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In birding, a Big Year is seeing or hearing as many different species of birds as possible in a calendar year.Three men pursue the Birder of the Year title: Kenny Bostick, who's seen a record 732 in a past big year, Stu Preissler, newly retired, and Brad Harris, who narrates the story.The story centers upon 3 men each going through their own version of a mid-life crisis and hitting the road in search of finding themselves and birds.
Those unfamiliar with the book or the movie's plot line, a "big year" refers to an informal competition in which birders try to see the most bird species they can within North America (North of Mexico) in one year.
My concerns were put to rest within the first 5 minutes. The writing avoided the caricatures often associated with birding.
The island is now home to its only remaining inhabitants – hundreds of migratory and Asiatic bird species.
Although human residents are gone from the island, the footprint of their presence still remains through miles of twisted metal, rusted fuel storage tanks and barrels, flattened Quonset huts and former military quarters scattered throughout the island.
“By removing these source areas, we have cut off that exposure pathway and stopped a continuous release of pollution into our environment,” said Ken Andraschko, chief of the FUDS program for the Corps in Alaska.
In addition to the two project sites, the Corps oversaw the excavation of additional lead-contaminated soil for off-site disposal, conducted reconnaissance of a number of other sites in search of contaminant sources and performed archaeological surveys to ensure the protection of the island’s cultural and historical resources during future work activities.More than 70 years ago, the area served as a landing hub for U. Army Soldiers fighting to recapture the island from the Japanese during World War II.It also operated as an Army base and Naval station during the war, and was later home to the Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard, the latter maintaining its presence there until 2010.Jack Black, the poorest and youngest of the three, sets out to make a mark and in turn, finds himself.All three actors showed they do have considerable range beyond their usual comedy shtick.Life gets in the way: Bostick's wife wants a baby, Stu's firm needs him for sensitive negotiations, and Brad, divorced and underemployed at 36, has an encouraging mom and a disapproving dad.They criss-cross the continent (including a trip to Alaska's westernmost island), follow migration patterns, and head for storms that force birds to ground. From their location on the Oregon Coast, Fuchs recommends a hotel on Highway 101, half way to Mount Shasta. Mount Shasta is in the middle of Northern California, on Interstate Five.Unsure about the condition of the airfield at Attu, the Bristol crew met the barge in Adak and rode with the equipment and materials to the island.“It took almost four days from Adak to Attu,” Burgess said. We were averaging six knots an hour – about four miles an hour.” The Bristol crew arrived at Attu May 1 and was faced with another challenge –snow drifts where the base camp was slated to be set up and snow covering half the island, Burgess said. We spent two days doing snow removal, so we could get the camp set up.” It took the crew 11 days total to set up camp. Army Corps of Engineers-Alaska District recently wrapped up an environmental cleanup project on the island this season.see less | View Image Page ATTU ISLAND, Alaska – Against the backdrop of a crisp, blue sky and snow-scattered mountains, a bright orange excavator sharply claws at the earth near Massacre Bay.