PAWcast: Writer Julia Zarankin *04 on Falling for Birding

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Birds arrived in Julia Zarankin’s life at a moment of change. In her memoir, Field Notes from an Unintentional Birder, she writes that the career she worked so hard for had become unfulfilling, and her first marriage had fallen apart. Her search for meaning took her to a birding group in Toronto, where she fell hard for the red-winged blackbird. That sighting began a decade-long love affair with the avian world that took Julia to many places to find birds, including a sewage lagoon, the first of many, and to a rain-soaked tent on Straten Island, Maine, to count black-bellied plovers. Along the way she learned life lessons, including how to really listen, how to leave perfectionism at the door, and how to cultivate a sense of wonder.

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