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Ian Fraser - Birds in Their Habitats

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As the recent Bird of the Year proved it, we are a land of twitchers. Everywhere we go there are birds, and they all have mysteries to be unravelled that we humans attempt to discover. These mysteries include the way they look, from bizarre to apparently mundane, why they live where they live, and the things they do, many of which are far too incredible ever to be imagined as fiction. 

Birds in Their Habitats is a collection of stories and experiences, which introduce fascinating aspects of birdlife, ecology and behaviour. Informed by a wealth of historical and contemporary research, Canberra naturalist and conservationist Ian Fraser takes the reader on a journey through four continents: from places as unfamiliar as the Chonos Archipelago of southern Chile and the arid Sahel woodlands of northern Cameroon, to those as familiar as a suburban backyard. This is a book of discovery of birds and the places they live. And with humour and personal insight, it is a book about the sometimes strange world of the people who spend a life absorbed in birds.

In conversation with Genevieve Jacobs

Tickets: $12 (includes a complimentary glass of house wine or soft drink)


Ian Fraser is a Canberra naturalist, conservationist and author, who has spent his life seeking to understand how the nature of Australia works. He has been a regular natural history broadcaster on local ABC for over 20 years, ran educational bush tours around Australia for over 30 years and to South America for the past decade, and served on an ACT government environment advisory body for 30 years, chairing it for 12. He has taught an ‘Understanding Birds’ course for 20 years through the Australian National University’s Centre for Continuing Education, and trained hundreds of Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve interpretive volunteers in the nature of Australia. In recognition of his work he was awarded the Australian Natural History Medallion in 2006 and a Medal of the Order of Australia in 2018. Ian’s other books are: A Bush Capital Year (with artist Peter Marsack) and Australian Bird Names (with Jeannie Gray), both awarded Whitley Certificates by the Royal Zoological Society of NSW.

Genevieve Jacobs has been a journalist for 30 years, working in print and radio. She is the former mornings presenter for ABC Canberra where her trademark was close connection with the community. She sits on the ACT’s advisory committee for historic places and the boards of the National Folk Festival, the Canberra International Music Festival, the Conflict Resolution Service and the M16 Artspace.

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