Know Your Birders

If you are a birder or an avid bird watcher, then you would be interested to know that there are a couple of well known personalities that you share this passion with. You probably have heard some of the people I will be mentioning later on, but, you might also be able to pick up a couple of new names to add to your own list. Let’s get to know your birders.

Roger Tory Peterson can be considered as one of the fathers of the 20th century environmental movement. His Field Guide to the Birds which was published in 1934 has revolutionized the way people see the environment. Peterson brought the highly complex and jargon filled guides of field biologists to a level that ordinary people can understand and appreciate. The result was a new sense of awareness and understanding on the natural world. Peterson’s work laid the foundation for the rise of birding associations and even wildlife centers.

Another great birder is Kenn Kaufman. At the age of sixteen, he began hitch hiking all around North America looking for birds, that pursuit still continues until today. After a three year hiking stint, Kaufman was able to identify 671 species of birds in the area which surpassed the previous record. Among his notable works include his Kaufman Field Guide Series (on North American birds, butterflies, mammals, and insects), Lives of North American Birds, and Kingbird Highway.

Two other birders that should be mentioned are David Allen Sibley and Pete Dunne. Sibley is the author and illustrator of the popular and rather comprehensive field guide, The Sibley Guide to Birds. Meanwhile, Pete Dunne is a birder and writer who is known for his columns and article contributions to various publications like American birds, Living Bird, Wildlife Conservation and WildBird.

We now go to some of the personalities or birder celebrities. First off, there’s the well known and respected personality in the area of environmental documentaries, Sir David Frederick Attenborough. One of his latest and quite notable works is with BBC’s eight part “Life” series which tackled the survey of all terrestrial life.

Other celebrities include Ian Fleming. Yes, the author of the popular James Bond books is a certified birder. The name James Bond is actually a borrowed one from the author of the Birds of the West Indies which was first published in 1936. The name Goldeneye which is the name of Fleming’s estate in Jamaica and the title of the seventeenth of the movie franchise was from a duck and World War II mission code name.

Abraham Lincoln is said to be an avid bird lover as well. According to one story, he picked up a nest of robin younglings that fell from the tree. Lincoln placed the nest back on the branch of the tree. Writer Agatha Christie is also said to be an avid bird watcher. It is said that she never leaves home without a good pair of binoculars.

Celebrity birders also include Sir Anthony Galsworthy, former UK Ambassador to China, Trevor Harrison, Princess Takamado of Japan, Jimmy Carter, Charley Harper, and Sir Kenneth Dover. So don’t fret if you think your friends are making fun of your because of your new found hobby. Just mentioned a few of the big names that are in our list and surely, that should keep them quiet.