On The Wing
To The Edge Of The World With The Peregrine Falcon
In this extraordinary narrative, Alan Tennant, a passionate observer of nature, recounts his all-out effort to radio-track the transcontinental migration of the peregrine falcon--an investigation no one before him had ever taken to such lengths.
On the Wing transports us from the windswept flats of the Texas barrier islands--where the tundra falcons pause during their springtime journey north--to the Arctic, and then back south, through Mexico, Belize, and into the Caribbean, in a hilariously picaresque and bumpy flight. At the helm is Tennant's partner in falcon-chasing, George Vose, a septuagenarian World War II vet who trusts his instincts as much as his instruments. As the two men nearly lose their lives and run afoul of the law in the race to keep their birds in view and their rattletrap Cessna gassed up and running, Tennant renders with gorgeous precision and skill the landscape and wildlife they pass on the way and the falcons that direct their course.
On the Wing is a breathtaking encounter with these majestic birds--the icons of pharaohs, Oriental emperors, and European nobility--whose fierce mien, power, and swiftness have fired the human imagination for centuries. An unforgettable and mesmerizing tale that speaks to all our dreams of flight.
New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2004.