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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

DC Birder Profiles

As you may have noticed, there have been some changes to the site. Another sidebar added means a little less scrolling and a little more room for links and such. Some more edits to come.

Along with the new look is a new feature that I hope to post at least once a week. I haven't been birding long, but I've been at it long enough to realize that although two birds may look the same, every birder is unique. Everyone's got their stories to tell and their boasts to boast. So, in an effort to facilitate a forum for these stories as well as get a little bit more personal with the DC birding community than MDOsprey posts, I've put together a list of questions to ask DC-area birders. The first is Mr. Tom Marko. Tom and I emailed back and forth the other day about DC kestrel sightings and his friendly e-demeanor and obvious birding skills made his a worthwhile first candidate (guinea pig!) for my questions. Tom, thanks for answering.

Birder Profile: Tom Marko

Name: Tom Marko
DC Location: Bureau of Medicine & Surgery, 23rd & E Streets, NW
Profession: Health Program Specialist
Years Birding: 4+
Lists: World-614, ABA-452, Maryland-234, Montgomery County, MD-184, Blue Marsh-145, Backyard-51, Roosevelt Island, DC-99
Field Guide: National Geographic & Sibley
Optics: Swarovski SLC 10x50 & Pentax Spotting Scope PF-80 ED w/20-60x eyepiece
Birding Organizations: American Birding Association (ABA), Montgomery County Bird Club (a chapter of the MD Ornithological Society), Audubon Naturalist Society, American Bird Conservancy

Favorite Bird: Puerto Rican Tody
Least Favorite Bird (c'mon we've all got one): European Starling
Bird You'd Most Like To See But Haven't: Elegant Trogon
Wish You Were Better At Identifying: Sandpipers & Gulls

Favorite DC-area Birding Location: Lunchtime walks on Roosevelt Island
Favorite non-DC Birding Location: Blue Marsh Trail, Montgomery County, MD
Best DC-area Sighting: A Bald Eagle soaring over the Potomac River with the Capital dome in the background
Missed Opportunity: Not seeing a Gray-crowned Yellowthroat at the Sabal Palms Sanctuary (Lower Rio Grande Valley, TX) during a May 05 visit
Fondest Remembered Single Day: 20 Apr 03 - While hiking a hilltop trail on a clear, crisp, sunny morning in the Maricoa State Forest in Puerto Rico, I happened upon a Puerto Rican Emerald perched on a branch. Upon rounding the next bend, a Red-Tailed Hawk soared from its perch down into the valley below enabling me to see the hawk’s red tail from above. This quick contrast between the elegant hummingbird and majestic hawk perfectly illustrated the diversity of birds, perhaps the primary reason I’m attracted to bird watching.

Birder Profile: Nick Lund

Name: Nick Lund
DC Location: Capital Hill, near Lincoln Park
Profession: Intern, Democratic Staff of the House Science Committee
Years Birding: 1
Lists: ABA-202, DC-52
Field Guide: Sorry Roger Tory, I've switched to Sibley.
Optics: Nikon Owl II

Favorite Bird: American Oystercatchers for aesthetics. BC Chickadees for personality.
Least Favorite Bird (c'mon we've all got one): American Robins. I mean, they're cool and all but they're everywhere and always look like something more interesting.
Bird You'd Most Like To See But Haven't: Albatross. Whole life soaring over the open ocean? Badass.
Wish You Were Better At Identifying: Sparrows

Favorite DC-area Birding Location: Occoquan, but Anacostia Park and KAG are close behind.
Favorite non-DC Birding Location: Evergreen Cemetery, Portland ME
Best DC-area Sighting:The Dulles Snowy Owl
Misseopportunityty: Too many already. Painted Buntings, Varied Thrush, Western Tanagers in Maine. Buntings and Longspur in DE. LBB Gulls everywhere.
Fondest Remembered Single Day: 11/6/05 Milford, Conn. Saw Oystercatcher, Bittern and Monk Parakeet in about 20 minutes.
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