is president of
Pandemonium Aviaries, a conservation organization dedicated
to saving birds. A former high-tech executive, Raffin began
taking in abandoned and discarded birds fifteen years ago,
housing them in her backyard a half hour south of San Francisco.
is still in Raffin’s backyard, but it is now one of the premier
facilities breeding and caring for avian species facing
extinction due to the destruction of their natural habitats. The
aviary has the largest population of rare green-naped pheasant
pigeons under conservation in the world and the second largest
population of the endangered Victoria crowned pigeons.
Raffin, who also
lives with turacos, lorikeets, East African cranes, finches, and
doves (as well as parrots, donkeys, goats, two dogs, and one
cat!) is a dedicated avian advocate and a passionate observer of
birdlife, and in The Birds of Pandemonium her
enthusiasm for and special relationship with these winged
creatures comes through radiantly. A certified aviculturist and
regular consultant to zoos and breeders, Raffin has spoken at
the TEDx conference, is the conservation columnist for the
Avicultural Society of America’s Avicultural Bulletin,
and has served as cochair of a large humane society and on the
board of a companion bird rescue organization. And on a
completely different note, Raffin won a gold medal at the 2011
Pan American Olympic Weight Lifting Championship and holds the
Pan American Masters record.
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October 10, 2014