North on the Wing

Listen to a sample

What to expect

In late March 2015, ornithologist Bruce M. Beehler set off on a solo three-month trek to track songbird migration and the northward progress of spring through America. Traveling via car, canoe, bike, and on foot, Beehler followed woodland warblers and other neotropical songbird species from the southern border of Texas, where the birds first arrive after their winter sojourns in South America and the Caribbean, northward through the Mississippi drainage to its headwaters in Minnesota and onward to their nesting grounds in the north woods of Ontario.

In North on the Wing, Beehler describes both the epic migration of songbirds across the country and the gradual dawning of springtime through the US heartland—the blossoming of wildflowers, the chorusing of frogs, the leafing out of forest canopies—and also tells the stories of the people and institutions dedicated to studying and conserving the critical habitats and processes of spring songbird migration.

Inspired in part by Edwin Way Teale’s landmark 1951 book North with the Spring, this audiobook—part travelogue, part field journal, and part environmental and cultural history—is a fascinating firsthand account of a once-in-a-lifetime journey. It engages listeners in the wonders of spring migration and serves as a call for the need to conserve, restore, and expand bird habitats to preserve them for future generations of both birds and humans.

Critics Review

  • “Narrator Keith Sellon–Wright’s leisurely, thoughtful pace is a good fit for this slow-moving account…[and his] gentle, avuncular tone is pleasant.”

  • “The ultimate no-frills road trip to tiny towns and hidden birding paradises…infused with scientific knowledge and personal passion…Should serve as a companion to Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley, destined to be a classic on the shelves of birders, naturalists, conservationists, and nature lovers alike.”

    Amy Tan, #1 New York Times bestselling author
  • “Beehler’s 100‑day account is both deeply informed by conservation science and history and lit by euphoric moments.”

  • “His deep fascination for natural history and understanding of the relationship between birds, physical geography, and the interconnected web of life on which birds depend permeates every page.”

    Bird Watcher's Digest
  • “A travelog liberally spiced with bird watching, natural history, political commentary, and US history…Other topics that affect bird populations regularly enrich the narrative: unique state parks and feral cats, the Lincoln-Douglas Debates, and the US Army Corp of Engineers’ attempts to control the course of the Mississippi River…Will satisfy a variety of readers; those interested in bird-watching, natural and American history, and travelogs.”

    Library Journal (starred review)
  • “A charming and enjoyable sojourn in the company of a witty and knowledgeable guide.”


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