The Sound Lab Foundation, together with the Friends of the Connecticut College Library, is sponsoring a visit to Connecticut College by Scott Weidensaul. Mr. Weidensaul is the author of more than two dozen books on natural history, including Living on the Wind: Across the Hemisphere with Migratory Birds, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2000, and The Ghost with Trembling Wings. He most recently published the new comprehensive "Peterson Reference Guide to Owls of North America and the Caribbean" and contributed to The Living Bird, a collection of photographs and essays marking the 100th anniversary of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
Mr. Weidensaul's lecture is entitled Birds of a Feather: A (Brief) History of American Birding. From the moment Europeans arrived in North America, they were awestruck by a continent awash with birds – great flocks of wild pigeons, woodlands alive with brilliantly colored songbirds. Mr. Weidensaul will trace the unpredictable history of bird study in America, from frontier ornithologists (one of whom barely escaped pursuing Apaches with a precious hawk egg hidden in his mouth) to society matrons who organized the first effective conservation movement; from luminaries like Alexander Wilson (a convicted libeler) and Audubon (an accomplished liar) to modern geniuses like Roger Tory Peterson. Based on his book "Of a Feather," this whirlwind history shows how ornithology and birding grew from eccentric hobbies into something so completely mainstream they're now (almost) cool.
You can also listen to an interview with Scott Weidensaul conducted last year by Terry Gross on NPR's Fresh Air.
The Sound Lab Foundation lecture will take place on Wednesday, November 9 at 4:30 pm in the Ernst Common Room, Blaustein Hall, on the campus of Connecticut College. A reception open to all will follow the lecture, which is free and open to the public.