Everyone has a story about their entry into birding. Mine started at 7 years
of age when I bugged my mother with “what’s that?” on trips to the parks in
northern Virginia. She couldn’t answer my question, but she bought me a book,
Bird Watcher’s Guide by Henry Collins. Dad helped by bringing me binoculars
acquired while on duty in the Pacific. Little did I know then what a life long
endeavor this would become.
I obtained a B.S. in Biology at Stephen F. Austin State University. I joined
the local Audubon Society there and started my life list, which now exceeds 300
birds, and I went on my first Christmas Count.
I worked for a river authority in East Texas—my first job out of college. The
work involved water quality and water pollution abatement. It took me to the
field and allowed me to bird while assisting cities and industries comply with
their federal and state permits.
I taught for 26 years, primarily chemistry and physics, but also biology and
mathematics. I thoroughly enjoyed biology when the subject turned to Aves.
Texas is a great place to be a birder as it is on the Central Flyway and next
to the Mississippi Flyway. However, wherever I’ve been, from Maine to Washington
and North Carolina to California and Hawaii, I’ve carried my binoculars and
field guides. The pleasure of my companion birders matches the wonder and
excitement of sighting a “lifer” or an “old friend”.