16 pages of full-color photos in the book, however they were not included in this ARC.
Description: Each morning at first light, Michele Raffin steps outside to the bewitching bird music that heralds another day at Pandemonium Aviaries–a full symphony that swells from the most vocal of over three hundred avian throats representing over forty species. “It knocks me out, every day,” she admits.
Pandemonium Aviaries, the home and bird sanctuary that she shares with some of the world’s most remarkable birds, is a conservation organization dedicated to saving and breeding birds at the edge of extinction, including some of the largest populations of rare species in the world. And their behavior is even more fascinating than their glorious plumage or their songs. They fall in love, they mourn, they rejoice, they sacrifice, they have a sense of humor, they feel jealous, they invent, plot, cope, and sometimes they murder each other. As Michele says, “They teach us volumes about the interrelationships of humans and animals.”
Their amazing stories make up the heart of this book. There’s Sweetie, a tiny quail with an outsize personality; the inspiring Oscar, a disabled Lady Gouldian finch who can’t fly but finds a brilliant way to climb to the highest perches of his aviary to roost. The ecstatic reunion of sibling Victoria crowned pigeons, Wing and Coffee, is as wondrous as the silent kinship that develops between Amadeus, a one-legged Turaco, and an autistic young visitor. Michele shares with us the challenges of caring for such an extraordinary menagerie and the precarious fate of the birds themselves.
Ultimately, The Birds of Pandemonium is about one woman’s crusade to save precious lives, bird by bird, and offers a rare insight into how rescuing others, regardless of species, can lead to true happiness.
Dedication: To Ross, Jason, and Nick
Opening: Morning at Pandemonium: I rise every morning a 4:00 a.m. – gladly on most days – and pad as silently as possible across the terra-cotta-tiled floors of our home. If I make the smallest sound as I pass by the dining room, they might hear. I don’t want to set off our resident clown posse – not yet.
In the foothills of Santa Cruz range, Michell Raffin lives with her family, two donkeys, a pair of goats, a collie, a sheepdog, a cat and some birds in ‘Pandemonium Aviaries’.
Pandemonium Averies is a party house that also serves as a protected birds’ paradise.
This is a joyful book full of music and dance and birds. Who knew African grey parrots will form a conga line to the beat of hip-hop. You like birds, rare ones or not, you will love this.
“Michele Raffin has made an important contribution to saving endangered birds, and her book is a fascinating and rarely seen glimpse behind the scenes. The joy she gets from her close relationships with these amazing animals and her outsized commitment to them comes through loud and clear in this engaging and joyful book.” —Dominick Dorsa, Curator of Birds, San Francisco Zoo