It’s a rare occasion when my work life and birding hobby converge, but that’s what happened last month when I covered a group of Princeton University students competing in New Jersey Audubon’s World Series of Birding.
I had met two of the members of the team on a bird walk they had arranged through the student birding club, and I learned then that they were going to participate in the World Series on May 14.
That was too good of a story to pass up, so I volunteered to write one and take photographs as well. The story is on the university’s website, proudly touting that the five undergraduates and one graduate student of the Princeton Tiger Shrikes won the competition.
If I were much younger, I might have ridden along with the team during their 24-hour, marathon birding session. But instead I chose to meet them in one spot, at the Coral Avenue Beach at the southern tip of Cape May. The students were there for 15 minutes, enough time for me to take some photos and a little video of them birding from the observation platform. I caught up with the students later by phone and text after they learned the next day that they’d won the competition.
The students on the Tiger Shrikes are remarkable young people who care not only for birds, but also for the greater natural world. I’m glad to know that they and others like them will be heading out into the world, making it a better place for all of us.