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Alfie & Me: What Owls Know, What Humans Believe, by Carl Safina, Ph.D

Blank 2000 x 1500 (92)

Image Copyright: Carl Safina


When the ecologist Carl Safina took in a wounded baby screech owl, he expected that she’d be a temporary guest, just like other wild orphans he and his wife Patricia had rescued over the years. But the tiny creature—named Alfie—took a long time to heal. Carl and Patricia could never have predicted that when Alfie was finally able to live free, she would choose to maintain connection and establish her territory with their home at its center, attract a wild mate, and raise her babies right outside his studio window. Nor could they have guessed that the Covid-19 pandemic would grant the graciousness of time to form a profound bond with Alfie, while Alfie and her brood provided solace and sanity in a year upended.



Alfie when first rescued

Image Copyright: Carl Safina

In ALFIE & ME: What Owls Know, What Humans Believe [W. W. Norton & Company; October 2023], Safina relates how, through months of lockdown, Alfie pulled them into her world as through a portal. He explores the sorts of relationships that are possible when we blur the boundaries between humans and the rest of life on Earth, and he asks us to consider what might be gained by allowing ourselves to connect at a deeper level and what we lose through our culture’s self-imposed exile from the living world. ALFIE & ME is a compelling narrative into which Safina has woven natural history, cultural histories, and his keen insights into behavior wild and human. Fans of Barbara Kingsolver, Annie Dillard, Peter Matthiessen, John McPhee, and Barry Lopez will enjoy this book and will want to share it with others.


Alfie in fine plummage

Alfie in fine plummage.

Image Copyright: Carl Safina

Alfie first summer

Alfie's first summer.

Image Copyright: Carl Safina


Owlets at 7 days

Image Copyright: Carl Safina

Carl Safina is a MacArthur “genius” Fellow whose bestselling work has been internationally celebrated. Audubon magazine named him one of its ‘100 Notable Conservationists of the 20th Century’. He is the Endowed Professor for Nature and Humanity at the University of New York at Stony Brook (a position created especially for him) and is the founding president of the Safina Center.

Carl Safina, Ph.D, author of Becoming Wild and Beyond Words, is the recipient of Pew, MacArthur, Guggenheim, and National Science Foundation fellowships, and has written for the New York Times, Time, the Guardian, and National Geographic. He lives on Long Island, New York.  You can find out more about Carl Safina at https://www.carlsafina.org

Alfie & Me Book Cover (1)

Thumbnail_Carl Safina Author Pic Carl Safina