Competive birding is the sport version of bird watching - to track how many bird species can be sighted within in a specified geography in a specified timeframe. And it's an obsession for a select few - especially when it comes to capturing the "Big Year" record for North America. Here are two highly engaging books on the subject -
The Big Year: A tale of man, nature and fowl obsession (2004) by Mark Obmascik
Thanks in part to El Nino, 1998 was a banner year for birding, with many rare species being blown off their normal migration routes and into North America. Obmascik chronicles the efforts of three men (each quite a "character" in his own right) criss-crossing their way across the continent in a chase for the new record. A well-written, fast-paced and humorous read. Check catalog for availability.
Kingbird Highway: The biggest year in the life of an extreme birder (2006) by Kenn Kaufman
Noted ornithologist Kenn Kaufmann recounts his 1973 attempt at a "Big Year", humbly hitchhiking his way across the continent on a minuscule budget. Along the way, he comes-of-age, both as a birder and a man. An inspiring read on multiple levels.
Check catalog for availability.