My memoir, Field Notes from an Unintentional Birder, is published by Douglas & McIntyre and is available in Canada and the US on,, Indigo and at your favourite independent bookstore. It is also available as an audiobook, narrated by the wonderful Nan McNamara.

My wonderful book trailer, made by the excellent Annie Boyer at Douglas & McIntyre.

The book recounts my unlikely transformation from total nature-novice to bona fide bird nerd. Field Notes from an Unintentional Birder also tells the story of the unexpected pleasures of discovering one’s wild side and finding meaning in midlife through birds.

My book!

You can now watch the book launch, featuring Julia Zarankin, Charles Spearin, Steven Price & special musical guests!

Praise for the book:

Field Notes is featured in Globe and Mail Top 100 Books of 2020!

“Julia Zarankin’s memoir is a moving, and often hilarious, account of how she—a type A, perfectionistic, and nature-avoidant novice—became a bona fide “bird nerd,” transforming her life in the process. […] The book reveals that it was the wonder of the birds themselves that helped Zarankin heal, opening her eyes and her heart to a whole new way of being in the world.” Foreword Reviews

“This sense of wonder in the ordinary permeates “Field Notes From an Unintentional Birder,” a thoughtful, engaging and sometimes humorous memoir that documents Zarankin’s evolution from shy novice birder to confident expert.” Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Life-affirming, thoughtful, and thoroughly delightful, this book celebrates self-acceptance and the joy of living an unexpected life. An uplifting memoir for birders and nature enthusiasts.” Kirkus Reviews

“Julia Zarankin is a delight, and so is her witty, charming, self-deprecating memoir, Field Notes from an Unintentional Birder. By turns hilarious and moving, it traces Julia’s journey—almost against her will—into the world of birds and birding, where she ultimately finds a reflection of herself in the feathered migrants to which she becomes enthralled.”
–Scott Weidensaul, author of Living on the Wind

“Everyone who loves birds has arrived at their interest by a unique route, but few can describe their journey with the eloquence that Julia Zarankin brings to this sparkling memoir. With humor and poignancy, she tells a deeply personal story that manages to shine a light on universal themes.”
–Kenn Kaufman, author of Kingbird Highway

“This moving, quirky memoir isn’t about birds so much as falling in love with the world, its everyday wonders and absurdities. With refreshing candour and curiosity, Julia Zarankin shows us how to pay attention—to what we hope to see, and above all, to the unexpected.”
–Kate Harris, author of Lands of Lost Borders

“A love song to the beauty of birding and a reminder that we should all spend more time looking up.”
–Anne Bokma, author of My Year of Living Spiritually

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