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Chris Leahy is a professional naturalist and conservationist recently retired from a 45-year career with the Massachusetts Audubon Society, where, as Director of Conservation, he was responsible for the ecological management of 35,000 acres of wildlife sanctuaries. His interests in natural history are comprehensive and he is a recognized authority on birds and insects.


His published works include The Birdwatcher’s Companion to North American Birds (revised edition, 2004, Princeton University Press); The First Guide to Insects (Houghton-Mifflin, 1987), The Nature of Massachusetts (Addison-Wesley, 1996), and, Birds of Mongolia, the first comprehensive field guide to the Mongolian avifauna (with Gombobaatar Sundev, Bloomsbury Press, 2019). He is also the editor of a series of authoritative books on the flora and fauna of New England and a principal author of State of the Birds: Documenting Changes in Massachusetts Birdlife (Mass Audubon, 2011). His latest book, Birdpedia: A Brief Compendium of Avian Lore, was published by Princeton University Press in July, 2021. 


In addition, Chris has designed and led natural history tours to over 90 countries on all of the continents He grew up in Marblehead, and has lived in Gloucester with his family since the 1970’s. Prior to his career in conservation, he spent 10 years as a professional actor.

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