Birds of Pandemonium
(life among the exotic and endangered)
by Michele Raffin (2014)
What started as a rescue operation over 15 years ago, is now a premier breeding facility and conservation program in California: Pandemonium Avaries, now a non profit organization with a volunteer staff of 63. Raffin has a masters from Stanford Business School, and won a gold medal at the 2011 Pan America Olympic Games.
From a wisdom of owls, a murder of crows, an kindness of ravens, an ascension of larks, a parliament of rooks, a lamentation of swans, an ostentation of peacocks, ...to a pandemonium of parrots. How appropriate.
She fell in love with birds, they returned the favor. Many breed here and no where else! There are over 360 birds, from 34 species, 6 nearly extinct. This is a remarkable story that doesn't require an ornithology degree, is full of humor and perfect for the holidays. There are many lovely colour photos full of the characters! Her husband and children were strong supporters, and now the birds are helping her cope with the dissolution of her marriage.
NB: She has done a fascinating TED talk, not to be missed.
NPR recommended. Don't miss it, especially for your non fiction Christmas readers.
Buy the book and help her cause.