Charles Bergman

A writer, photographer and speaker who lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest and is a prof at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington.  
He's twice been a Fulbright Scholar in Latin America--Mexico and Ecuador--traveled extensively around the world, especially in Latin America from Mexico to Tierra del Fuego. He writes and publishes extensively on animals, nature, and sustainability--with many cover stories in such magazines as Smithsonian, Audubon, All Animals (Humane Society),, Defenders, and many more.  His photographs accompany his articles. He has written three books, and has won the Washington State Book Award, Southwest Book Award, and the Benjamin Franklin Book Award. He was a finalist for the PEN USA Literary Award.

He loves animals and wildlife of all kinds, and has developed a new-found love for Antarctica and Africa.
Welcome!
This website has been completely redesigned, and I hope you will enjoy it.   You'll find photos from around the world--of animals and places and people I love.  You'll also find links to my essays and articles and books.  And new:  a place for me to "Speak Up, Speak Out--For Nature and Animals"!  Welcome, enjoy, and write me if you'd like to talk more!

Black-browed albatross pairs communicate with voice and body language.  Here is a common posture between the mated pairs--wrapping their necks around the mate.  Their white plumage is glowingly beautiful, too!  Saunders Island, Falkland Islands, Black-browed Albatrosses nesting.
Major Photo Award
Nature's Best Photography Magazine, and the Smithsonian Institution, chose one of my photos for a major international award.   This photo of two black-browed albatrosses, at thetir nest in the Falkland Islands, was chosen as one of about 40 images--out of 21,000 entries--as a "Highly Honored" winner. 

The photo was hung in a special exhibit in the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.  Find more photos of these two engaging and affectionate birds in the Photo Gallery, under "Albatrosses."


What's New--
In January Susan and I traveled to Tanzania, for a safari and, magnificently, several days with the chimpanzees of Mahale along Lake Tanganyika.

Please check out the photos of chimpanzees and other wildlife in the new galleries.

If you love animals, you gotta go to Africa.  And I did.  I spend July 2013 in Uganda, with PLU student Nevis Granum.  We were part of a four-person team, releasing 17 confiscated and rescued African grey parrots back to the wild. 

Who else was on the team?  None other than Dr. Jane Goodall!  It was an amazing and exhilarating experience on every level.  We had dinner with Dr. Goodall, conversation, even a campfire. The parrots were the last survivors of 108 birds confiscated three years ago in Bulgaria.  Watch for articles on what I learned from this incredibly meaningful experience.
The month in Uganda included gorilla trekking--amazing!  I'm preparing a proposal now for Smithsonian magazine, as well as lions and chimpanzees in the wild.  We also saw amazing birds--Uganda has over 1000 species (for a country the size of Oregon--all of North America has about 800 species of birds).  Below is the link to my essay on Slate.com, as well as a link to an article in PLU Scene magazine (cover story) on our adventures.

Then, a trip to Oregon with Dr. Julie Smith to study red crossbills, beautiful birds that show evolution in action--the process of species forming.  This will be written for BirdWatching magazine.
Enjoy the photos, and here are links to recent essays and articles.
   
--"Jane Goodall and I Set Free the Smartest Birds in the World," an essay on Slate.com about the historic release of African grey parrots in Uganda, and the way the legal trade supports a thriving illegal trade in parrots.


--"Finally Free to Fly"--the cover story on the winter 2014 PLU Scene magazine. 


--"Mothers and Other Creatures," a personal essay in BioStories, about an owl and my mother.

--"Nature Is a Story that We Live"--an essay in ISLE, a journal for environmental literature and writing, about teaching the "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" in Antarctica, with living albatrosses commenting on the literary albatross in the poem. 

--"No Fly Zone"--an investigative article in All Animals magazine, for the Humane Society,  on the huge problem with parrots as pets, and the way they are frequently abandoned and relinquished by their owners. 
 
--"Owl v. Owl," a story on Slate.com--the horrible dilemma of the conflict between the endangered spotted owl and it's invasive, aggressive, relentless cousin, the barred owl in the Pacific Northwest. I also published a longer piece on this conflict in BirdWatching magazine last summer. 
 

Bark, Purr, Roar, and Sing

Come back often--here you'll find a place for news, thoughts, stories, and points of view--otherwise called attitude--on all things nature and animals! 

There has been a lot of publicity lately for our work last summer with Jane Goodall.  Nevis Granum and I helped the World Parrot Trust in the first release ever of African grey parrots, smuggled out of Africa and returned to the continent to be set free in the wild.  Uganda was beautiful.  The PLU Scene magazine has a cover story on our work, with our photos. 


Slate.com has just published my essay on the experience, with reflections on the way the legal trade supports and encourages the illegal trade.  Check it out!

  



 
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