Paul Donahue is a bird artist, ornithologist, environmental activist, and tree climber who divides his time between Maine, California, and South America.
Paul began observing, drawing and painting birds during his teenage years, spending much of his free time roaming about in a large state reservation near his parents' home. During his high school years he began volunteering on weekends and vacations at the Manomet Bird Observatory (now the Manomet Center for Conservation Biology), near Cape Cod, learning to band birds and eventually getting his own banding permit.
After graduating from high school he spent a year at the University of Massachusetts, then left school to work full-time as a research assistant at Manomet Bird Observatory. He worked there off and on for four years, banding birds, conducting censuses of migrating shorebirds and sea ducks along the Massachusetts coast, and surveying seabirds from research vessels off the Atlantic Coast.
While working at the bird observatory, an opportunity arose in 1972 to assist a researcher studying birds in Colombia. During the three-month stay he became captivated by the birds of the American tropics and has spent a large part of most years since working in the tropical forests of South and Central America, observing, tape-recording, netting and painting birds. The rainforests of the western Amazon Basin in Peru are a favorite area and one of the places he knows best.
For the past 18 years his time in the neotropics has been concentrated in the rainforest canopy, where he and his wife, Teresa Wood, have constructed two canopy walkways and dozens of canopy observation platforms and taught over two thousand people how to safely climb into the rainforest canopy on ropes.
A committed environmental activist, Paul and his wife Teresa speak regularly to groups, particularly student groups, on environmental issues. Paul also works with the Forest Ecology Network, a Maine non-profit environmental organization concerned with forestry, pesticide, groundwater and land conservation issues.
The majority of Pauls artwork is done in mixed media with acrylics, gouache and watercolor. His favorite subjects are shorebirds, raptors and tropical birds. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.