Here are a series of interactive maps that will eventually designate all the places in the world where I have found interesting birds. That encompasses about twenty countries on six continents over almost fifty years.

All this peripatetic activity was the result of various career choices that afforded or required a great deal of travel. Since I left home to go to college, I have moved 22 times. I have lived for a year or more in four different countries on three continents. The longest I have lived in one place was seven years. That was in Yellow Springs, Ohio, a lovely place full of interesting and eccentric people, but ornithologically a long chalk short of, say, Tucson, Arizona. Typically, just as I was about to become an expert on the birds of any one place, I would be required to pull up stakes and start again somewhere else. The result is that my knowledge of birds is like the Powder River: a mile wide and an inch deep. But I must say it has been fun.

The map annotations also contain nostalgia about how those places used to be and lamentations on how they are now. I think it is fair to say that no place I have known has improved in my lifetime. The least affected have been the most protected, but even those show slow deterioration of habitat due to human overuse. And we haven’t even started to see the changes that global warming is certain to bring.

I would really like to make one highly complicated map capturing the majestic sweep of my birdwatching career. Sadly, Google Maps can’t handle it, or at least not yet. Thus I have decided to have an overview map and supplement that with more detailed maps broken down by decade. Here is what I have so far:

The 50s and 60s.


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