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Here's what a handful of donors say:
BirdNote Changed My Life!
In 2005, Terry Nightingale moved from his urban home in Seattle to rural Marysville, Washington. In this setting, he noticed he was hearing and seeing more birds. At the time, Terry didn’t have an affinity for birds, but his commute to Seattle happened to coincide with the daily broadcast of BirdNote on 88.5 FM, then called KPLU.
As Terry listened to BirdNote, he began to harken back to the sounds of his childhood. “Soon after I moved to Marysville, I heard a BirdNote show about the Swainson’s Thrush,” Terry recalls. “I remembered its distinctive song, but I didn’t know what kind of bird it was. Hearing it on BirdNote was a great revelation.”
The more Terry heard, the more curious he became. “I was intrigued by what I heard on BirdNote and what I was seeing in my backyard,” he says. Within a few years, Terry was eager to learn more about birds. He discovered that local Audubon chapters offered field trips, so Terry and his 13-year-old daughter, Chloe, signed up for a bird walk. Terry was happy to put a name to the Dark-eyed Junco, a bird that he commonly observed at home. He also discovered that his binoculars were not up to the task.
“But I was hooked!” Terry says. Over the next year, he joined at least two field trips per month led by Audubon chapters in the region. “I learned about raptors and shorebirds. I loved seeing my first Bonaparte’s Gull. And I realized that participants and leaders brought a wealth of knowledge about birds and their habitats to share.”
Terry became a trip leader in his local Audubon chapter in 2010, leading an average of 10 trips per year. In late 2013, he stepped up as vice president of Pilchuck Audubon. He is particularly interested in carrying on the legacy of education and outreach. Terry feels a great respect for the elders who have imparted so much wisdom to him about birds and their habitats. He is grateful to his mentors and to BirdNote for opening his ears to the sounds and songs of birds. In fact, Terry subscribes to the BirdNote podcast and has archived every show. “I’ve listened to about 90 percent of them, and I’m still learning,” he says.
From simply being aware of birds to educating others about the birds of the Pacific Northwest, Terry has embarked on a transformational journey. “BirdNote literally changed my life,” he says.
Marsh Wren © Gregg Thompson