Diana Churchill grew up in Savannah, Georgia 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.
She worked in Massachusetts for seventeen years as a Certified Massage Therapist, and earned a Master’s Degree in Holistic Studies from Lesley College. During that time, Diana rekindled her interest in birds, joining the Brookline Bird Club. She got the majority of 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 decided to migrate south, back to Savannah.
In February of 1999, Diana began working at Wild Birds Unlimited, and in 2001 she began writing a bird article every two weeks for the Savannah Morning News. In 2011, she used a selection of her columns as the meat for her first book, “Birder’s Eye View: Savannah and the Low Country.” Her second book, “Birder’s Eye View II: The Low Country” was published in December 2018.
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.
Diana has served several terms as President of Ogeechee Audubon Society, and acted as a naturalist guide for Wilderness Southeast, Georgia Ornithological Society and Ogeechee Audubon. She is sought after as a speaker by area bird clubs, garden clubs, and other organizations.
Check out this great new documentary short film!
Bird Lady recounts my life... incidentally revolving around watching, documenting, and photographing my "many feathered friends."
Shot, edited, produced by Nicholas Mullins.
Original score by Thomas Minor
GFX by Julia Schroder
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