Mary Bowler

Member since: January 01, 2008

Positions and Achievements

Life Member

In the summer of 1979, I was Camp Nurse working for the Boy Scouts of America on Treasure Island in the Delaware River. My “bunk mate” was an older gentleman, Jim Lanning, a retired businessman from Connecticut. Each morning Jim rose early, and with binoculars in hand, slipped out of our lodge to canvas the island for bird and other wildlife. Each morning, I pulled the sheets over my head and held onto the last few precious minutes of sleep before I would have to face broken bones, cuts and other minor medical emergencies. Jim threatened me with the words “one day, you will join me!”
I finally gave in, reluctantly rose and borrowed a pair of his binoculars. My efforts at seeing birds through the binoculars were a bust. Before I could even focus on the birds, they were long gone. So I had to rely on my ears…that is how I learned to bird – I would hear the bird, Jim would tell me what he saw, and I would quickly open my Peterson’s guide and connect the sound with the picture. As the summer progressed, thankfully, so too did my binocular skills. From that summer on, I was hooked, and have been birding ever since.
Birding is a part of my every day. My home has lots of trees, shrubs and flowers, a few feeders and a fountain that attract birds and provide them with food and shelter. Right now, the house wrens are chattering and busy fixing up their nests in the gourds at the back of my house. Locally, I have enjoyed Lorimer Park, Skunk Hollow and Bombay Hook. I have also had the good fortune to bird in other magical places such as Alaska, Belize, Ecuador and the Galapagos….and will soon be off to Panama. Through the club, I hope to share my enthusiasm for birding with others and to be mentored with the passion of my first and favorite birding instructor, Jim Lanning, who has passed on to another life.


Youth Birding Committee