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Download To See Every Bird on Earth: A Father, a Son, and a Lifelong Obsession Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample To See Every Bird on Earth: A Father, a Son, and a Lifelong Obsession, by Dan Koeppel Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (311 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Dan Koeppel Narrator: John McDonough Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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From a well-known outdoors and nature writer comes a narrative that explores a lifelong obsession with competitive birding. 

What drives a man to travel to sixty countries and spend a fortune to count birds? And what if that man is your father? 

Richard Koeppels obsession with birds began at the age of eleven, when he first spotted a brown thrasher and promptly jotted the sighting in a notebook. Several decades, one failed marriage, and two sons later, he added an astonishing 517 birds to that list on a single trip to Kenya. Soon after, he ended the last romantic relationship he would ever have, scaled down his medical practice, and decided to see every bird on earth, becoming a “Big Lister,” a member of a subculture of competitive bird-watchers worldwide, all pursuing the same goal. Over the course of twenty-five years, Koeppel added more than 7,000 species of birds (of a known 9,600) to his list, becoming one of about ten people ever to do so. 

To See Every Bird on Earth explores the thrill of this chase, the all-absorbing crusade at the expense of all else, and travel, to places both dangerous and dull, for the sake of making a check mark in a notebook. A riveting glimpse into a fascinating subculture, To See Every Bird on Earth traces the love, loss, and reconnection between a father and a son, and explains why birds are so critical to the human search for our place in the world.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Marvelous. I loved just about everything about this book.” 

    Simon Winchester, author of The Professor and the Madman

  • “A lovingly told story…helps you understand what moves humans to seek escape in seemingly strange other worlds.” 

    Stefan Fatsis, author of Word Freak 

  • “As a glimpse into human behavior and family relationships, To See Every Bird on Earth is a rarity: a book about birding that nonbirders will find just as rewarding.” 

    Chicago Tribune

  • “Everyone has his or her addiction, and birdwatching is the drug of choice for the father of author Dan Koeppel, who writes affectionately but honestly about his father’s obsession.” 


Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jim Parker | 2/18/2014

    " A fascinating story of the quest for the longest life list. In addition to being a great personal story, the travel tales are tantalizing and bird lore very informative. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Peggy | 2/18/2014

    " " To see Every Bird on Earth" opens with the author celebrating with his father, when his father sees his 7000th bird. Known as somewhat of a bird fanatic in my own family I was instantly drawn to this book. I immediately counted the birds that I have positively identified and realized what an amatuer I am, when the number is 130. This book, however was not just a book about bird watching. It was the story of a son who longed to have a relationship with his father; a story of a family and the conflicts that any of us who wished our parents paid more attention to us can relate to. I also loved hearing about Peterson who's field guide is well known to all birders, and was fasinated by the stories of people determined to see as many birds as they can. I have no desire to spend every waking moment counting birds, it did reawake in me the desire to get my binoculars out and see more birds. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Daniel Stewart | 2/16/2014

    " A fascinating look into the world of birders - particularly the intense "listers" who have seen thousands of bird species in their lives. I consider myself a casual birder and found the intensity and passion of the birding community incredibly fun and interesting to learn about. This isn't the best book in the world, but it certainly tells a good father/son story while sharing with you the quirks of these unique people. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Charmaine | 1/31/2014

    " Enjoyed this book far more than I expected. It took me a little while to read the book, but every time I picked it up I enjoyed it. For an amateur birder it is a dangerous book and could give someone ideas of becoming a big lister. While that isn't feasible anytime in my near future, it has definitely given me a renewed interested in birds and has also given me insight into the world of birders that was quite fascinating. I'm not sure if this book would appeal to someone who doesn't already have an interest in birds. I can't decide if I liked it so much because of the writing or because I enjoyed hearing about all the birds Koeppel's father and other saw. I am disappointed to be finished reading the book! "

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