How a Wild Bird Rehabber Sought Adventure and Found her Wings
by Suzie Gilbert
It\’s entirely thanks to Bookfool that I discovered this book. A few days after reading her review and noting that I\’d want to read it someday, I was at the library browsing and just happened to look it up in the catalog. It was on the shelf! So I checked it out right away, and from page one knew I\’d love it: this is my kind of book!
Flyaway is about a mother of two who starts taking in wild birds that need to recuperate before being released. At least, that\’s her original plan. But as more people in the bird-loving and wildlife-rescue circles find out about her flight cages and willingness to help, she finds herself taking on more and more birds, including ones with more serious problems and injuries. Among the struggles to help wounded birds take flight again (learning as she goes what kind of treatment and care the many different species need), the author reveals her struggles to balance family life with her (unpaid) work, her relationship with nearby veterinarians, her disagreements and commiserations with other rehabbers, and the chaos somethings thrown into things by her two parrots. There are exquisite illustrations drawn by artist Laura Westlake, and the descriptive writing used to describe the many different birds, their individuality and beauty is just wonderful. Of course some parts are sad, lots of birds die, there are callous people who intentionally harm them, others who don\’t think time and effort should be spent healing a common sparrow, etc. It just about breaks your heart to read about how the author agonized over each little feathered life she couldn\’t save, and tried to find the boundaries that would allow her to contine doing what she loved without burning out or neglecting her family. There were always far too many birds in need than people available to care for them.
I really enjoyed this book. I learned so many things about birds, and admire the author immensely for what she does for them.
Rating: 4/5 …….. 340 pages, 2009