Reviews for Kakapo Rescue : Saving the World's Strangest Parrot

Booklist Reviews 2010 April #2
*Starred Review* Montgomery and Bishop, whose highly lauded titles include two Sibert Honor Books, offer yet another winning entry in the Scientists in the Field series. This time, the intrepid duo heads to a remote island off the southern tip of New Zealand, where they join a local government-sponsored research team that is working to save the Kakapo parrot from extinction. Weighing in at nearly nine pounds, these beautiful, honey-scented, once-ubiquitous creatures, named "the most wonderful of all living birds" by a nineteenth-century naturalist, have become a symbol of human civilization's devastating effects on indigenous life, and the New Zealand government is directing significant resources to try to ensure the species' survival. As usual, Montgomery's delight in her subject is contagious, and throughout her enthusiastic text, she nimbly blends scientific and historical facts with immediate, sensory descriptions of fieldwork. Young readers will be fascinated by the incredible measures that the passionate workers follow to help the new birds hatch, and many will share the team's heartbreak when some chicks die. Bishop's photos of the creatures and their habitat are stunning; an awe-inspiring, closing image of the world's eighty-seventh known Kakapo emerging from its shell captures the miracle of birth, for any species. Like many of the team's previous titles, this offers excellent support for units about animal conservation. Copyright 2010 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2010 Fall
Montgomery and Bishop trek to Codfish Island off New Zealand's coast to bring us a marvelous account of the efforts of naturalists to save the kakapo. Montgomery's in-depth descriptions and Bishop's glorious photographs cover all aspects of the conservation effort. Layered into the account is information on New Zealand's history, its unique biodiversity, and the devastating consequences of human settlement on its fragile ecosystem. Bib., ind. Copyright 2010 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2010 #4
The world's strangest parrot is also the world's heaviest parrot, weighing up to nine pounds, and is described here as "sweet-smelling, beautiful, big, soft, trusting, and playful." Montgomery and photographer Bishop once again trek to a remote and exciting locale-this time, Codfish Island off the coast of New Zealand-to bring us a marvelous account of the valiant efforts of naturalists to save a critically endangered species from extinction. We tag along with a small team of field officers from the National Kakapo Recovery Team and nature-loving volunteers as they do everything possible to keep the flightless birds and their offspring alive. This includes sleeping in tents near kakapo nests in order to put warming blankets on chicks the second their mothers leave for food, keeping feeders filled with nutrient-rich foods, and recording every movement and activity using transmitters strapped to each parrot. Montgomery's in-depth descriptions and Bishop's glorious photographs cover all aspects of the conservation effort, from the detailed and sometimes strenuous tasks that the truly dedicated volunteers and officers carefully execute to the rustic accommodations in the communal living quarters that house the team. Layered into the account is information on New Zealand's history, its unique biodiversity, and the devastating consequences of human settlement on its fragile ecosystem. A selected bibliography and an index are appended. Copyright 2010 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2010 April #1
Under the careful supervision of forest rangers and volunteers on an island off the New Zealand coast, the nearly extinct, flightless Kakapo parrot is the object of an intensive rescue effort described by this experienced writer-photographer team. Montgomery and Bishop waited five years for the opportunity to visit Codfish Island to document this work. They've hatched a fascinating account of their all-too-short but eventful stay. The author's well-organized narrative includes information about the parrots' habits, their near disappearance and current island habitat and the activities of those who monitor each individual parrot through occasional physical capture and daily radio telemetry observations, watch nests and provide supplemental food. Describing triumph and tragedy, she movingly conveys the magic of the forest and of an accidental encounter with a parrot in the wild. As always, the photographer's remarkable and clearly reproduced photographs support and enhance the text. The book's careful design is unobtrusive: The progress of an opening egg sets off page numbers, and fern patterns provide a subtle decoration. Bibliography and a website encourage readers' further explorations. Wonderful. (Scientists in the Field Series) (map, fundraising plug, acknowledgments, index) (Nonfiction. 9-13) Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Reviews 2010 June

Gr 5-8--Take a parrot. Color it green. Give it soft, fluffy feathers, and whiskers. Give it sumo proportions and take away its power of flight. Make it nocturnal, and have it nest underground. Aha! A kakapo! Once millions of these rather affable birds waddled all over New Zealand. Reduced (at present) to fewer than 90, the kakapo have been isolated on Codfish Island (free of feral cats, weasels, and stoats--all introduced species) and are now under the strict, careful guardianship of the New Zealand National Kakapo Recovery Team. Montgomery and Bishop were granted 10 days in which to accompany members of the team (many volunteering their time and efforts) as they radio-tracked the birds night and day in their forest habitat, weighed chicks, watched nesting behavior through hidden cameras, and plowed through gale-force winds and torrential rain to monitor the well-being of their charges. Excellent photos and a readable, conversational text provide an intimate look at a concerted effort to save a drastically endangered species unfamiliar to most of the world outside Down Under. Readers who enjoyed this author/photographer team's The Tarantula Scientist (2007) or Quest for the Tree Kangaroo (2006, both Houghton) will gobble up this tribute to ecological science in action.--Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY

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