Our friends at Bird Watcher's Digest have come up with a fabulous idea! It's a new series of events called Reader Rendezvous: three weekends, three seasons, three different locations in the U.S.--each a distinctly wonderful opportunity in 2014 to discover, learn, and walk alongside one of the birding industry's most notable celebrities: Al Batt, Julie Zickefoose, or Alvaro Jaramillo. Does this pique your interest? Then let's consider the first of the series, coming up February 21-23: Owls with Al.
Al Batt is a well-known and beloved humorist, storyteller, and possibly the funniest birder alive. A native of northern Minnesota, Al travels widely across North America giving presentations and sharing his delightful folksy stories and witty wisdom. His first book, A Life Gone to the Birds, was published in the fall of 2013.
On that weekend in mid-February, Al will be leading intrepid participants through Minnesota's famed Sax-Zim Bog and other local hotspots in search of northern species such as the Great Gray and Boreal Owls, Pine Grosbeak, and Spruce Grouse. Home base will be the the Hibbing Park Hotel & Suites in--you guessed it, Hibbing, Minnesota--childhood home of Bob Dylan. After a day of adventure, back at the hotel you'll relax and laugh while listening to Al's hilarious presentation after your evening meal. Next day, there will still be time to log in a few Boreal Chicakdees, a Northern Hawk Owl or two, and maybe a moose or a bear before everyone packs up and heads home.
Click here to learn about the entire schedule and register for this weekend of fun, new friends, and fabulous winter birding! Oh, and be sure to read up on two more Reader Rendezvous events planned for later in 2014. Just an aside here: paddling in West Virginia in August with Julie Zickefoose and several dozen Red-Headed Woodpeckers sounds like a perfect trip for yours truly!
I recently spoke on the phone with a customer--a gentleman shopping for a binocular for an upcoming birding trip. Turns out his wife had bought him this Owls with Al weekend as a birthday gift. He was eagerly looking forward to it, and asked me (a native Midwesterner) how cold the weather might be up there come February. I hesitated, stifled a giggle, and told him I wasn't sure--but to go ahead and pack a few of his warmest things, just in case.
Eagle Optics Staff
Binoculars: Bring them. See what they bring you.