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Hannah Bourne-Taylor talks to Matt Stadlen

Hay on Earth Forum: Reconnections – Fledgling

Hay Festival 2022 , 

A tiny wild bird changed Hannah Bourne-Taylor’s life. Fledgling tells the story of how rescuing, hand raising and releasing first a swift, then a finch, while living a remote existence in rural Ghana, redefined her identity and helped her overcome isolation and anxiety. Sharing part of her life with a finch who accepted Hannah as his surrogate mother, the vast differences between humans and wild creatures shrunk so there were none. Through remarkable dedication, Hannah took on the challenge of reuniting the finch with his family flock in the wild, their bond allowing them to overcome many adversities. Swifts play a huge role in Fledgling too, these awe-inspiring birds inadvertently teaching her life lessons and helping her connect to the landscape.

Fledgling is a beguilingly honest and personal memoir about identity, belonging and coexistence but most of all it is a love story between Hannah and one very gregarious finch. Fledgling is Hannah’s debut nature memoir, a story that went viral across the world last month, being covered in international newspapers, television, radio including Radio 4’s Saturday Live. Unapologetically and infectiously enthusiastic, Hannah is a conservationist on a mission to engage everyone with birds for the sake of the wild, but also ourselves.

Hannah Bourne-Taylor talks to Matt Stadlen