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  Michael Furtman



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Michael Furtman's
On The Wings of a North Wind

A Journey With Waterfowl
Now Back In Print!!!

On The Wings of a North Wind cover

It was for me, as it would be for any of us in love with ducks and geese, a dream come true.

In September of 1989 I packed my pickup camper full of supplies, called my wonderful companion Rascal into the cab and to my side, kissed my wife farewell, and headed for Saskatchewan.

Over the next three months my black lab and I would wander south, following the duck and goose migration. I wanted to sense the migration urge as the birds did, wanted to feel the threat of winter push me south, wanted to see the sloughs at which they paused, to at last reach the marshes of the Gulf Coast and smell the salt in the air.

From Quill Lakes, Saskatchewan, to Bayou LaFourche, Louisiana we traveled, wandering through Manitoba, the Dakotas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Illinois, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Louisiana, watching the birds we love, hunting as we went, and talking to the people whose lives are touched by waterfowl, or who touch the lives of the birds.

This book is the story of my dream trip, alive with the sounds and sights of the marsh, full of the magic of waterfowl. It is a travelogue, and a meandering of body and soul. There is great beauty in this book as wrought by God and nature, and a chronicle of the destruction of fragile waterfowl habitat by man.

It also tells of the remarkable resilience of nature, especially when given assistance by dedicated people. The year of the trip, 1989, was during the peak of one of the worst droughts in recent time. Duck populations were crashing, and the drought, though a natural phenomenon to which ducks are well adapted, gave some people the chance they needed to plow up, burn or otherwise destroy more of the already dwindled wetlands on the waterfowl breeding grounds. But the book also tells the story of the vision and generosity of other farmers, as well as conservationists and government agencies, to restore habitat, to work together for the benefit of wildlife at a time when the future of waterfowl - prairie nesting ducks in particular - was very much in doubt.

First published in 1991 as a hardcover by Stackpole Press, I'm making it available again as a softcover. This edition contains a foreword by renowned conservation writer Ted Williams, as well as addendums that encapsulate what has occurred to both waterfowl and their habitat in the decade since I made the trip.

If you have dreamt of such a journey, if ducks and geese and the magic places in which they thrive stir your heart, if, like me, some of the greatest friends you've been blessed to know are the dogs in your life, then join me on this trip. You will not regret it.


ISBN 9780916691035
Birch Portage Press, 2017
Softcover, 184 pages


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