This Book Club is for the Birds

08/08/2024 03:00 PM - 04:30 PM PT


Book Club


  • Free


Online meeting


A book club for bird brains and nature nuts!


Join our book club!
Each month, we'll feature a book for your reading pleasure, and we'll meet to talk about it.

August 8, 2024 3:00 - 4:30 pmBirding Under the Influence: Cycling Across America in Search of Birds and Recovery by Dorian Anderson
A neuroscience researcher walks away from the world of elite institutions, research labs, and academic publishing to embrace his lifelong passion for birding, embarking on a quixotic quest for a record-setting Big Year traveling only by bicycle. He pedals over 17,800 miles in twelve months, describing the birds he sees while confronting the challenges of long-distance cycling: extreme weather, punctured tires, speeding cars and injury. He encounters eccentric characters, blistering blacktop, dreary hotel rooms, snarling dogs and an endless sea of smoking tailpipes. He also confronts his past struggles with alcohol, drugs and other risky behaviors. Ultimately, his love of birds provides the scaffolding to build his new life.  Purchase your copy from San Diego Audubon Society. Zoom link

September 12, 2024 3-4:30 pm Keep Looking Up by Tammah Watts
It began with a flutter of yellow feathers flitting through the trees, casting beams of sunshine and promise that burst through her kitchen window. This was her sign to look up.
As a licensed therapist, Tammah Watts knew that she needed to seek and accept hope, love, and support to overcome her chronic pain and cultivate resilience. But she could not predict that the little yellow bird would put her on the path to healing by fostering a powerful connection with birds and the experience of birding. Tammah shares her emotional journey of finding comfort and inspiration from her feathered friends, while providing practical tips and tools to help you explore the practice of birdwatching, increase self-awareness, and find acceptance and alignment with the spirit and beauty of birds.  Right outside your door flies just what you’ve been looking for to help ease symptoms of stress, pain, depression, and anxiety. All you have to do is look up, take notice, and open your heart and mind. No matter where you are, what you look like, or what you're going through, you can create sacred space and connection with birds and begin to heal.  Zoom link

October 10, 2024 3-4:30 pm An Immense World by Ed Yong 
The Earth teems with sights and textures, sounds and vibrations, smells and tastes, electric and magnetic fields. But every kind of animal, including humans, is enclosed within its own unique sensory bubble, perceiving but a tiny sliver of our immense world. In An Immense World, Ed Yong coaxes us beyond the confines of our own senses, allowing us to perceive the skeins of scent, waves of electromagnetism, and pulses of pressure that surround us. We encounter beetles that are drawn to fires, turtles that can track the Earth’s magnetic fields, fish that fill rivers with electrical messages, and even humans who wield sonar like bats. We discover that a crocodile’s scaly face is as sensitive as a lover’s fingertips, that the eyes of a giant squid evolved to see sparkling whales, that plants thrum with the inaudible songs of courting bugs, and that even simple scallops have complex vision. We learn what bees see in flowers, what songbirds hear in their tunes, and what dogs smell on the street. We listen to stories of pivotal discoveries in the field, while looking ahead at the many mysteries that remain unsolved.  Zoom link

November 14, 2024 3-4:30 pm The Birds that Audubon Missed by Kenn Kaufman
Raging ambition. Towering egos. Competition under a veneer of courtesy. Heroic effort combined with plagiarism, theft, exaggeration, and fraud. This was the state of bird study in eastern North America during the early 1800s, as a handful of intrepid men raced to find the last few birds that were still unknown to science. The most famous name in the bird world was John James Audubon, who aimed to illustrate (and write about) as many different species as possible. He obsessed with trying to outdo his rivals. The grudges were bitter, and claims were made of plagiarism and fakery.  Other naturalists of the era, including Charles Bonaparte (nephew of Napoleon), John Townsend, and Thomas Nuttall, also became entangled in the scientific derby.
Despite this intense competition, a few species managed to evade discovery for years. Here, renowned bird expert and artist Kenn Kaufman explores this period in history from a new angle, by considering the birds these people discovered and, especially, the ones they missed. Kaufman has created portraits of the birds that Audubon never saw, attempting to paint them in that artist’s own stunning style, as a way of examining the history of natural sciences and nature art. He shows how our understanding of birds continues to gain clarity, even as some mysteries persist from Audubon’s time until ours.  Zoom link

We've partnered with Warwicks to make these titles available. You'll receive a 20% discount! Order online at the following links:

Keep Looking Up by Tammah Watts

An Immense World by Ed Yong
The Birds that Audubon Missed by Kenn Kaufman

Past titles:

July 11, 2024 3:00 - 4:30 pm - Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
June 13, 2024 3:00 - 4:30 pm - Better Living Through Birding: Notes from a Black Man in the Natural World by Christian Cooper