A Wing And A Prayer

Desolate but beautiful, tucked in a northwest corner of China so distant from populated areas that it lies near the spot where Beijing developed its first atomic bomb, Bird Island could be the last place on Earth. But for migratory birds, the island—actually a small peninsula protruding into Qinghai Lake, China's largest saltwater lake—is the avian equivalent of a busy international airport. Each year in the late spring and summer, hundreds of thousands of wild birds of almost 200 different species land here to lay eggs and hatch their young, before departing for wintering grounds that range from Europe to South...

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