Charles Bergman Photography
Charles Bergman

A writer, photographer and speaker who lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, Charles Bergman 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 four 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 an obsession for some of the wilder, less-well-known, places on this fragile, failing planet:  South America, Antarctica, Africa., Indonesia, and more.,

The Quest to See Every Penguin Species

For the Love of Animals

A Penguin Told me a Secret

I am pleased to announce availability of my new book!!

Buy on Amazon -

Visit the book's website - 

A Penguin Told Me a Secret tells the true story of talking to a penguin. On a faraway island on the edge of Antarctica, my wife and I have a face to-face encounter with a curious and talkative penguin. It is a King Penguin, which may be the most beautiful of all the penguins. The penguin walks up to me and begins talking. He shares a secret that all penguins know but very few people know. Of course, when a penguin talks to you, you have to answer. What did the penguin say? What is said back to the penguin? Read this beautiful and simple story to learn the secret.

Yellow-eyed Penguins in New Zealand

Wild Planet Magazine has featured this photo of Yellow-eyed Penguins scurrying off, as their "Photo of the Day."  These penguins are notable for their halo, in clearly seen  from this rear view  Here's the link:

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."

More Photos

What's New?

Birdwatching Magazine article:

"26 Minutes of WOW!"

In all the bad news swamping our country now, here's a good-news story about what one many can do to save an unheralded species.  Features Tahoma Audubon and the big chimneys on Joint Base Lewis McChord.  

National Geographic article:

New piece on smuggling African grey parrots, and the second  featured photograph, of three parrots in morning light--it's mine!  This Talking Parrot is Disappearing

"Talking to Penguins":

This past fall, I gave a talk about my conversations with penguins, especially a king penguin on South Georgia Island.  Here is a video version of the talk, on Vimeo.  Just click on the link below.  The password isplu  (all lowercase):

                                      Talking to Penguins--Video

What Else is New?

              New Photo Galleries of Cockatoos, Indonesia, Italy, and  More.                               

              Plus, Return to Uganda

We've added new galleries of photos after wonderful excursions to Italy and Indonesia.  We've fallen in love with Assisi, and I've come completely under the spell of St. Francis Assisi.  You'll see a landscape photo of Assisi, at sunset, which for me defines this place as a land of visions, home of one of the great mystics.  St. Francis is also a great nature lover and animal lover.  He spoke to animalas of all kinds.  He convinced a wolf to be friendly to the people of Gubbio, and he gave a famous sermon to birds he encountered in a tree.  Pope Francis is the first Pope by that name, and you must read his Encyclical on Climate Change and Inequality.  Clearly, the Pople is inspired by St. Francis.

Indonesia;  it was my first visit to these islands, and I loved them.  We embarked on something of an expedition, getting to tiny islands which local people often did not know existed, going by cargo boat and using a fishing boat to cross 12 miles of open ocean.  Totally worth it to see the rarest of the rare---Abbotti's Cockatoos on one tiny island, the last place they survive.  Only twenty left, but the good news is they're breeding and also the local people have taken to protecting them as an icon of the islands in thie Java Sea.  You'll see here photos of nesting Abbotti's Cockatoos, displaying to each other, preening and loving each other, and standing at the nest hole.  A magnificent experience.

Plus we went to Seram Island, the original Moluccan Island, where Portuguese traders came for spices and other exotic cargo.  These are the Spice Islands.  Here we found many species of parrots.  Two are especially noteworthy:  the incomparable Moluccan Cockatoo, and we helped with a release of several of these heavily trafficked cockatoos back into the wild.  And the Pygmy Parrot--at 2 inches long, it's the world's smallest parrot.

Please enjoy the images and the narratives that lie behind them.  I'm off now on a return to Uganda. 

Microsoft Desktop Theme:   A new theme of my photos you can download for your desktop.  It's free!  Enjoy here:  Wild Beauty.

Here's the Microsoft blog where the Microsoft editor introduces my theme, Wild Beauty. 

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  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, 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 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 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. 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!