Grab the Kleenex: This is the final episode that TBL host Bill Thompson, III, recorded before succumbing to pancreatic cancer on March 25, 2019. Bill interviews Mark S. Garland, a naturalist who has been sharing his enthusiasm for nature for over 40 years. He is also the proud recipient of the Paul Bartsch Award for Distinguished Contributions to Natural History. Bird Watcher's Digest subscribers will recognize him as the author of "Birders Question Mark," a Q&A column that has featured in the magazine since 2015. Mark reveals what sparked his interest in nature and birds early in life, and how it evolved throughout his lifetime. He ends with advice for aspiring naturalists: Be persistent, follow your heart, and in the end, it will all work out!
Aug 29, 2019
In July and August, This Birding Life will feature two episodes that Bill Thompson, III, recorded before succumbing to pancreatic cancer on March 25, 2019. In this episode Bill interviews longtime friend Jeff Gordon, president of the American Birding Association, and his wife, Liz. Bill's guests discuss how they met, how their relationship evolved through their love of birds, the accomplishments that they value most in their work with the ABA, current trends in birding, and what the future holds for the hobby we all love.
Jul 24, 2019
As you may know, our beloved TBL host Bill Thompson, III, died on March 25, after a short battle with pancreatic cancer. What you may not know is that Bill's mother, Bird Watcher's Digest founding publisher Elsa Thompson, died in a fire in her home in Marietta, Ohio, on May 25. We know you share our grief in losing these two wonderful people who have contributed so much to the world of birding. In honor of BT3 and Elsa, we're re-airing this episode from 2013, when Bill interviewed Elsa about the early days of Bird Watcher's Digest, why the family started the magazine, and what it has meant in their lives.
Jun 4, 2019
Originally recorded in 2010, this episode of TBL features host Bill Thompson, III, interviewing Jonathan Meiberg, a birder and leader of the indie-rock band Shearwater. Both a musician and a bird watcher, Jonathan Meiberg sparked on music at an early age, but he did not catch the birding bug until his college years, while on a visit to the Falkland Islands. In this episode Bill and Jonathan discuss a range of topics including songwriting, bird behavior, life birds, and the vagaries of small travel guitars. Interspersed throughout the interview are short samples of Shearwater's music. This was one of Bill's favorite episodes!
May 14, 2019
In this popular episode from 2011, TBL host Bill Thompson, III, interviewed Greg Miller, an Ohio birder who served as inspiration for the character played by actor Jack Black in the feature film The Big Year. In this episode, Greg tells the story of his own birding life.
Apr 18, 2019
Bill interviews Ohio birding legend Jim McCormac about his lifelong fascination with nature, his career preserving special places and creatures in Ohio, and his many other accomplishments. Jim is the author of several books; he guides birding and photo tours; and he is one of the few people to see both a red-cockaded woodpecker and a Bachman's sparrow in Ohio! Listen to the banter of these two old friends.
Mar 6, 2019
TBL host Bill Thompson, III, will be away from the BWD home nest for a while. We hope soon to resume new episodes of the podcast we all know and love, but in the interim, we're taking a trip down memory lane and replaying some of the most popular episodes. In this episode from 2007, tropical birding expert Alvaro Jaramillo recounts a side trip to Rapa Nui (Easter Island), which became one of the best experiences of his birding life.
Feb 14, 2019
TBL host Bill Thompson, III, will be away from the BWD home nest for a while. We hope soon to resume new episodes of the podcast we all know and love, but in the interim, we're taking a trip down memory lane and replaying some of the most popular episodes. In this episode from December 2017, owl expert Scott Weidensaul joins Bill for a discussion of the winter's invasion of snowy owls from the Arctic. Through Project SNOWstorm (co-founded by Scott), a volunteer field research program studying these magnificent, mostly white owls, we are learning a great deal about their behavior, population dynamics, natural history, and how they interact with us humans, and vice versa. Scott also shares his tips for watching a snowy owl respectfully, without disturbing it.
Jan 17, 2019
Melissa Groo joins Bill to talk about her life and the late start she got to her amazing career as a “wildlife biographer.” Though she is most famous for her captivating bird and wildlife photographs, Melissa strives to convey more than that, capturing the personality, soul, and essence of her subjects in hopes of inspiring empathy from humankind for the plight of the natural world.
Dec 11, 2018
During a recent trip to South America, Bill collected stories from six of his fellow travelers and shares them here. Included are stories about Juan the Guan, a treacherous journey to Noir Island, a bear story, and three stories about how birds can change the course of our lives.
Nov 26, 2018