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About Diana Churchill

Birder's Eye View


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Diana Churchill grew up in Savannah and developed an early love for the Low Country’s salt marshes, tidal creeks, and sandy beaches. She traces her love of birds back to her parents, Bob & Phillippa Paddison. They began a lifetime habit of feeding birds in their backyard. On family trips to Tybee, her Dad tried to calm the back seat bickering with the offer “first one to see a Kingfisher gets a nickel,” so Diana can proudly claim that she was paid to watch birds at an early age.

Diana attended Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida where she majored in Spanish. Her sophomore year, she spent a January Term riding around the state of Florida watching and studying birds.

Diana developed an interest in holistic healing. She completed a 1000-hour course in Therapeutic Massage at the Boulder School of Massage Therapy, and in 1981 moved to Massachusetts to pursue a seventeen-year career as a massage therapist. She earned a Master’s Degree in Holistic Studies from Lesley College in 1988.

While in Massachusetts, Diana joined the Brookline Bird Club and got seriously hooked on birds – particularly the spring migration of songbirds. She got her bird education in the field, attending walks led by expert birders.

In 1997, Diana embarked on a four-month mid-life adventure, traveling around Australia watching and photographing birds. After her return to Massachusetts, she got tired of listening to herself complain about the weather and realized it was time to make like the birds and migrate south.

In February of 1999, Diana began working at Wild Birds Unlimited. In 2001, she got the idea to write a small article about birds for the Savannah Morning News “Closeup” section. Editor Steve Corrigan said “yes,” and so began her tenure as a bi-monthly columnist.

Also in 2001, Diana began working part-time for the educational non-profit Wilderness Southeast as administrative assistant and naturalist guide.

She started photographing birds with a Canon Rebel film camera, and a 75-300 lens. Her current equipment is a digital Canon 7D with the Canon 100-400 II IS lens.

When her readers began clamoring that they were tired of cutting out her articles and saving them, Diana tackled a book project and published “Birder’s Eye View: Savannah and the Low Country” in December, 2011.

Diana has served several terms as President of Ogeechee Audubon Society, acted as a naturalist guide for field trips for Wilderness Southeast, Ogeechee Audubon, and the Georgia Ornithological Society. She is a sought after speaker at area garden clubs and birding organizations, including Sun City Bird Club, Hilton Head Audubon, and the Friends of the Savannah Coastal Refuges.