Mike Bowles & Loretta Erickson have contributed to the following publications in the manner of photographs, stories and/or interviews:
Mike's interest in birds has spanned decades beginning at the age of 10, when he began feeding a pair of pigeons in his backyard. As pigeons will do, they made Mike's home theirs and in an effort to provide them with shelter, Mike and his dad built a pigeon coop where he could house and raise them. Over the years, Mike entertained and amazed his friends with his pigeons' antics -- including taking a pigeon great distances from home, releasing him and then watching the pigeon return. Eventually, Mike's flock grew to over 50 birds.
Some years later, Mike became interested in photography as a means to capture subjects for his paintings. With his love for birds, it seemed only natural to focus his lens toward the sky where he had spent countless hours enjoying the freedom of his own flock.
Loretta acquired her love of nature at a very early age. As niece of award winning wildlife and Disney Photographers (True-Life Adventure Series) -- Alfred and Elma Milotte, her young years were filled with tales, photographs and film footage from the wilds of Africa, Alaska, Australia and the American wilderness. By the time she was old enough to explore the hill-top forrest Alfred and Elma called home, her feet hit the ground running. For a little girl born and raised in the city, her visits to the hidden paradise became ones of intrigue and adventure. Thus began a life of love and appreciation for nature and wildlife.
Mike and Loretta's initial interest in the wild parrots began when they became housemates with a domestically bred, hand-raised Yellow-headed Parrot by the name of Sydney. Loretta's close relationship with Sydney stirred her interest in what Sydney's life would be like, were he not captive. Later, their companion parrot-human family grew with the adoption of a Blue-fronted Parrot by the name of Keyta.
Having heard stories of the wild parrots for years, Mike and Loretta set out in search of the Wild Parrots of Southern California. At first sight, they were in awe and began keeping track of the parrots' whereabouts. In 2001 they began photographing, researching and documenting their local flock. In the midst of their parrot tracking efforts, they became fascinated by the lives of the other birds around them and their interests began to expand. While bird photography in general, became Mike's focus, Loretta's primary interest remained with the wild parrots of Southern California.
Dedicated to the welfare of these struggling species, Mike and Loretta continue to photograph and observe the lives of the wild parrots and spend countless hours traveling with the flocks.
In addition to their in-depth ongoing research, they are presently photographically documenting the individual lives of more than 50 members of their local wild parrot flocks and hope to continue to do so through the bird's lives. Each of these parrots Mike and Loretta can identify by sight.