Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Audubon - Koeppel: The Afterlife List - Routinely driving 10 hours to list a bird through car window, quick turnaround 10-hour drive back, in resource and pollution costs, might as well run over it. --tma

Jason Holley

Want to see the Mountain Quail? I can probably deliver it for you. Living in the foothills of Los Angeles, I’ve encountered this easy-to-identify species—a bluish-gray upper body, with a signature “exclamation point” head plume—dozens of times on local hikes, bike rides, and camping trips. Climb above 3,000 feet on an early spring morning in the San Gabriel or San Bernardino mountains, and there’s a pretty fair chance you’ll spot the bird, if not on the first try, then soon after.
That’s what I told my dad in 1993. At that point, Richard Koeppel was, at age 58, five decades into a lifetime of birding that would see his world list exceed 7,000 species, making him one of the planet’s top birders. Like many “Big Listers,” Dad kept secondary tallies as well. On this continent, he had just 20 birds left to see out of a total of 896, according to the American Birding Association’s checklist at the time. ...