[CT Birds] Luke Dempsey, author of "A Supremely Bad Idea" to speak at COA Annual Meeting

ELKINS, Kenneth kelkins at audubon.org
Tue Mar 2 11:18:57 EST 2010

Hello everyone,

We have made a change to our Annual Meeting program on March 20th- Olivia Gentile, Author of "Life List" has cancelled all of her spring programs.  Luckily, another great birding novel was published recently by the same group, and the author Luke Dempsey has agreed to come share his story with us.

"A Supremely Bad Idea" by Luke Dempsey
It began with a weekend house; then weekend trips. Then the occasional meeting rearranged in favor of a morning in Central Park, just while the spring migration was on. Before Luke Dempsey knew it, he had spiraled down into full-on birding mania - finding himself riding along with two like-minded maniacs in a series of disreputable rental cars and even nastier motel rooms, charging madly around the country in search of its rarest and most beautiful birds.  A Supremely Bad Idea is the story of that search, and those birds, and those maniacs, and that country, and (to a much lesser extent) those rental cars. In Texas, the three obsessives go in search of the deeply endangered Golden-cheeked Warbler, which lives on the side of a hill near a waterfall; in Michigan, they see the pretty-much-extinct Kirtland's Warbler, which insists on short pine trees for nesting and lots of "quiet, please"; in Arizona, they see the very private Elegant Trogon after a very public fight with a birding guide. Along the way, Dempsey narrates an amazing sequence of encounters with nature and humanity, including a man building a 40-foot ark in his Seattle backyard; a beautiful woman who shows him how to kill 4,000 Cowbirds a year; a coyote (and his human smuggler) on the Rio Grande; and everywhere, these incandescent birds flitting across the range of his binoculars, and his heart.  With the casual erudition of a Bill Bryson and the comic timing of a British David Sedaris, Dempsey demonstrates why so many millions of birders care so much about birds - and why, perhaps, the rest of us should, too.

Luke Dempsey is the Editorial Director for Ballantine Books, a division of Random House. A graduate of Oxford University, he moved to the United States in 1995, since when he's held a number of editorial positions in the publishing industry. He is the proud father of twin girls, both of whom love birds, too, and a proud member of the modern beat combo The Railbangers. This is his first book.

**To include lunch with your registration, please register before March 8th.  You can download a copy of the registration form on our website,

Hope to see you at the Annual Meeting!

Ken Elkins
Education Programs Manager
Audubon Center at Bent of the River
185 Flat Hill Road
Southbury, CT  06488
kelkins at audubon.org<mailto:kelkins at audubon.org>

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