Biking "Bird Year Family" coming to Cape Canaveral in Mid-March
By Jim Meyer
"Eh" is a Canadian expression used frequently to confirm a statment as a U.S. American might say "right". On sunday, July 22, I was invited to a bird walk to meet a couple and their 15 year old son who had just arrived in Squamish, B.C., from Whitehorse in the YuKon Province on bicycles, traveling over 1200 miles. I soon learned what a Bird Year was when Ken and Wendy Boothroyd told me that Malkolm had come up with the idea of biking for a year from their home in Whitehorse to Florida and compiling a bird list. BIRD YEAR, eh!
Ken is a former school teacher turned naturalist and Wendy is a G.P. on a sebatical and Malkolm just finished his Sophmore year of High School. I can tell you, I felt priviledged meeting this wholesome family who had started what most people would consider an impossible undertaking. When I told Eileen, she said "you mean motorcyces, right?"
Several other Squamish birders joined in as we left our hostess's yard and walked across the street into a 2nd growth forest of mostly hemlock and Western fir trees. Among the species seen were:
- Hairy Woodpecker
- Black-capped Chickadees
- Willow Flycatchers
- Glaucous-winged Gulls*
- N.W. Crows*
- Red Crossbills*
- MacGillivrays Warbler
- Black-throated Gray Warbler
- Winter Wren
- Red-breasted Nuthatch
*new species for the BIRD YEAR
Several weeks ago, I got a surprise email from Wendy Boothroyd, the Physcian biking Mother, that she, Ken, her husband, and Malkolm, their 15 year old son, had decided to make a trip up the East coast of Florida after reaching the Everglades. When I had met them on July 21 in Squamish, B.C., after "only" 30 days and 1000 miles of biking from their home in Whitehorse in the Yukon Province of Canada, they were not planning on including the East coast so I was elated to hear the news.
As of January 7, they made New Orleans after 7700 miles of biking, 40 flat tires, and 16 presentations and have amassed 431 bird species on their birdyear list. Hopefully, some of our expert birders will be able to assist them on adding to their list. Maybe, Lori Wilson Park will be loaded with warblers. They spent Christmas in Galveston and participated in a Christmas count at Mad Island Texas. around $3100 of their $12,000 goal for Bird Conservation. Hopefully, the audience at the SCAS sponsored March 15, 10:00 a.m. presentation at the Cape Canaveral Library will bolster up their kitty. I'm also working on a KSC tour for them but since this is a fossil-fuel-free trip, it was a bit challenging. Thanks to a tip by a NASA neighbor concerning some electric cars at KSC, Team Bird Year is now scheduled to tour KSC on March 14 in an electric PT Cruiser. Wow, is that cool!
Eileen and I will be hosting them here and in Inverness, Florida and a friend in Cape Coral will be doing the same. If any other members can help with accomodations in Florida or on their return trip to Texas, let me know. But for now, you can follow the adventures of the "Team Bird Year" at http://www.birdyear.com and get ready for a fantastic program on March 15 at the Cape Canaveral Library.