The interactions between and amongst birds, their habitats, birders, conservationists, and other land-users fascinates me. While I love seeing new birds, I’m less interested in adding numbers to a lifelist or yearlist than I am in becoming absorbed in natural history and seasonal nuances. In particular, I like to find–and write–about complexities and complications. Take, for example, Everglades Snail Kites (endangered) taking sustenance (by adapting morphologically!) from an invasive, damaging apple snail, or how in winter, when Snowy Owls move south to depart diminishing resources, they become the coveted resource and receive undue human pressure. I like these sorts of murky stories for they don’t automatically reconcile, and they make me feel, deeply.
In searching out these stories in 2021, my plan is — with my pickup, my canoe, and my partner — to start in Florida. It was a place prominent in early U.S. bird conservation, and it seems a fitting start point. From there, I’ll work west along the Gulf over to Louisiana’s coastal marshes. There, I hope to see — and also share with you — a threshold of a changing climate’s damage. Then I plan to continue west towards the Texas-Mexico border wall region. While doing this, I will be developing stories and bird club programs that I hope to share along the way…
A note on Covid-19: I acknowledge that to embark on nonessential travels under current circumstances may suggest recklessness. My mode of travel (and of being) has always been self-contained, and social distancing has never been a challenge. (In fact, social distancing is probably my preference, pandemic or not!). It IS possible to travel responsibly, in good conscience, and without becoming a vector to communities passed through. I neither plan nor desire to occupy enclosed public spaces (save the occasional grocery run), and will wear a mask in such situations. In the event that new mandates are set I will respect and comply with them.