On the Wing: To the Edge of the Earth with the Peregrine Falcon
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On the Wing: To the Edge of the Earth with the Peregrine Falcon

3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  98 ratings  ·  20 reviews
In this extraordinary journey, Alan Tennant recounts his attempt to track the transcontinental migration of the majestic peregrine falcon — an investigation no one before him had ever taken to such lengths. From the windswept flats of the Texas barrier islands to the Artic and then south again into the Caribbean, On the Wing provides a hilariously picaresque and bumpy flig...more
Paperback, 328 pages
Published October 11th 2005 by Anchor (first published 2004)
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John Gaudet
In some cases there are no obvious economic reasons for the conservation of a species, but an author such as Alan Tennant, in his book, the national bestseller, On The Wing (or, To The Edge Of The Earth With The Peregrine Falcon, Anchor Books, Random House, 2005), does such a thorough job of describing the tenacity and beautifully wild nature of the creature, it is impossible to walk away and see the peregrine falcon pass into oblivion. In Tennant's book the species is the subject of a quest tol...more
Troy
The one-phrase rundown: a well-written hell of a ride.

This, like Sunk Without a Sound, was a book I picked up in a VC at a national park, this time Big Bend. Alan Tennant is a Texas-based writer whose numerous otherworks include a field guide to snakes. Someone from my old stomping ground who likes snakes? I thought. That was rare enough to warrant further investigation.

I found the book to a real page-turner. It details the author’s obsession with following several radio-tagged peregrine falcons...more
Laura
Whew! Finally finished this one up. It was a fascinating read but not a quick one, that's for certain. I never stopped being interested; the book never dragged for me, it just took a long time to get through for some reason. Tennant is very obviously incredibly knowledgeable about birds, especially falcons, and I learned a huge amount. I felt he also really captured the unique personality of his pilot. Oddly, though, there were only a few moments in the book where his deep love for the birds the...more
Matt
The worst part about the book was the lack of the year it took place, which would have really helped set the scene. I could tell it was obviously pre-sept. 11th, 2001, but after it really bothering me for a long time, I think it probably actually took place sometime in the '80s. I even searched the author online for a bit and couldn't figure it out. The publication date (2005) did not help at all. Anyway, it is about two random guys who fly a plane after some peregrine falcons using stolen army...more
Cynthia
Sort of a poor man's version of a "Big Year," focusing on just one remarkable kind of bird. I felt bad for the author's long-suffering girlfriend, but also admired his obsession--really, he is in love with birds, particularly falcons, and with their wildness. The story had elements of The Big Year, On the Road, Silent Spring, and maybe evemn a little bit of The African Queen. The inexorable march of human "progress" and industry (those vast sludge ponds!) is distressing and depressing. But the b...more
Christine
A vaguely interesting read about animals, and one peregrine's migration journey. The most interesting thing about it, was that it allowed me to think about how much a migratory route depends on stored memory of landscape- which we are rapidly changing. This helps to explain the increase in extinction rates in birds more than other animals.

Other than that, I wasn't very impressed. Nothing about it really drew me in, and I found my mind wandering at certain times while reading it. Some parts proba...more
Daniel Currie
I listened to the 5CD abridged version of this book.

This is more or less an adventure story centered on the chase for several tagged peregrine falcons.

The main point in any book like this is how much it draws you in. In this case it didn't. Altho they certainly go thru alot (some would say much too much) to try and track these birds, I never got caught up in the adventure. Maybe if you were a hardcore birder that might help, but I am not. It occasionally veers into the romance and philosophy of...more
Lisa
Listening to audiobook, read by author, whose voice reminds me slightly of Roy Blount, Jr. Excellent story so far. The asides can be mildly distracting, but IMO that's not a problem in an audiobook.

It almost felt like two connected tales since Tennant first follows Amelia north to her breeding grounds, then tracks three Peregrines on their southerly migration. I was most intrigued during Amelia's tale, but found the other to be pleasant also. Birders, naturalists, and travelers may enjoy this a...more
Kim
I did audio version read by author. The author's voice was very pleasant to listen to. (I really enjoy hearing an author's voice in the words. There has only been one audio book read by an author who's voice was annoying to me: M. L'Engle).
Parts of Tennant's real life adventure seemed unimaginable to survive. Too bad the length of the journey cost him the sacrifice of a potentially great relationship. The romantic side of me wishes Jenny could have been there for so much of it.
Sharon Nelson
I am so enamored by raptors - often frightening other motorists as I peer upwards to watch a hawk or even vulture soar on massive wings above me... This story, following the migrating peregrines from Mexico to the Arctic Circle, was fascinating. Suspenseful, educational, romantic, adventure story... I love hearing of anyone following a passion to the ends of the earth!
Carla
This is a well written journey about 2 men following a couple of peregrine falcons. I wish it had more pictures! LOL I love peregrines so I knew I'd like the book but I was surprised about how engrossed in the story I became and how close you feel to the author and the falcon!
Marissa
Slow to get into, but eventually quite gripping to follow the journey of Tennant as he follows a handful of peregrine falcons. The observations on the falcons are interesting, but even more are the environmental degradations Tennant happens across throughout the Americas.
David Quinn
This is a good book to read at the beach or on vacation. It has many interesting facts about nature and lots of funny moments. The author's love of nature comes through and enhances the story. I thought it was very well written.
Marguerite
Apr 07, 2008 Marguerite rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Nature lovers
A bird's-eye view of natural cycles. I felt like I buckled in for a bumpy ride in a small plane, and I've had an eye for hawks and raptors ever since.
Terry
I wish I could have gone along on this adventure, flying a Cessna and tracking a peregrine falcon on its migration route.
Sarah
If you've ever dreamed of migrating like a raptor, this book will take you there. Very well written too.
Jon
They had quite an adventure in that battered, old, Cessna chasing Peregren falcons to the arctic and back.
Monica
An engaging story perfect for any bird lover!
Arapahoe Library District
Apr 01, 2009 Arapahoe Library District rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: birders
Shelves: nature
Migrate with the falcons!
Shirley beverly
May 22, 2007 Shirley beverly rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: birders
Get bird book!
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