Michigan author series opens Oct. 1 at Manistee County Library

The 2013 Michigan Author Series kicks off on Tuesday, October 1 at 6:30 pm with Bill Rapai, author of “The Kirtland’s Warbler: The Story of a Bird’s Fight Against Extinction and the People Who Saved It.”

At a time when the world is seeing its species rapidly go extinct, the Kirtland’s warbler is not just a survivor, it’s a rock star. People from all over the world come to northern Michigan every year to view this endangered species in its jack pine habitat.

They come to see because it is rare, yes, but the Kirtland’s warbler has a story arc unlike any other animal. When its total population fell below 400 birds only 25 years ago, a small group of dedicated biologists, researchers and volunteers vowed to save the Kirtland’s warbler from extinction despite long odds.

Beginning with an account of the warbler’s discovery in the mid-nineteenth century and ornithologists’ desperate hunt for information on the elusive new species, this presentation goes on to examine the dramatic events that led to its precarious status, its emergence as a lightning rod for controversy, and how strong leadership, vision, commitment, sustained effort, and cooperation came together to conserve a beautiful and unusual bird.

William Rapai is president of Grosse Pointe Audubon Society and has traveled across North America and to Cuba, Iceland, and Thailand to view and research birds. He was an award-winning reporter and editor for the Grand Forks Herald, the Detroit Free Press, and the Boston Globe. This is his first book.

This program is free and everyone is invited. The library is located at 95 Maple Street in Manistee. Call 723-2519 for more information.

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