Space for Birds
Patterns and Parallels of Beauty and Flight
The lives and habitats of two majestic bird species are shared through striking space, aerial, and surface photographs to artfully convey the fragile elegance of life on Earth.Buy Book
New perspectives can inspire us to think differently about our place in the universe. The first photos of Earth from space showed the home of all known life as a small “blue marble” in a vast darkness and are thought by many to have inspired the environmental movement. For Dr. Roberta L. Bondar, the first female Canadian astronaut and the world’s first neurologist in space, the rare perspective she enjoyed aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery enhanced her reverence for the world we share with non-human life—especially birds, the only animals also able to fly vast distances across the globe.
In Space for Birds: Patterns and Parallels of Beauty and Flight, Bondar, also an accomplished professional nature and landscape photographer, focuses her lens on two international species: the endangered Whooping Crane, which migrates from its boreal nesting grounds in Canada’s Wood Buffalo National Park to the seaside abundance of its winter habitat in Texas; and the near-threatened Lesser Flamingo, which is seen in dazzling pink flocks on and above East African Rift Valley soda lakes. Photos from the International Space Station convey the continental scale of these birds’ travels, and Bondar’s aerial and surface photos, accompanied by insights both scientific and personal, offer intimate glimpses of their daily lives and unique behaviours. While these birds lead different lives on opposite sides of the globe, they share, with each other and with us, an imperative to survive and a reliance on Earth’s fragile ecosystems.
“A fascinating and beautifully illustrated book that zooms in and out between an astronaut’s orbital perspective, aerial views of some unique and fragile environments, and intimate portraits of the elegant birds that live and breed there.”
— Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, scientist, astronaut, explorer, author
“Embark on a breathtaking photographic journey combining brilliant writing with awe-inspiring images as Dr. Bondar chronicles the mounting environmental challenges facing two struggling species.”
—Steve Perry, wildlife photographer, author, educator
“A gorgeous photo essay by Roberta Bondar, first female Canadian astronaut: two migratory birds, Whooping Crane and Lesser Flamingo, and what their necessary habitats look like. In one word, stunning!”
—Margaret Atwood, writer, (via Twitter)