Who says a Zoom conversation can't get up close and personal?
Minnesotans who logged into "Wednesday night's Talking Volumes event featuring bestselling nature essayist Helen Macdonald not only got to see and hear the author of "H Is for Hawk" and the new collection "Vesper Flights" speaking from her cottage in Suffolk, northeast of London. They got to meet her flatmate, too.
Birdoole is a parrot — a green-cheeked conure, to be precise.
"As many of you know, I used to keep hawks. That was my thing," Macdonald told viewers as Birdoole nestled in her hand. "Hawks are very solitary, they don't like to be touched. … So when this little creature came in my life, I was completely baffled, 'cause all he wanted to do was snuggle.
"My friends all told me this was a stage in my emotional development," she joked to interviewer Kerri Miller of Minnesota Public Radio.
Click the video below to view all of the conversation, plus a post-show chat about birding between Audubon Chapter of Minnesota chair Keith Olstad and writer Chris Hewitt, who interviewed Macdonald for the Star Tribune.