To most students birds just fall into the background of the day-to-day, but to Junior Nora Livingston and Sophomore Austin Patton– self-proclaimed “bird nerds” and the only members of the College’s newly created Bird Crew – birds are so much more. ...
Livingston hatched the idea for Bird Crew last fall in Santa Cruz Island, California where she conducted population studies on the Island Scrub Jay. A friend suggested that Livingston start a Bird Crew after observing her enthusiasm for birds and birding. Livingston proposed the idea to Lou Weber, field zoology and wildlife biology professor, and asked her to be the crew supervisor. ...
To find another crew member, Weber sent out e-mails to a handful of students. One of those students was sophomore Austin Patton.
“My interest [in birds and birding] really only peaked near the end of my first semester here,” Patton said. “I had grown up with two parents who were ornithologists, and so of course as a kid was all I wanted to do was dislike what they liked.”
Despite Patton’s attempts to resist his parents’ bird-loving tendencies, he realized in the second half of his freshman year at the College that his childhood experiences with birds and birding really influenced him. One of his fondest childhood memories was when his parents were studying Worm-Eating Warblers. ...
“We’ll teach anyone who doesn’t know about birds what they’re hearing, what they’re seeing,” Patton said. “This gives people an opportunity to get familiar with birds they never have before.”
“Its just a nice way to be around campus,” Livingston said. “A lot of people go on walks but this is a little bit slower of a walk… You get to see things and learn things as well, which is really fun.” ...Read the full article