Ep 67 Learning with a beginner’s mindset with Darryl ‘The Bird Guy’ Jones

Author Darryl Jones on James and Ashley Stay at Home podcast, with headshot and cover of Curlews on Vulture Street

‘I regard my seventh book, Curlews on Vulture Street … as my first real writing. You know, this is the one I’m most proud of. It was the biggest challenge and the one I enjoyed the most.’

Darryl Jones is a Professor of Ecology at Griffith University in Brisbane, where for over 30 years he has been investigating the many ways people and wildlife interact. He is particularly interested in why some species are extremely successful in urban landscapes, and how best to deal with the ensuing conflicts.

More recently, he has been trying to understand more about the humans that also live in cities in large numbers, and how they engage with nature. This has led him into the strange and fascinating world of wild bird feeding. He is the author of seven books, including The Birds at My Table, Feeding the Birds at Your Table, and his latest, Curlews on Vulture Street.

In ep 67, Darryl joins us to share his transition from popular science to narrative nonfiction writer.

He discusses the importance of having a beginner’s mindset, what life is like now that he’s a full-time writer, buried treasure, and his experience of living with Parkinson’s.

And of course we talk birds!

Should you feed the birds in Australia? Do rainbow lorikeets eat mince? Plus, our special bonus guest – the eastern koel that lives outside Ashley’s window and has been shrieking her awake at 5 am every morning!

Books and authors discussed in this episode:
Auē by Becky Manawatu;
The Tilt by Chris Hammer;
The Writer Laid Bare by Lee Kofman (featured in ep 3);
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez;
Tracker by Alexis Wright;
– Feeding the Birds at Your Table by Darryl Jones

Listen to this episode of James and Ashley Stay at Home here, or on Apple podcasts, SpotifyStitcher, or your favourite podcast app, and find out about past episodes here.


Dark Mode, my debut psychological thriller, is out March 2023. You can pre-order now.

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