All Authors Page


Amar Ayyash

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http://anythinglarus.blogspot.com/
Email
amarayyash@yahoo.com
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I’m a birder from the Chicago area with a keen interest in studying gulls; the challenge is immense but very rewarding as well. I hope to provide an emphasis on identification issues and also share stories from my travels. I consider myself a toddler on the learning curve and learning about gulls has been very humbling. I teach Math for a living and so I appreciate the use of patterns and deductive reasoning. For me, the disarray that gulls present is what makes them so interesting and fun to watch.



Ali Iyoob

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Aliiyoob@nc.rr.com
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I am a 16 year old birder from Raleigh, NC. Ever since I can remember, I have been interested in nature, but turned into a “real” birder in the spring of 2008, after being introduced to it by a neighbor, and then reading Kingbird Highway. Since then, I have birded extensively in my home state, as well as Florida, Georgia, and New York, and hope to travel to some other ABA hotspots in the near future. I have also been on quite a few big days, lots of CBCs, and am a member of the Carolina Bird Club, American Birding Association, and the Audubon Society. I love nature photography as well, and it is a hobby that has evolved alongside my interest in birding. In addition to birding, I am an active butterflier, oder, and herper.



Adam Sell

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adamsell86@gmail.com
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I’m a rabid birder from the north suburbs of Chicago. I’m pursuing a career in environmental education, and hope to trick people into paying me to do what I love.



Bo Beolens

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Website
http://www.fatbirder.com/
Email
bo@fatbirder.com
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Bo Beolens is an Englishman in his sixties (the photo lies) who has birded for more than half a century without becoming any more skilled. His enthusiasm has led him to a large (sic) web presence (www.fatbirder.com) writing articles in US and UK bird magazines, and a regular column as ‘the grumpy old birder’. He is currently writing (with co-authors) his fourth work on taxonomic eponyms (‘Whose Bird’ 2003, ‘The Eponym Dictionary of Mammals’ 2008, ‘The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles’ 2011 he hopes). He also founded the international ‘disabled birders association’ (now called ‘Birding For All’) a decade ago. His passion is birding and he also organises and leads overseas trips for disabled birders & others. He has birded in Australasia, Asia, Europe, Africa, Central America and North America. Favourite bird – Common Swift – alleged to spend its first two years continuously on the wing.



Christian Walker

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christian.walker@earthlink.net
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Christian Walker is 19 and is now a freshman at the University of Dallas, majoring in biology under Dr. Marcy Brown-Marsden in order to go on to graduate school for ornithology. He began birding seven years ago under the mentorship of Bill and Judy Quick, in Austin, Texas, and since then has been all over the United States, and has visited Belize and Israel. He started the 4-H Central Texas Young Birder’s Club in 2008, and has assisted with some banding projects conducted by Dr. Brent Ortego of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Christian is active in several science-based birding events including several Texas Christmas Bird Counts, and the Great Texas Birding Classic – last year he was captain of the winning TOS/TAS Towhees GTBC team. He attended the ABA Young Birder’s Conference in the summer of 2009, and is a devoted eBirder. He is very interested in “local-patch” birding, (his patch is now the University of Dallas campus), and exploring and learning about birds by sketching and taking notes.



Dave Brown

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dave.browne@gmail.com
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Dave Brown has been birding extensively for the last 12 years. A passion which started after taking an Ornithology course, as a means of impressing a bird loving ex girlfriends father, soon spiraled out of control and blossomed into a full fledged obsession. While interested in all forms of birding he can usually be found on some headland or beach chasing down rarities in his native Newfoundland. During the winter months he’s the guy you see every day at Quidi Vidi Lake in St.John’s, frozen to the side of a snow bank with bins and a camera in hand. A true Larophile, he’s logged thousands of hours watching gulls over the last decade and now shares his knowledge with others in the form of identification articles and workshops. Over the last two years Dave has sought to make birding his profession and now works as a professional guide, offering a selection of tours and personal birding vacations in Newfoundland.



Dan & Barbara Williams

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twotringas@gmail.com
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Dan and Barbara met on a birding tour to Attu Island in 1988 and have been birding neck and neck, eye to eye, hand in hand and toe to toe ever since. They are active in local, state and national birding organizations, coordinate Christmas counts and tend to vacation in remote, bird infested places. They are casual photographers who are interested in the broad spectrum of natural history. Mammals, insects, wildflowers and trees, as well as birds, all get their share of attention. They have recreated prairie and maintain butterfly gardens where they live in Rockford, IL.



Dave Dolan

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Website
http://www.surfbirds.com/blog/DDolan1075/
Email
DDolan1075@aol.com
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Dave is a relatively new birder, having started in March of 2008. He is lucky enough to bird in Texas, where he can see birds from the east and west as well as birds from the border that are not seen in most of the U.S. Dave spends alot of the spring migration at High Island, a world renowned hot spot for warbler migration. Most of his birding is done with a camera and so he tries to get some decent pictures for his blog entries. He just got a new scope and is trying to find what works best for him in terms of birding and digiscoping. He has a series of posts that will document his birding life from the beginning in March of 2008 until now. Look in the Categories box on the right and click on New Birder and you will find a list of those posts.



Dawn Keller

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Website
http://www.flintcreekwildlife.org/
Email
dawn@flintcreekwildlife.org
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Dawn Keller is the Founder and Director of Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation, a not-for-profit organization with three Chicago-area locations that admit more than 2,600 birds annually. In addition to caring for injured and orphaned wild birds–everything from hummingbirds to eagles–until they can be released back to the wild, she and many dedicated Flint Creek Wildlife volunteers rescue migratory birds that collide with windows of downtown Chicago’s skyscrapers through coordinated volunteer teams that converge on downtown each pre-dawn morning during spring and fall migration. She also coordinates Flint Creek Wildlife’s education efforts that provide public outreach and education using non-releasable birds of prey and teaches care and handling of captive raptors through training and internship programs. She probably cannot identify many birds in the field since her birding perspective is usually in the hand.



Ethan Gyllenhaal

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ethannatureboy@aol.com
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As long as I can remember, my family has been feeding the backyard birds. I remember, every winter, waiting for the juncos to come, and they were probably the first native bird I learned how to ID. My interest in birds continued to grow, catalyzed by my brother getting some pet parakeets. In 7th grade, I went on my first chase, which was of the Beliot Green-breasted Mango, but have been “really” birding since around 5th grade. In the past 2 years, I’ve gone to 2 young birder camps (Camp Chiricahua by VENT and Camp Colorado by ABA), and have been more active and known in the young birder community. I am now in Sophmore year of highschool, and go birding every weekend, and often once or twice a week after school at my local park. I also was converted to a devoted eBirder when I went to Camp Colorado, and always have my notepad with me while I bird.



Elliot Schunke

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ewschunke@hotmail.com
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Elliot Schunke has always enjoyed the outdoors. Growing up, he and his father spent a lot of time in the woods, camped and fished. It wasn’t until the 8th grade when his specific interest in birds sparked. This moment occurred in a bird unit put together by his science teacher, Mr. Richard Gibson. Casual birding not too far from home continued through high school and his time at Eastern Illinois University, where he received a Bachelors in Biological Sciences. Since college, he has traveled the globe assisting on various bird-related field studies. He’s worked for Wisconsin and Alabama A&M Universities, Archbold Biological Station, Maui Forest Bird Recovery Project, Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center in Jamaica and a couple environmental consulting companies as well as volunteering for Life Net Nature in Ecuador on a bird banding project. He’s always looking to travel for work and never knows where he’ll end up next. His blog entries will describe the bird research he dose at various field job, interesting things he sees while birding for fun and updates on his favorite little local haunt, the Milford Water Treatment Plant.



Forrest Rowland

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rowbird2005@gmail.com
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I began my nearly life-long interest in birds at age 9, when my family took a trip to the Tropical Island nation of Trinidad. Since then, birds and wildlife have been my life’s career focus. Though travels and work have taken me to over 30 countries thus far, my new position as New World Director and Head Guide for Rockjumper Tours should allow me time to expand on my personal interests in writing, as well as expand my horizons to new countries, cultures, and birds.



Grant McCreary

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Website
http://www.birderslibrary.com
Email
jedigrant@yahoo.com
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Grant enjoyed birds and nature when he was little but, as with many kids, eventually lost interest. But then in the summer of 2003, he was looking for an updated field guide (it’s a long story). He found the Sibley guide, and in the process rekindled his love of birds. He has since birded the US fairly extensively, with a couple of trips abroad (so far). If he’s not watching birds, he’s likely reading about them. His love of bird books led him to start The Birder’s Library, a website where he reviews them.



Jen Brumfield

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Website
http://www.jenbrumfield.com/
Email
elfin_skimmer@hotmail.com
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Josh Engel

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jengel2@fieldmuseum.org
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Josh grew up near Chicago, where he soon learned the joys of birding along the Lake Michigan shoreline. He was soon crisscrossing the US with other young birders before getting hooked on the Neotropics. A semester abroad in Ecuador led him back there after graduation where he began working as a guide for Tropical Birding. He was then shipped off to their Cape Town office, where he was based for nearly four years while guiding in Africa and Asia. He has recently returned to his roots, taking a job doing research on African birds at the Field Museum of Natural History while still making occasional forays around North American and overseas to guide.



Jeff Gordon

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jgordon@aba.org
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Jeff Gordon is the president of the American Birding Association. There’s very little about birds, birding, and birders that he doesn’t find fascinating, though he’s especially interested in birding culture and the many ways we all communicate our passion for birds.



John Puschock

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Website
http://zbirdtours.com/
Email
info@zbirdtours.com
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Factoids about John:
– John began birding after a run-in with an eighth grade science class bird project.
– He followed the typical career path of a young birder, earning a few degrees in wildlife biology and moving around the country for temporary field work (and lifers).
– He is often unsure whether to write biographical information in the first- or third-person.
– John switched careers from biologist to tour guide, first (and still) leading tours for Bird Treks and then starting his own company, Zugunruhe Birding Tours.
– He hates to promote himself, but he would absolutely love it if you looked at his company’s website (www.zbirdtours.com).
– John has had driver licenses from seven states. In other words, he’s moved around a lot.
– Keep in mind he hates to promote himself, but he would like you to know that Attu isn’t “closed”, his company led a tour there in 2010, and there’s space on tours there in 2012.
– John is a mammal.



Jeff Skrentny

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Email
SkrentnySpeaks@me.com
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Jeff Skrentny began birding in 2006 after reading “The Big Year,” “Kingbird Highway” & “The Grail Bird.” Since then he has been going gonzo, and in 2009 tied the Big Year record for Illinois at the time: 323 species. His current birding obsession: doing a Big Day every month in 2011 in an attempt to rewrite the Illinois Big Day record book.

Jeff has been an executive recruiter for 25 years, and has also been a trainer, author, advisor and motivator for his profession for the last 15 years, as well as being a business consultant for its producers, managers & owners for the last 10 years, all while still running a busy search business in Chicago, at his firm Jefferson Group Search.



Jason Weckstein

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Website
http://fm1.fieldmuseum.org/aa/staff_page.cgi?staff=jweckstein
Email
jweckstein@fieldmuseum.org
Profile
Jason Weckstein is a research scientist at the Field Museum of Natural
History in Chicago, Illinois. He is both an Ornithologist and
Parasitologist and uses DNA to study the evolutionary history and
biology of birds and their parasites in North America, South America,
and Africa. In addition to being a scientist he is also a hardcore
birder. He is happy looking at birds almost anywhere he goes, whether
that involves adding birds to his yard list, birding around the Field
Museum during lunch, chasing a local vagrant, or birding in the
tropics.



Karen Mansfield

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Email
lokifinch@gmail.com
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A birder from the Chicago who has a passion for hiking and adventuring. Karen Mansfield hiked the Appalachian Trail from Maine to Georgia in 2010. On the trip she found two life birds: Spruce Grouse and Bicknell’s Thrush. She was given the trail (nick) name “Birdy,” by another hiker because she was constantly looking for bird life. Next, Birdy plans to walk north on the Pacific Crest Trail beginning May 2012. Western birds are fairly new for her and identification will be a challenge but on the upside the Pacific Crest Trail is long (2,658.5 miles) offering plenty of time to learn. You are cordially invited to follow Birdy: Thru-hiker on the Pacific Crest Trail, an adventure blog hosted by the North American Birding.



Larry Balch

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lgbalch@comcast.net
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Larry discovered birds as a Boy Scout, dropped them when he discovered girls might be interested in him, and then, realizing he’d never really completely understand girls, resumed birding in the late 1960s. Strongly influenced by Charlie Clark and Laurie Binford, he was one of the most active birders in the Chicagoland area, along with Charlie and Jerry Rosenband. Larry watched as several Chicago area teens took up birding and eventually became nationally known—Bill Tweit, Steve Mlodinow, and a guy named Greg Neise.

Soon after its founding, he joined the ABA and became active in that organization and in national birding circles. He was one of the most active Illinois and ABA-area listers into the 1980s, but those interests ended when two others took over. In 1977, Larry had discovered how birders might visit Attu, and started a company two years later to take them there. It grew into a major logistical effort in the 1980s. In that same period, he became President of the ABA just before it suffered its existential crisis. Getting the organization back on its feet was a trying and exhausting experience that was made possible only through the efforts (and pocketbooks) of many other dedicated Officers and members. After big-time birding at Attu ended in 2000, Larry and wife Donna moved from Cook County to Rockford and he gradually resumed some of his listing interests. Regretfully noting that he had by choice declined to chase 22 see-able Illinois species, Larry is now back chasing both Illinois and Cook County birds. He also takes occasional foreign birding trips with Donna and friends, and tells stories about the old days.



Matt Fraker

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frakerpovc@aol.com
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In 2005, Matt Fraker and Sherri Thornton acquired the 160 acre Scovill-Ball farm in central Illinois’ Mackinaw Valley, which along with a 52 acre property to the west, sits amidst the 2000 acre plus Mackinaw Bluffs Corridor Natural Area in southeast Woodford County of Illinois. Their ongoing conservation efforts include prairie restoration, bottomland forest restoration, savanna restoration and management of the ParkLands Foundation nature preserves. Matt owns the Prairie Oak Veterinary Center in Bloomington, IL and is very active with the ParkLands Foundation which protects and ecologically restores historic natural lands in the middle and upper Mackinaw Valley watershed in central Illinois. Matt has been birding longer than he can remember. His 100th bird was a Little Blue Heron he saw in Florida when he was six. After graduating from vet school, he spent 12 years using his free time travelling North America with his dog, “Hobbs”. Now, with three children and his extremely patient wife, he has since been working his way towards “the 700 club”, while keeping tabs on several birding hotspots in central Illinois.



Mike at Two-Fisted Birdwatcher

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Website
http://www.twofistedbirdwatcher.com
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twofistedbirdwatcher@gmail.com
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Mike’s a guy who writes a website called, as you might expect, Two-Fisted Birdwatcher. Add a “dot com,” and you could go there some time. When he’s not writing for the site, he’s writing other things. He’s an advertising creative director, and has written a column for the Chicago Tribune called “Got a Minute.” He’s published short stories in snobby literary reviews as well as Playboy magazine. The “two-fisted” idea comes from Mike’s observation that when you hold binoculars, your hands form two fists. And this dovetails nicely with his claim that bird watchers are not geeky as the public image suggests, but are in fact rugged, tough, “two-fisted” guys and ballsy women. The kind of stuff Mike will put on this website might come from left field, or anywhere unexpected. It could be about life, sports, funny experiences, interesting people …but there will be a connection to the thing that interests us all: birding, or as Mike stubbornly calls it—bird watching. He’s no ornithologist, and he’s hardly a twitcher, but he knows the name of every bird he sees. And he’s got some stories to share.



Roger Everhart

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reverhart@charter.net
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Roger Everhart is a biologist, bird bander, birder, photographer and teacher in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota. After growing up in Chicago, attending college in Wisconsin and then going to graduate school for wildlife management in Minnesota he found himself in the suburbs of Minneapolis/St. Paul. The day job is as an instructor at the School of Environmental Studies in Apple Valley, MN but other hats include Director of the North Central Bird Observatory, volunteer bird bander for Three Rivers Park District and part time contractor with the Minnesota DNR. Last but not least he is a husband and father of 3 great kids, all of whom know the difference between a Black-capped Chickadee and a White-breasted Nuthatch and that there is no such thing as a seagull.



Radd Icenoggle

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Website
http://www.radleyice.com
Email
radd@raddphotography.com
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Radd Icenoggle is a native Montanan, who has spent a lifetime as an outdoors and wildlife enthusiast. He possesses a degree in biology with an emphasis on habitat relations. During his studies, he wrote a thesis that explored the effects of slope aspect on communities in southwestern Montana and, more specifically, the ways that Clark’s Nutcrackers use their habitat. He has worked for the U.S. Forest Service as a botanist, bird biologist, and hydrology technician. Through his writing and photography, he endeavors to bring nature to his audience.

His blog can be found at http://www.radleyice.com



Spallin Jay

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spartanspallin@hotmail.com
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Spallin Jay hails from Ottawa, Ontario and really likes Cheetos, martinis and dinosaurs…though not necessarily at the same time.



Sandy Komito

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skomito@msn.com
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Sandy has been an active birder for nearly seventy years, and the only North American birder who has ever done two ABA Big Years. The first in 1987 netted 726 species, and the 1998 effort achieved an incredible 748, setting the current ABA area Big Year record. During the 1980s and 1990s, he was the most traveled birder in North America, regularly travelling 100,000 miles per year. During that period, his ABA year list usually exceeded 500 species, with two years exceeding 600 and two others exceeding 700. Criss-crossing North America continuously, his travels included more than forty trips to Alaska including twelve tours to Attu Island in the outer Aleutians. Mr. Komito has published two books about his Big Year efforts, “Birding’s Indiana Jones” and “I Came, I Saw, I Counted (in 1998).” Both books are available from the author. He regularly gives Big Year talks to various birding groups both domestically and internationally, and can be reached at skomito@msn.com.



Sy Montgomery

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Symontgomery@myfairpoint.net
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To research books, films and articles, Sy Montgomery has been chased by an angry silverback gorilla in Zaire and bitten by a vampire bat in Costa Rica, worked in a pit crawling with 18,000 snakes in Manitoba and handled a wild tarantula in French Guiana. She has been deftly undressed by an orangutan in Borneo, hunted by a tiger in India, and swum with piranhas, electric eels and dolphins in the Amazon. For the newest of her 15 books–BIRDOLOGY for adults and KAKAPO RESCUE for kids–she bashed through the Australian rainforest to meet up with a 150-pound cassowary; took years of falconry lessons; worked with a wildlife rehabilitator to raise and release orphaned baby hummingbirds; and experienced the rare pleasure of an extremely endangered wild giant flightless parrot copulating with her head. Sy speaks frequently at schools and museums, libraries and universities and is a board member of Rainforest Conservation Fund.



Sean Scanlon

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scanlon@cornell.edu
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Senior Director, Department of Development and Philanthropy at Cornell Lab of Ornithology, in Ithaca New York.



Tim O’Connell

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Website
http://nrem.okstate.edu/faculty/oconnell.html
Email
tim.oconnell@okstate.edu
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Tim O’Connell is a professor at Oklahoma State University (Go Pokes!) where he teaches classes in wildlife ecology and directs research on bird/habitat associations. While his life list would only qualify as a “medium year” for many birders, he’s been an avid birder since childhood when he decided to identify all the birds on his family farm in Central NY. His inspiration was a plate of “farmland birds” in the 1975 World Book Encyclopedia (a.k.a., the pre-Internet). Since then, he’s had wonderful birding experiences across most of the Lower 48, plus forays to Newfoundland, Bermuda, Ireland, and Mexico. Tim left New York in 1989 and has been based in Virginia, Pennsylvania, and, since 2003, Oklahoma where he gets to enjoy scissortails for 6 months each year. He is the current president of the Payne County Audubon Society, and has held positions with the Oklahoma Ornithological Society, Pennsylvania Society for Ornithology, and the State College (PA) Bird Club. He is keenly interested in training the next generation of birders and ornithologists, and actively engaged in efforts to do that through the international Wilson and Cooper ornithological societies. He remains steadfast in his conviction that Louisiana Waterthrush is the pinnacle of avian evolution.



Vic Berardi

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vbirdman@aol.com
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Vic Berardi is the founder of the Illinois Beach State Park Hawk Watch and currently is a Board Member of the Hawk Migration Association of North America (HMANA). He has authored several articles in regard to raptor migration and gives presentations to bird clubs teaching others about hawks and hawk migration. He is an avid nature photographer concentrating mostly on raptors and occasionally writes tutorial articles for his son’s blog PhotoNaturalist. Many of his photographs have been published in a leading raptor journal and other birding journals and guidebooks, including the new Stokes guide.