ALL ARE WELCOME. We encourage visitors, and would enjoy having you join us for a meeting or a field trip.

Meetings are lively proceedings, with a featured speaker or a special forum as well as reports from the various committees, announcements, and general field notes.

Club meetings are held at the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA (Directions to the Academy). Bimonthly, on the first and third Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., the season begins on the third Thursday of September and goes through the first Thursday in June.

Before meetings at the Academy, an informal pre-meeting dinner with the speaker is held at “Asia on the Parkway,” 1700 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia (corner of Ben Franklin Parkway and Cherry St.), a few short blocks from the Academy. Everyone is invited to attend. We meet at 6:00 in the back room of the restaurant; look for us at the long table there.

Pre-meeting Dinner: Asia on the Parkway

After the meeting, we usually adjourn for drinks at Cherry Street Tavern (129 N 22nd St), three blocks from the Academy.

Post-meeting Drinks: Cherry Street Tavern

Next Meeting:

November 2, 2017
November 16, 2017
  • Annual Banquet

    November 16, 2017 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
    Sheet Metal Workers International Association, 1301 S Christopher Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19147, USA

    Speaker: Neil Hayward - ABA Big Year Birder and author of "Lost Among the Birds - Accidentally Finding Myself in One Very Big Year"
    Early in 2013 Neil Hayward was at a crossroads. He didn't want to open a bakery or whatever else executives do when they quit a lucrative but unfulfilling job. He didn't want to think about his failed relationship with "the one" or his potential for ruining a new relationship with "the next one." And he almost certainly didn't want to think about turning forty. And so instead he went birding.

    Birding was a lifelong passion. It was only among the birds that Neil found a calm that had eluded him in the confusing world of humans. But this time he also found competition. His growing list of species reluctantly catapulted him into a Big Year--a race to find the most birds in one year. His peregrinations across twenty-eight states and six provinces in search of exotic species took him to a hoarfrost-covered forest in Massachusetts to find a Fieldfare; to Lake Havasu, Arizona, to see a rare Nutting's Flycatcher; and to Vancouver for the Red-flanked Bluetail. Neil's Big Year was as unplanned as it was accidental: It was the perfect distraction to life.

    Neil shocked the birding world by finding 749 species of bird and breaking the long-standing Big Year record. He also surprised himself: During his time among the hummingbirds, tanagers, and boobies, he found a renewed sense of confidence and hope about the world and his place in it.

    More details when available


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Full Schedule:

January 5, 2017
January 19, 2017
  • Dr. Charles Wurster - DDT Wars: Character Assassination, Slander, and DDT Science

    January 19, 2017 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
    The Academy of Natural Sciences, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA 19103, USA

    Dr. Charles Wurster, a founding trustee of Environmental Defense (formerly the Environmental Defense Fund, EDF), will present a talk on his new book, DDT Wars. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Wurster's interest in birds was evident at a young age. He attended Quaker schools—Germantown Friends and Haverford College—receiving his bachelor's of science degree in 1952. He earned a master of science degree in chemistry from the University of Delaware in 1954 and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Stanford University in 1957. Subsequently Wurster spent a year in Innsbruck, Austria, as a Fulbright Fellow. From 1959 to 1962, he worked as a research chemist at the Monsanto Research Corporation. He was instrumental in banning the pesticide DDT. An emeritus professor at the Marine Sciences Research Center at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, Wurster is an expert on the environmental effects of toxic chemicals.

    Links:
    Buy DDT Wars:
    https://www.amazon.com/DDT-Wars-Rescuing-Preventing-Environmental/dp/0190219416

    DDT Wars: Review by Henry T. Armistead
    http://blog.aba.org/2016/06/character-assassination-slander-and-ddt-science.html
    DDT Wars is the engaging account of the first struggles to get DDT and some other chemicals banned. Wurster and the others involved in those earliest actions, even before EDF was founded, were all birders.

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February 2, 2017
February 16, 2017
  • Bill Stewart - 9 (very true) Bird Stories

    February 16, 2017 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
    The Academy of Natural Sciences, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA 19103, USA

    After spending forty years birding, both as an advocation and profession, Bill’s birding adventures have had a way of delivering some unexpected, unpredictable and down right unbelievable situations and circumstances. For an entertaining look into 40 years of passionate birding, please join Bill as he shares his stories telling very true tales from the field!

    Bill Stewart is the Director of Conservation and Community along with Young Birder Program Coordinator for the American Birding Association and owner of Red Knot Outfitters. A passionate birder for 40 years, Bill is currently serving as the President of the Delmarva Ornithological Society. Previously, Bill served as the Conservation Chair for DOS and is the Founder and Coordinator of the Delaware Bird-A-Thon, the Wilmington Peregrine Falcon Webcam Project and the Lights Out! Wilmington initiative. He also served on the Delaware Birding Trail committee and was Co-Director of the Delaware Dunlins Youth Birders. Past Board Member for the Friends of the Migratory Bird/Duck Stamp, Bill was awarded the 2010 Conservation Champion Award from the USFWS and the 2010 Citizens Award from the US Dept. of Interior for his bird conservation efforts. Most recently, Bill was awarded the 2014 Rosalie Edge Conservation Award from the Delaware Valley Ornithological Club. In his free time, Bill likes to spend time with his five children, grandsons and do a little surfing.

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March 2, 2017
March 16, 2017
  • Bert Filemyr - A Brief Ornithological History of the Delaware Valley - People, Birds, Places and Other Things

    March 16, 2017 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
    The Academy of Natural Sciences, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA 19103, USA

    Follow a timeline of local people and places that are important in the history of American ornithology. Learn about the local connections of well known people like John Bartram, Alexander Wilson, and John James Audubon plus lesser known, but important, individuals like John Cassin, Charles Lucien Bonaparte, and Graceanna Lewis. You will gain an understanding of the important role of our area in American ornithological history.

    Bert Filemyr is an active field birder both in the Delaware Valley and throughout North America. He has birded extensively in all 50 states, as well as many of the Canadian provinces. Retired from a public school teaching career, he pursues his passion for birding while researching topics related to early American ornithology. He currently serves as treasurer of the Delaware Valley Ornithological Club (DVOC) and was a member of the championship Nikon/DVOC World Series of Birding Team, the Lagerhead Shrikes. He co-authored, along with Jeff Holt, the "The Composite Prints of Audubon's Birds of America" and an article on Alexander Wilson and the Milestown School in the Wilson Journal of Ornithology.

    Links
    Buy “The Composite Prints of Audubon’s Birds of America” at:
    http://www.thefilemyrs.com/AudubonComposites/index.htm

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April 6, 2017
  • Jennifer Uehling: Blood-sucking ectoparasites & their Avian Hosts

    April 6, 2017 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

    Supported by the DVOC Interns Fund, Jenny examined Hippoboscid flies, a blood-sucking ectoparasite, and their avian hosts at the Academy of Natural Sciences. Working with Jason Weckstein and Janice Dispoto, she used fly gut dissection and molecular tools to determine the host associations of Hippoboscid flies collected from birds in Mexico. The results suggest that individual flies were moving between multiple bird species. She will discuss the potential implications of these results, including the discovery of new host associations and avian malaria transmission. She will also discuss her past work on Australian fairy-wrens and her current work on using eBird and radio-tags to understand bird movement.

    Jenny Uehling is a first year PhD student in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Cornell University. She was born in Philadelphia, grew up in Glenside, and graduated from Springfield Township High School in Montgomery County in 2011. A birder since the age of ten, she insisted that her parents plan vacations around visits to National Wildlife Refuges and National Parks with good birding opportunities. As an undergraduate at the University of Chicago, Jenny became interested in birds from an ecological and evolutionary perspective through her work with Stephen Pruett-Jones and her volunteering at the Field Museum. After graduating from UChicago in 2015, she did fieldwork with Splendid Fairy-wrens in Australia and Golden-winged Warblers and Blue-winged Warblers in New York. With the support of the DVOC Interns Fund, Jenny also spent five months working with Jason Weckstein and Nate Rice at the Academy of Natural Sciences, where she studied Hippoboscid flies and their avian hosts. At Cornell, she studies bird movement in dynamic environments, and she will work with Sanderlings in Delaware Bay this spring.

    The Bob Billings award will also be presented to Barb Bassett at this meeting.

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April 20, 2017
  • Jeffrey Hall - NW PAssage: Nature in the far corner of Pennsylvania

    April 20, 2017 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
    The Academy of Natural Sciences, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA 19103, USA

    Northwestern Pennsylvania doesn’t have the well-known cities of other parts of the Commonwealth, it lacks the cachet of the Chatauqua and Finger Lakes regions to the north, and for birders, it is overshadowed by Magee Marsh and the Ohio lakeshore to the west. The timber and petroleum booms in the 19th century and strip mining in the mid-20th century took a huge toll on the environment of NW PA. But many areas have recovered, and now there is much to appreciate in the ‘far corner’ of Pennsylvania: Forested hills that are home to warblers, thrushes, and tanagers; rivers and creeks occupied by mergansers and otters; lakes and marshes that attract waterbirds; even reclaimed strip mines that now provide habitat for grassland species. This program will survey some of the best natural features of this often-overlooked region.

    Jeffrey Hall taught biology and served as President of Washington Crossing Audubon in New Jersey for many years before retiring and moving to Franklin, Pennsylvania. He is now President of Bartramian Audubon Society and active in other nature and historic preservation groups in northwestern Pennsylvania, as well as being an instructor at the Institute for Learning in Retirement at Slippery Rock University. Hall’s photographs and articles have appeared in Living Bird, NJ Audubon, Underwater Naturalist, Cassinia, and other publications. He has given presentations to over 50 nature, birding, and photography groups, including recently Roger Tory Peterson Institute, Audubon Society of Greater Cleveland, and Three Rivers Birding Club of Pittsburgh.

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May 4, 2017
May 18, 2017
  • Doug Wechsler - Discover One Bird, Save a Thousand

    May 18, 2017 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
    The Academy of Natural Sciences, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA 19103, USA

    Note: This meeting will be in the BEES Classroom at the Academy

    An odd bird is discovered in cloud forest of the Andes Mountains of Ecuador. Scientist rushing to find out more about the bird find themselves in a race to save it. Cascading events lead to the establishment of a chain of bird reserves and conservation action across the globe.
    Doug Wechsler will recount this fascinating history and talk about bird conservation in Ecuador today. His beautiful images will focus in on the biodiversity of three of the southern Ecuador reserves run by the Jocotoco Conservation Foundation. What interesting management problems does the foundation face and how does it solve them?

    Doug Wechsler was Director of VIREO, the Academy of Natural Sciences' worldwide collection of bird photographs for 26 years. As part of the job, he photographed birds in rain forests around the world. Recently he and his wife Debbie volunteered for the Jocotoco Conservation Foundation. He is a photographer, naturalist and children's book author. His most recent book is The Hidden life of a Toad. Find out more at www.DougWechsler.com.

    Links
    More about Doug’s books, photos, etc.
    http://www.dougwechsler.com/pages/about.php

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June 1, 2017
  • Zoe Yost - Owling at the Moon: Explorations on Silent Wings

    June 1, 2017 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
    The Academy of Natural Sciences, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA 19103, USA

    Zoe Yost is a fourteen-year-old naturalist, writer, artist, musician, and yogini. An active birder since age six, she has presented at and co-led birding walks with the Delmarva Ornithological Society, raised over $5,000 for the Delaware Bird-A-Thon, and worked as a banding assistant for Dr. Ian Stewart. In addition to the East Coast, she has birded in California, Wyoming, Alaska, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Western Caribbean, and Great Britain. An award-winning artist, she has participated in art exhibitions at the Wilmington Art Loop, the Delmarva Ornithological Society, the Entomological Society of America, and the Center for the Creative Arts. Zoe is also an award-winning pianist and violist and an avid writer.

    Owls, the silent wings of the night, have fascinated humankind for centuries, both in positive and negative ways. But, what becomes visible to the mind’s eye when this cloak of myth and speculation is thrown off? Chronicling both fact and fiction, enthusiastic owlaholic Zoe Yost takes her audience on a rollicking expedition through original photographs, artwork, and writing to shed light on these elusive owls, one of the dark’s most iconic inhabitants.

    Greeting cards of the presenter’s artwork and photography will also be available for purchase as a fundraiser for the 2017 Delaware Bird-A-Thon. (Card purchases are tax-deductible.)



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August 5, 2017
  • Annual Picnic

    August 5, 2017 @ 1:00 pm - 6:00 pm
    1604 Woodland Rd, Green Lane, PA 18054, USA

    Saturday, August 5, 2017! 1:00pm until…

    Please Join Us for Good Times, Good Food, Good Beer….

    The DVOC Birder’s Picnic has been an annual event for many years, some more official than others. Let’s try to make this year the best turn out ever!

    Paul & Anita Guris are Hosting again! Please email anitaguris@gmail.com anytime BEFORE July 29, 2017 to confirm your attendance.

    See flyer for more details.

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September 21, 2017
  • Lisa Kiziuk - The Motus: Building a Northeastern Wildlife Tracking Network

    September 21, 2017 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
    The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA 19103, USA

    After more than a century of research, our understanding of the movement ecology of migratory animals is still surprisingly rudimentary. Yet understanding how animals move across the landscape is critical to preserving them in a rapidly changing world. A new generation of miniaturized VHF radio telemetry technology, coupled with a rapidly expanding network of automated receiver stations through the Motus Wildlife Tracking System (Motus), has the ability to bring greater precision and efficiency to the study of migratory species. However, the greatest drawback to the current Motus array is its limited geography and coastal nature.

    In 2016 we formed the Northeastern Motus Collaborative (NMC) to establish a network of wildlife tracking radio receivers across Pennsylvania and the interior Northeast. This project will expand upon the current array of towers, increasing researcher's ability to monitor interior flyways in the northeastern United States. Over the next three years, the NMC aims to complete three phases of tower construction: 1) Install a line of 18 towers across Pennsylvania from Philadelphia to Lake Erie by September 2017; 2) Expand the statewide Pennsylvania network to approximately 40 towers by the end of 2018; 3) In 2019, establish 30 or more towers northward in New York and New England, creating a more diffuse network across the Northeast inland region. Once a minimum threshold of stations within the overall network has been achieved, we will begin to deploy VHF nanotags on nesting and migrant Northern Saw-whet Owls (Aegolius acadicus) at Project Owlnet cooperator stations in New England and eastern Canada, allowing us for the first time to track their movement in real time across continental scales. Expanding the Motus network to cover the mid-Atlantic and Northeast will fill a critical geographic gap and will dramatically increase our ability to understand migration and habitat use by hundreds of species of migrants.

    Bio:
    Lisa Kiziuk is director of bird conservation at the Willistown Conservation Trust (WCT) in Chester County, PA. As a federally licensed bird bander, she and Doris McGovern co-manage the Rushton Woods Bird Banding Station, which includes a migratory passerine program, a breeding bird MAPS survey, and a Northern Saw-whet Owl program. Lisa is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Pennsylvania in their graduate program of environmental science, and frequently serves as a guest lecturer for local universities, garden clubs, and non-profit organizations. Lisa has a Masters in Environmental Studies from the University of Pennsylvania, and was presented with the Rosalie Edge Conservation Award by the Delaware Valley Ornithological Club in 2011 for her work in bird conservation.

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October 5, 2017
  • SPECIAL EVENT: Dr. Daniel Klem - Bird/Window Collisions: Historical Research and Contemporary Solutions

    October 5, 2017 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
    The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA 19103, USA

    NOTE: This meeting is in partnership with Audubon Pennsylvania and our friends at Wyncote Audubon. The location will be at the Auditorium and entry to the building will be via the front entrance.

    Daniel Klem, Jr. is the Sarkis Acopian Professor of Ornithology and Conservation Biology at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Dr. Klem obtained his B.Sc. at Wilkes University, M.Sc. from Hofstra University, and Ph.D. at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. He served in the US military during the Vietnam War and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal. Among other diverse avian investigations, for 44 years and continuing to the present he studies, writes, and teaches about the threat that sheet glass and plastic pose to birds. No other scientist has comprehensively studied and published research results documenting and preventing the lethal threat that human structures pose to birds. In his 1990 paper "Collisions between birds and windows: mortality and prevention", he calculated that between 100 million and 1 billion birds in the U.S. alone are killed annually by flying into windows. His research has influenced the design of buildings, not least the Niagara Falls State Park Observation Tower, on which he was a consultant. He holds several US patents relating to window design to protect birds. He is motivated by available and growing evidence that bird-building collisions are an important wildlife conservation, building industry, and animal welfare issue for birds and people worldwide. His presentation will provide an overview of this important conservation issue, addressing why the windows of our homes, commercial buildings, even iconic park visitor and bird research centers, in urban, suburban, and rural settings are so fatal to all birds in their immediate vicinity. He will offer us his unique history of studying this topic for over four decades and his current cutting-edge research. The goal has and continues to be to save more bird lives from windows. He will end by inviting colleagues and the audience to pose questions and offer comments.

    WELCOMING REMARKS
    George Armistead is Vice President of the Delaware Valley Ornithological Club and Chief Network Officer at Rockjumper Worldwide Birding Adventures. He has guided trips to all seven continents. George has also authored two books including the ABA Field Guide to the Birds of Pennsylvania (2016, Scott & Nix, Inc.). He has a masters degree in environmental studies from the University of Pennsylvania and is an associate at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia

    Greg Goldman is the Executive Director of Audubon PA. He brings to Audubon a broad range of experience in a variety of sectors, including his most recent position as Vice President, Development for the Philadelphia Zoo. Prior to that, he was CEO of the Digital Impact Group, Executive Director of MANNA, and Senior Program Officer at the Philadelphia Foundation. Greg received his BA from Northwestern University and a Master’s degree in public policy from the University of Chicago

    This is a free event, but you are encouraged to register with Wyncote Audubon here.

    See the flyer for more details here

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October 19, 2017
  • Matthew Halley - John James Audubon: Separating Man from Myth

    October 19, 2017 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
    The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA 19103, USA

    The legendary ornithologist John James Audubon (1785–1851) began his studies of American birds as a teenager, on the banks of the Schuylkill River near Philadelphia. Few figures in American history have weathered as intense a scrutiny of their written work as Audubon. Nearly every scrap of his writing has been transcribed and debated in numerous biographies and articles spanning more than a century, each revisiting the same primary sources in search of a new angle, because no new material has surfaced in decades. Our speaker, Matthew Halley, recently discovered and transcribed several novel primary sources that provide a surprisingly fresh and intimate window into Audubon's character and story, and fill critical gaps in our understanding of the genesis of his masterpiece The Birds of America.

    Matthew Halley is an ornithologist and historian who grew up in Phoenixville, PA, on the opposite bank of the Schuylkill River near Audubon's home at Mill Grove. He is a Graduate Research Associate at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, editor of the Delaware Valley Ornithological Club (DVOC) and its journal Cassinia, and resident caretaker of the Wyck Historic House and Garden in Germantown, Philadelphia. Matthew is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University (2004, BA Sociology) and Delaware State University (2014, MS Natural Resources), and is currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science at Drexel University (BEES), where he studies the systematics, biogeography and behavior of New World thrushes (Turdidae). He has conducted research in Panama, Israel, India, Indonesia, Colombia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Canada, and the United States.


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November 2, 2017
  • Kate Garchinsky - Secret Life of the Red Fox

    November 2, 2017 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
    The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA 19103, USA

    Kate Garchinsky illustrates and writes children’s books and educational media in her studio in Edgmont, PA. Her picture book, "The Secret Life of the Red Fox," written by acclaimed wildlife author, Laurence Pringle, released this year and received a starred review from School Library Journal. In 2015 Kate Garchinsky received a grant from the Eckelberry Fellowship at the Academy of Natural Sciences, where she has spent time researching and illustrating extinction stories the Passenger Pigeon and the Carolina Parakeet.

    Kate recently completed two more narrative non-fiction kids' books, including a book about the little brown bat, and Rob Bierregaard's kidlit debut, "Belle’s Journey: An Osprey Takes Flight." Both will release in 2018.

    Get to know more about Kate and her bird art projects at KateGarchinsky.com.

    KIDS WELCOME!

    In this visual presentation, local bird artist and children's illustrator, Kate Garchinsky, will lead us through the creation of her narrative non-fiction books for children. She'll share her step-by-step process, from field research to messy sketches, and final color art. We'll also see some sneak previews of her and Rob Bierregaard's upcoming book about osprey migration.

    Signed books and fine art prints will be available for purchase or pre-order for the holidays. For a price list and previews, send an email to kategarchinsky@gmail.com.



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November 16, 2017
  • Annual Banquet

    November 16, 2017 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
    Sheet Metal Workers International Association, 1301 S Christopher Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19147, USA

    Speaker: Neil Hayward - ABA Big Year Birder and author of "Lost Among the Birds - Accidentally Finding Myself in One Very Big Year"
    Early in 2013 Neil Hayward was at a crossroads. He didn't want to open a bakery or whatever else executives do when they quit a lucrative but unfulfilling job. He didn't want to think about his failed relationship with "the one" or his potential for ruining a new relationship with "the next one." And he almost certainly didn't want to think about turning forty. And so instead he went birding.

    Birding was a lifelong passion. It was only among the birds that Neil found a calm that had eluded him in the confusing world of humans. But this time he also found competition. His growing list of species reluctantly catapulted him into a Big Year--a race to find the most birds in one year. His peregrinations across twenty-eight states and six provinces in search of exotic species took him to a hoarfrost-covered forest in Massachusetts to find a Fieldfare; to Lake Havasu, Arizona, to see a rare Nutting's Flycatcher; and to Vancouver for the Red-flanked Bluetail. Neil's Big Year was as unplanned as it was accidental: It was the perfect distraction to life.

    Neil shocked the birding world by finding 749 species of bird and breaking the long-standing Big Year record. He also surprised himself: During his time among the hummingbirds, tanagers, and boobies, he found a renewed sense of confidence and hope about the world and his place in it.

    More details when available

    See more details