Rhody Photographer Documents Urban Birds of Prey

Photographer and Audubon Society member Peter Green releases book capturing Providence's frequent flyers

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Peter Green never really imagined writing a book. Then again, he never really thought much about birds, either. Not until 2009, when, from his sixth-floor apartment, he spotted a Peregrine Falcon perched on the very top of Providence’s Superman Building. “From that day I was hooked on birdwatching,” Green remembers. “I purchased a professional camera with a powerful zoom lens and constantly carried it with me on the streets, hoping to encounter the falcons around the city.”

Flipping through Providence Raptors, you’ll encounter stunning shots of birds of prey backed by familiar landmarks: A young Cooper’s Hawk trapped inside The Arcade shopping center; a Peregrine Falcon balanced on the crenulated tower of the Cranston Street Armory; a Snowy Owl spotted on a lamppost overlooking Interstate-95. “I’m drawn to their regal beauty, power, fearlessness, specialized bodies for flying and hunting, and their impressive adaptability to the urban environment,” Green explains. “I rarely photograph a raptor in a tree anymore…for me, it’s all about showing how they’ve adapted to the brick and steel of the city.”

While this is Green’s first book, it’s the culmination of a decade of photographs, research, and stories from his blog of the same name, giving readers insight into the world of birding and how they can help urban raptors survive through small choices like bird-friendly glass, keeping cats indoors, and donating. It’s also a chance for Green to highlight members of the local bird community, like the Born to be Wild Nature Center, Wildlife Rehabilitators Association of Rhode Island, and – especially near and dear to his heart – the Audubon Society of RI.

“After getting into watching raptors on my own, I was thrilled to learn Audubon had an annual Raptor Weekend where you can get close-up views of live birds that are unable to be released back into the wild, but live as educational ambassadors for their species,” says Green. He began as an attendee, offering ASRI his photos for free, but quickly grew into an essential member of the team, and was even hired as a graphic designer to work on rebranding the Nature Center’s materials like printed reports and trail signs. “And I’ve gone from attending Raptor Weekend to being one of the presenters,” he adds, “giving entertaining lectures about our urban raptors while sharing my photos.”

For Green, not only is Providence Raptors a celebration of the birds he loves so much, but also a legacy to leave behind: “This book is my contribution to the city of Providence. After I’m gone, this book will still be around to tell the stories of the birds that lived here.” Learn more about Peter Green’s work and order your copy of his book at ProvidenceRaptors.com, or purchase at  ASRI’s gift shop in Bristol or Carmen & Ginger in Tiverton.

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