"Pandemonium"- the name for her home and 34 aviaries, began with the rescue of a domesticated dove, which had been attacked, then dropped, by a hawk. When the dove did not survive, Michele 's instant sense of loss was replaced by the adoption of six domestic doves which the owner threatened to release (to certain death) if they weren't adopted. The rest is "history". The name "Pandemonium" was chosen by Michele's four children, an obvious reference to the daily chaos in their home filled with kids and up to 250 adopted and/or fostered birds.
The heart of this book is the wonderful, wacky, and interesting behavior of captive birds. As Michele writes, "Birds mourn, they sacrifice, they engage in wicked tricks. They name their babies. They invent, they plot, they cope and, as you'll see, some of them know devilishly well how to manipulate unsuspecting humans."
In addition, the author's interest in rescued birds led to a focus on breeding endangered birds. She currently raises Lady Gouldian finches (an endangered Australian species), Victoria Crowned pigeons (threatened by conversion of New Guinea rain forests into palm plantations) and three other "imperiled" species. Michele's stories of successes and failures at raising these birds offers even more detailed glimpses into the emotional, social and physical needs of birds.
Her meticulous record-keeping, passionate interests, curiosity, and sense of humor merge to create a well-written, fun-to-read book for anyone interested in learning more about birds.
Planning your next birding trip? . . . the American Bird Conservancy (ABC) and its partners have introduced a Conservation Birding web site that allows birders to find lodges that contribute to bird conservation in the Americas. Check out. . . American Bird Conversancy Web site.
Share the View, an international photo contest sponsored by the Audubon Society of Greater Denver, is accepting entries until December 1st. You can read more about the rules, prizes and see last year's winning photographs at this website . . .Denver's Audubon Web site.