Why I Created this Site
To be honest, simply because I love birds. Don’t know that I have an specific goals for this site beyond randomly sharing adventures, thoughts, experiences, and other odds and ends that result from my passion for these feathered creatures. I have actually had this site up for a very long time but have pretty much ignored it due to lack of time. Now that I am retired I am going to make a real effort to share my passion in whatever form that happens to be eminating from head at the time. I will provide more details about my background below, but I am a bird biologist (more specifically physiologist) who has done research on hummingbirds for more than 40 years. I am also an avid birdwatcher and very amature bird photographer. What this means is you could see information landing on this site that ranges from science relating to birds to just simply fun pictures. The plan is to continue working on this site as long as it if fun.
I first discovered that I enjoyed watching birds when I was very young. It started when my family used to go to a lake for weekends for fishing and relaxation. Don’t remember exactly which lake it was but I have vivid memories of catching bunches of bluegill. Occasionally on these weekend trips a relative (a distant aunt I think) who was a birdwatcher used to come along. She would invite me on her bird walks and I was hooked. To fuel my interest she gave me an old Golden Field Guide to Birds of North America. I still have this field guide (albeit in several pieces after so many years and extensive use).
My professional life has been profoundly impacted by my interest in birds. I studied bird ecology and physiology in graduate school (M.S at San Diego State, Ph.D. at University of California, Davis) which prepared me to do more than 40 years of avian research. My focus has largely been on hummingbirds….a group for which I have a particular passion. Until I retired this past Spring from George Fox University I taught an ornithology course and each year looked forward to sharing my excitement of birds with a new group of students. Many of my former students have maintained an intense interest in birds long after their graduation. The photo below is a selfie I took of me and my last ornithology class on our very last trip of the year to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. The trip to Malheur, lasting four days, has been the capstone trip for the class and I have lead this trip for the last 34 years. You might note a couple of bags of Doritos in the photo. Many years ago we discovered “the power of the Dorito.” We found that when we were struggling to find specific birds if we simply broke out a bag of Doritos they would magically appear. Try it sometime! The only time I ever eat Doritos is on this trip but the amount consumed more than compensates for abstention the remainder of the year.
The wonderful thing about watching birds as a hobby is that it can be done just about anywhere and all that is required is a pair of binoculars. A pair of binoculars is rarely far from my reach and I am frequently distracted by flitting things with feathers. Sometimes I am more distracted than I should be but that’s just kind of the way it is.
On this page I will post content related to my interest in birds. Hope you enjoy it.