A few weeks ago I received an email from someone at Harper Collins offering me a review copy of a new book by Suzie Gilbert called Flyaway: How a Wild Bird Rehabber Sought Adventure and Found Her Wings. I replied right way asking for a copy. The book came in the mail and I dove right in. I really enjoyed this book. From early on Suzie Gilbert always had an affinity for animals, both wild ones and pets and she especially loved birds. After college her career path eventually led her to a job in an animal clinic where she found herself drawn to injured birds. That interest led to her becoming a volunteer at a rehab facility for raptors. She eventually became a licensed rehabber herself and began rehabbing birds at her country home. The stories of various birds brought to her for care are often hilarious but sometimes heart-breaking. Trying to find a balance between raising two young children and her admitted obsession with birds was very difficult for her. She told stories of carrying a basket of baby birds along with her to her children' games so she could keep up with the non-stop, every 30 minute feeding schedules. Bringing nestlings up to the age of releasability was a huge time commitment.
Several years ago I volunteered at a wildlife rehab center. My duties included syringe-feeding the baby bunnies and cleaning various cages. I became very adept at giving an injured Canada Goose her daily pills (not an easy job) and cleaning her pen. If you think geese on a golf course are messy, think of the mess one could make in a small room! I also got to use my laboratory background by doing white blood cell counts on the animals needing them. I even drew blood from ducks and rabbits. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there and actually bought the materials to study to become a licensed rehabber. Life got in the way. My Dad's health became poor and I started back to work part time in a hospital laboratory. Then that rehab center closed and I didn't have the time or ambition to follow through on those plans. Reading Suzie Gilbert's book brought back lots of memories and maybe a few regrets that I had never completed that path that I had started. But her honesty in telling of the conflicts and difficulties of committing to rehabbing showed me that it really wasn't meant to be, at least for that point in my life.
Now let's get to the giveaway! Kyle Hansen from Harper Collins offered to send free copies of the book to ten people who would like one. If you're interested, reply in the comments AND send me an email with your full name and mailing address to