In 2013, Boston birder Neil Hayward traveled almost 250,000 miles by plane, car, boat, and kayak. As well as almost 10 feet vertically up a tree (where, you’ll be glad to hear, he successfully navigated his way back down). His quixotic quest: to see birds. His peregrinations took him to the corners of this vast continent: Barrow in the leaden, frozen north; the Dry Tortugas, dangling off the Florida Keys to the south; Newfoundland, poking out to the east; and tiny Adak, an island adrift in the volcanic Aleutian chain of the west. And a place they call New Jersey. By the year’s end, he’d netted some 749 species of bird and broken an historic record many thought was unbreakable.