From Kirkus Reviews:
"Gessner’s account is filled with nitty-gritty details about the days and nights of an itinerant birder and beautifully detailed descriptions of ospreys in action. When actual observations were not possible, he imagined what the ospreys were doing and writes intelligently of that. In the final chapter, while summering on Cape Cod, Gessner learned that Fidel had been tracked back to Martha’s Vineyard, and it was there that he got to see his special bird. A grand adventure, not just for birders and nature lovers."
"Gessner's rollicking road-trip account of 21st Century
hawkwatching captures the essence of both migrating ospreys and the mixed bag of people who track them. Equal doses of Jack Kerouac and Roger Tory Peterson promise to enshrine Soaring with Fidel in the pantheon of great travel writing and natural history."
--Keith Bildstein, author of Migrating Raptors of the World
"Because of its robust passion and focus, this book would have probably been a favorite of Teddy Roosevelt's. Reading SOARING WITH FIDEL, I traveled to bars, houses below palm trees, mountain tops, lakes,
oceans, seedy hotels--and then home again. But so much more is going on: Gessner is not just following an obsession--he is eloquently exploring
and explaining 'levels deeper than memory.'"
--Clyde Edgerton, author of Lunch at the Picadilly
Soaring with Fidel
One September, after writing about ospreys on Cape Cod for years, David Gessner impulsively decided to follow the birds on their annual migration. Each fall these graceful raptors, with wingspans of up to six feet, cruise over the eastern United States, then soar over Cuba and winter in South America, returning north with the spring. In 2004, Gessner went along for the ride, traveling illegally into the mountains of Cuba and deep into Venezuela as he followed the migration, trailing the birds by car, boat, foot, and plane. He called his favorite osprey Fidel.
Soaring with Fidel is about the exhilaration of migration, but it is also a deeper meditation on the nature of human happiness. In describing the thrill of travel, the antics of these swashbuckling birds, and the cast of characters he meets (and drinks with) along the way—including scientists, students, tour guides, and an online group of birders—Gessner gives us a profound lesson in the importance of following what you love.