or so. Scientists estimate that b95 is at least 18 years old!
          • roze
            rozealmost 9 years33 stars
            This book is amazing. At first I was like, I so do not want to read this book, but then I started really reading it and I love it! If you like fiction books, this book is for you!
            • roze
              rozealmost 9 years33 stars
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