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Rare Bird Club names new Honorary Presidents

Margaret Atwood and Graeme Gibson

Noted Canadian authors and conservation activists Margaret Atwood and Graeme Gibson have accepted a joint role as Honorary Presidents of BirdLife International’s Rare Bird Club.

A couple for the past thirty-five years, they presently live in Toronto, Canada, but have also lived in Australia, France, the US and the UK. They are internationally recognized figures with extensive interests in and experience of wider nature conservation who are noted for their generosity in time and effort on behalf of other writers, social causes and conservation. They are both avid birders.

"I look forward to having two such passionate and enthusiastic individuals of international stature to work with in support of BirdLife’s programmes on behalf of birds and biodiversity." Said Dr Michael Rands, Director & Chief Executive, BirdLife Margaret Atwood is an award-winning novelist, poet, literary critic and one of the world's best known – and best-selling – authors. She has written more than 40 books, including The Handmaid’s Tale, Alias Grace, Cat’s Eye and the Booker-Prize winning novel The Blind Assassin.

Graeme Gibson is one of Canada’s foremost contemporary writers and editors and is the acclaimed author of Five Legs, Perpetual Motion and Gentleman Death. His most recent work is The Bedside Book of Birds: an Avian Miscellany (2005), hailed by Globe and Mail as "the most spectacular bird book of the year". Mr Gibson has played an active role in bringing North American and Cuban ornithologists together to provide training in field techniques to Cuban ornithologists. He is also chairman of the Pelee Island Bird Observatory in Ontario, Canada."We are thrilled to have been asked to fill this crucial position, and we look forward to working with BirdLife International, and to doing what we can to help it in its vital work." said Margaret Atwood & Graeme Gibson

As joint Honorary Presidents, Atwood and Gibson will represent BirdLife's Rare Bird Club at the highest level, advising on its growth and development, and engaging members in supporting programs for the benefit of bird conservation.

The Rare Bird Club was founded in 1988 by Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands. Since that time members have provided support that enables BirdLife to conduct scientific research, priority international projects and advocacy work. Members come from all walks of life including heads of state and industry, distinguished international citizens, concerned individuals and families. The Rare Bird Club is for nature lovers, keen birders and conservationists from all over the globe.

On Thursday 1 June at 4pm at the Kaitsu Lecture Theatre, New Hall in Cambridge (UK), Graeme Gibson will discuss The Bedside Book of Birds in a public lecture sponsored by BirdLife International. More details to follow.

4th July 2014