Bird Brother: A Falconer’s Journey and the Healing Power of Wildlife

Island. Feb. 2022. 208p. ISBN 9781642831740. $26. MEMOIR
In this debut memoir, Stotts describes his path to becoming a master falconer and wildlife educator. He begins by telling of his childhood in Washington, DC, during the 1980s and his eventual arrest for dealing drugs. However, a job cleaning up the Anacostia River and later mentoring with the Environmental Conservation Corp drew him to raptors and sharing his love and expertise of raptors and nature with others. He tells how birds, and the draw of the outdoors, kept capturing his attention; he cared for Mr. Hoots, an injured Eurasian eagle owl used in outdoor education, and he helped reintroduce eagles in the Anacostia watershed. Stotts describes learning simple, but difficult to master truths about raptors and that they require love, patience, and respect. Stotts writes for others who may be looking for wisdom, and he does not sugarcoat the poverty and institutional racism he faced as a Black boy growing up in Washington, DC.
VERDICT Stotts’s gift for storytelling, as an educator and public speaker, is on full display in this remarkable memoir; it’s thought-provoking, moving, and inspiring.
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