In this illustrated talk, author Michael Edmonds will discuss his new book, Taking Flight: A History of Birds and People in the Heart of America.
Edmonds, Director of Programs and Outreach at the Wisconsin Historical Society and a long-time birder, will explain how and why people in the nation’s heartland worshipped, feared, studied, hunted, ate, and protected the birds that surrounded them over the last 12,000 years. From ancient American Indian shamans to modern conservationists, our predecessors thought about and acted toward birds differently than we do. Edmonds will share stories from his 30 years of research among unpublished manuscripts, rare books, archaeological reports, and historic places that led to Taking Flight. Whether you’re a casual bird-watcher, a hard-core life-lister, or simply someone who loves the outdoors, you'll encounter new ways of thinking about birds, people, and the extraordinary history that connects them.
Michael Edmonds is Director of Programs and Outreach at the Wisconsin Historical Society and the author of several books on Wisconsin history including Taking Flight: A History of Birds and People in the Heart of America; Warriors, Saints and Scoundrels: Brief Portraits of Real People Who Shaped Wisconsin; The Wisconsin Capitol: Stories of a Monument and Its People; Risking Everything: A Freedom Summer Reader; and Out of the Northwoods: The Many Lives of Paul Bunyan. He is a 1976 graduate of Harvard University and has taught part-time at the University of Wisconsin-Madison since 1986 in addition to his work at the Historical Society. For more than a decade he wrote the weekly column, “Odd Wisconsin,” which was syndicated in newspapers around the state. His work has won national awards from the American Folklore Society and the American Association for State and Local History.