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January 23, 2015 / Leslie

The Birds of Pandemonium – Life Among the Exotic and the Endangered

BirdsOfPandemoniumThe Birds of Pandemonium
by Michele Raffin

Genre: Non-Fiction / Birds
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Publish Date: October 2014
Format: Hardcover | 240 pages
Rating: 5 of 5

From the Publisher

Pandemonium, the home and bird sanctuary that Raffin 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, with the goal of eventually releasing them into the wild. In The Birds of Pandemonium, she lets us into her world–and theirs. Birds fall in love, mourn, rejoice, and sacrifice; they have a sense of humor, invent, plot, and cope. They can teach us volumes about the interrelationships of humans and animals.

Quick Take

The roadside rescue of a single white dove was the beginning of author Michele Raffin’s journey into the world of birds. Soon her small aviary evolved into a bird sanctuary and, eventually, a conservation organization to rescue and breed birds that are in danger of extinction. I loved every minute of this delightful book. If I was a rescued bird, I would want to live at Pandemonium Aviaries.

More Thoughts

This is an easy read and is written in a humorous and engaging style. I quickly found myself imagining the sights and sounds of the aviary – the birds calling and dancing in the morning. I could easily relate to the author’s love of birds – I volunteer as a wild bird monitor and at a rescue shelter for companion birds who have lost their homes.

Seriously, birds do dance! They have names. The have unique personalities and a story to tell. The author found it difficult to say no to any bird that needed a home and her aviary grew rapidly. Some birds were abandoned by their owners, some were rescued from bad homes, others were dropped off on her doorstep.

A few of the birds I was particularly fond of were: Sweetie, a tiny quail, who was meant to be someone’s dinner! Amigo, a Red-headed Amazon that ‘chose’ the author’s son as his new owner by picking the lock on his cage, flying to the young boy’s shoulder, and then preening his hair. And then there was Shana, a heartbroken Amazon whose owners didn’t want her anymore when she no longer fit into their lifestyle. I could go on and on because they are all amazing birds.

We experience the good and the bad, the highs and the lows, the thrill of an endangered species successfully breeding, and the sad times when mistakes are made, disease strikes, or birds die. But overall, an uplifting story of one woman’s unending devotion to her birds. Even those who know nothing about birds will find themselves captivated by these beautiful creatures.

More information about the organization, the birds, and gorgeous color photos of them can be found at

Source: Review copy provided by LibraryThing.
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Leave a Comment
  1. Beth Hoffman / Jan 23 2015 6:11 pm

    This book is right up my alley!


  2. BermudaOnion / Jan 23 2015 8:13 pm

    I could see you doing the same thing as Raffin. This book sounds terrific!


  3. stacybuckeye / Jan 23 2015 10:16 pm

    What a beautiful book. And one I’d like Gage to look at!


    • Leslie / Jan 24 2015 12:43 am

      I should also mention that the book has several sections of color photos of the birds. I’m sure Gage would enjoy looking at them.


  4. Mary / Jan 24 2015 5:29 am

    Sounds like a wonderful book!


  5. Sheila (Book Journey) / Jan 24 2015 11:28 am

    That is for sure your kind of book!


  6. Suko / Jan 24 2015 11:50 am

    A perfect book for you, Leslie! 🙂



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