Dare to Bird

Exploring the Joy and Healing Power of Birds

ISBN 9781771606547
Softcover | Publication Date: April 16, 2024
Book Dimensions: 8.5 x 9.5
224 Pages

About the Book

A powerful photographic journey that celebrates the healing power of birds.

Melissa Hafting is an ethical, passionate, and respected birder, photographer, and mentor. Her love for birding has helped shape who she is and has helped with her mental health, along with enabling her to cope with the difficult aspects of grief and loss after the death of her mother and father.

Showcasing some of Melissa’s most stunning bird images from the continental United States, Hawaii, and Canada, Dare to Bird explores the joy that birding and photography has brought to her life and how both have allowed her to foster meaningful connections with young birders from diverse backgrounds, along with the conservation community, eco-travel advocates, rare bird enthusiasts, and ethical wildlife viewing practitioners in order to preserve bird habitats that are constantly under threat. At the same time, she is determined to expand birding to include more BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour), women, and LGBTQIA+ through youth outreach and talking about the barriers (racism and sexism) she herself has faced in her journey to become part of the birding community.

The magical imagery of birds is unparalleled in this inspiring collection, and Hafting helps the reader to understand why – as she believes – birds have the power to both save and heal us amid many of life’s challenges.


About the Author(s)

Melissa Hafting is an ecologist, bird guide, author, and photographer. She founded the BC Young Birders Program in 2014, which aims to bring together youth of all races, sexual orientations, and genders to look at birds on fun excursions in the natural world. The program also helps teach youth about citizen science and the importance of bird conservation. Melissa is also passionate about making birding more inclusive for all, especially for BIPOC birders like herself. She is an avid traveller and loves to explore the world looking for birds. Melissa is an eBird reviewer for the province of BC and sits on the board of directors of the Frontiers in Ornithology Association. She was also a judge for the 2022 and 2023 Audubon Photography Awards, recipient of BC Nature’s 2021 Daphne Solecki Award for contributing to nature education for children in British Columbia, a finalist for the 2021 Nature Inspiration Awards for the Canadian Museum of Nature, and a lead in the 2020 CBC TV Documentary Rare Bird Alert. Her photography can be viewed on her Instagram account @bcbirdergirl (+10,000 followers). Melissa lives in Richmond, British Columbia.