Last night I had the privilege of hearing Noah Strycker discuss his new book, Birding Without Borders, which chronicles his yearlong quest to see 5,000 birds worldwide. Portland Audubon sponsored the event which, by my estimate, drew an impressive 400+ people. And we were all lucky to be there. Noah is a not just a gifted researcher and author, but he is an engaging presenter. His ninety minute presentation flew by (see what I did there?), and had me marveling and laughing at his remarkable adventure.
I had never heard Noah before and was surprised to find such an engaging speaker. As someone who had spent a year researching penguins in Antarctica, walked the Pacific Crest Trail, and now, travelled the world alone in search of 5,000 birds, I was anticipating an introvert with little to no social skills. Noah is quite the opposite. He may self-identify as a "Bird Man", but he is clearly a "People Person". In fact, one of the defining aspects of his world tour was to bird in groups, enlisting local guides at every stop of the way. He remarked how the people and friendships made along the journey were as every bit as important, if not more, than his quest. Ain't that the truth!
The speech whet my appetite and I began reading the book today and am not disappointed. Do yourself a favor. If you have any money left over after purchasing your 2018 Conversations With Birds calendar, pick up a copy of Noah's book.