By Letitia L. Moffitt

Bird People: A Memoir


“… a blueprint for anyone wishing to provide the best possible life for a captive large bird.”

     — Dot Schwarz, Birds and Birdkeeping

After moving from New York City to rural Illinois, writer Letitia Moffitt met veterinarian Ken Welle. As she began to share more of her life with him, Letitia realized this would also mean sharing her time with animals. Yet she never suspected how tense, terrifying, and noisy those moments would be. Ken loved birds—big, beautiful macaws in particular—and he did not merely want to own them. He wanted them to fly free.

Bird People tells the story of Ken’s struggle to make his dream come true, and how Letitia found her own way to share that dream. It’s a tale of love, delight, sorrow, adventure, and truly massive amounts of work, as Ken and Letitia trained the birds – a blue-and-gold named Boston, and a green-wing named Phoenix – and transformed their living space to be not just bird-friendly, but bird-centric. It’s the tale of two adult humans, the dog who helped them find each other, and the birds who became the focus of all their lives. It’s a story about living your dreams, even when they don’t turn out how you expect.

Above all, Letitia Moffitt’s touching, inspiring, often-hilarious memoir is a reminder that hard times are as valuable as good times, and that all the moments matter.

Winner of the 14th National Indie Excellence Award in Pets and Animals


Letitia L. Moffitt

Letitia L. Moffitt was born and raised in Hawaii. She received a doctoral degree in English/Creative Writing from Binghamton University, and she taught creative writing at Eastern Illinois University for five years. Her novel-in-stories, Sidewalk Dancing, was published by Atticus Books in November 2013, and her novels Trace and Vibe/Sync (Books 1 and 2 of the TraceWorld trilogy) were published by Cantraip Press in 2015 and 2016. In her spare time she runs marathons and ultramarathons. Hey, why not.

Other Books


She knows what happens when you die.

Vibe / Sync

The newest inhabitants of TraceWorld will get inside your head.

Sidewalk Dancing

A careful exploration of a diverse family’s dynamics told with the subtle wrist bends and brush strokes of a perpetual outsider.


“I’d love to have read this book years earlier when free flying seemed a distant, unobtainable dream. This is no instruction manual. It’s an account of the author’s journey in acquiring the skills of handling two free-flighted macaws.”

– Dot Schwarz, Birds and Birdkeeping


Recent Events

Urbana, Illinois, July 26 at 7 p.m.


JaM with Bird People


Letitia read from her new memoir, Bird People, and signed paperbacks. Music was provided by JaM.

Charleston, Illinois, July 23 at 6 p.m.


Guest Author, EIU English Studies Camp

Letitia read from her new memoir Bird People for participants at the Eastern Illinois University English Studies Camp.


Urbana, Illinois, June 18 at 6 p.m.


Bird People Launch Party

Letitia read from her new memoir Bird People and signed paperbacks. Special guest appearances by avian vet Ken Welle and green wing macaw Fred Bird.

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