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Birding to Change the World

Regular price $29.99

In this uplifting memoir, a professor and activist shares what birds can teach us about life, social change, and protecting the environment.

Trish O’Kane never expected to be a birder. It was a lone red cardinal and a bumptious cast of house sparrows that changed everything for O’Kane after Hurricane Katrina shattered her life in New Orleans. Watching birds thrive throughout the devastated city became her salvation and set her on a new path. Soon O’Kane found herself pursuing an environmental science PhD in Wisconsin, where she became a full-on bird obsessive—logging hours and hours in a stunningly diverse urban park, filling field notebooks with observations of bird doings and dramas, and volunteering in a wildlife rehabilitation center bird nursery.

But it wasn’t until that park, her bird-watching haven, was threatened with development that O’Kane became an environmental activist. Taking her cues from the birds, she mustered a mighty flock of fellow human park lovers to raise their voices and save the park.

Each chapter in Birding to Change the World features at least one species of bird that O’Kane has learned from. She recounts the astonishing science of bird life, including migration and survival strategies, along with many moving and compelling stories about birds and the humans who love them. In this heartfelt memoir, O’Kane shows what birds can teach us—and how that education can be a transformative force for social change.