Searching for America's Vanishing Birds in 'Flock Together'
Around the world, more than 1,300 bird species currently face extinction. This is on top of the already recorded 190 species of birds that have become extinct since 1500. After UW-Eau Claire professor B.J. Hollars discovered a book of photographs of now-extinct birds, he began a yearlong journey to uncover the reasons why so many North American avian animals have vanished from the globe. His cross-country quest has culminated in the memoir Flock Together: A Love Affair with Extinct Birds, a remarkable study of the natural world and an introspective musing on our ecological responsibilities. As Hollars travels from metropolitan museums and dusty specimen cabinets to his own backyard, he engages readers with a colorful cast of characters and a sharp narrative wit.
Hollars teaches English at UW-Eau Claire and is the author of numerous books, including From the Mouths of Dogs: What Our Pets Teach Us About Life, Death, and Being Human and Thirteen Loops: Race, Violence and the Last Lynching in America. He also serves as a contributing blogger for Brain,Child and Michigan Quarterly Review and founded the Chippewa Valley Writers Guild, a regional arts program that supports Wisconsin writers. Hollars will speak about his 2017 release Flock Together at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 16, at the Riverside Park Urban Ecology Center, 1500 E. Park Place. This event is co-sponsored by Boswell Book Co. General admission is a suggested $10 ($5 for Urban Ecology members).