Birding Under the Influence

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In Birding Under the Influence, Dorian Anderson, a neuroscience researcher on a pressure-filled life trajectory, walks away from the world of elite institutions, research labs, and academic publishing. In doing so, he falls in love with a wonderful woman and discovers he has freed himself to embrace his lifelong passion for birding. A North American Big Year, a continent-spanning adventure in which a birder attempts to see as many species as possible in twelve months, is a massive undertaking for anyone. Dorian undertakes to do a trans-continental Big Year on a bike as he recommits to maintaining his sobriety after four years. 

Anderson describes the birds, his hair-raising and often humorous adventures and the colorful characters he encounters along the 17,830-mile journey. His candid and moving account will draw you into this epic undertaking. Birding Under the Influence is an honest look at Dorian’s double life of academic accomplishment and addiction. While his journey to recovery is both poignant and inspiring, it is ultimately his love of birds and nature that provides the scaffolding to build a new and radically different life.   Paperback.