Monday, July 21, 2014

Talk Reminder and Some Great Media Coverage on the Owls

Moday, July 21, 2014

Over the last few years the owls and my work with them have enjoyed and benefited from consistent media coverage ranging from articles in school newspapers and conservation group newsletters to pieces in prominent regional media outlets of all types. It is always heartening to meet people and hear them say things like, "Are you the owl guy that was in the paper?"  or "A friend of mine knows I like birds and sent me an article about you."   Thankfully, this consistent coverage continues during this spring and summer.

Most recently my friend, Nicki Dwyer, posted this lovely piece on her blog about my talk this Wednesday, July 23 at 6:00pm at the Schlafly Library branch.  This branch of the St. Louis Public Library system is located in my old neighborhood, the Central West End.  Nicki is a long-time resident of the CWE and her blog covers the neighborhood in depth and with great aplomb and variety.  Nicki first mentioned the owls and me in her blog in 2011 and she and her husband, Jim, continue to be a great supporters of our feathered friends and yours truly.  Thank you, Nicki!  I hope to see many of you at this talk on Wednesday!

A few weeks ago, Forest Park Forever, the non-profit that partners with the City of St. Louis to restore, maintain and sustain Forest Park, released a new video promoting the park.  If you look fast at the 4 second mark, you can see me on the right side of the screen in my light green Forest Park Forever Volunteer fleece and black baseball hat.  This was filmed during a Beginner Birder Walk, a joint venture of Forest Park Forever and St. Louis Audubon Society venture, which I co-lead.  This was the walk from this May.  You can tell it is the spring because I have a goatee aka my spring plumage.

Back in February I was thrilled to give my first owl talk in Illinois.  It was in Alton, IL and was for a joint meeting of the Great Rivers chapter of the Illinois Audubon Society and the Piasa Palisades Sierra Group. The talk went quite well and we organized a few owl prowls for both groups.  The prowls were also a success.  My favorite comment from the prowls was when, unprompted, one of the members exclaimed, "This is so cool!!"

On the second owl prowl, one of the prowlees, Teri Maddox, told me that she a feature writier for The Belleville News-Democrat in nearby Belleville, Illinois.  She thought that an article on the owls and my work with them would be a great fit for the Sunday magazine.  I certainly agreed with her and we began to exchange e-mails about when to meet for an interview and such.  Teri's angle was great.  While she wanted to interview me, she also wanted to come out for another owl prowl that I was leading for other people and document the prowl including interviewing the prowlees.  We found a date and I got the permission of the prowlees for Teri and a photographer to join us and document the prowl.  The prowl turned out to be a rather good one and the prowlees, the kindly Hartz and Aydelotte families, were gracious to share the prowl with Teri and her photographer.  Teri's article was the cover story of the paper's Sunday magazine on March 30 and you can see it here.  Unfortunately the article's great accompanying photos are no longer online but you can see the excellent job that Teri did of profiling the prowl, the owls and your friendly neighborhood owl man.

Last but not least is a piece written by my employer.  For just under two years, I have happily worked at the Jack C. Taylor Library at Fontbonne University, a small, Catholic liberal arts university in Clayton, MO just outside of St. Louis.  This is a great place to work in so many ways ranging from having the resources and support from leadership to do my work to a engaging, close-knit university community and it is close to home and Forest Park!  The university is highly supportive of my work with the owls and I have happily given talks and led owl prowls in and for several contexts at Fontbonne.

In November I was thrilled to get an e-mail from Elizabeth Hise Brennan, the director of the University's Communications and Marketing group, stating that she wanted to write about the owls and me for an article the university's magazine Tableaux.  Elizabeth interviewed me in my office and then she and the photographer, Jim Visser, joined me on an owl prowl for students, staff and faculty I was leading as part of the school's Dedicated Semester on sustainability. This prowl too went well and Jim got some great shots of the prowl and I provided Elizabeth some photos of the owls. She did a superb job of pulling everything together in a multi-faceted piece in the latest issue of  Tableaux.  To see the article, check out this link and flip to page 20.  To read the article, just go to this link.

Thank you for reading and I look forwarding to seeing many of you at my talk on Wednesday, July 23!

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