Meet the Hummingbird Expert
I've been interested in birds for as long as I can remember. My family always had pet budgies and fed the wild birds. I got hooked on hummingbirds on a backpacking trip in Colorado, where we had dozens of birds coming to home-made feeders in our campsite.
2) Any person, role model or leading authority that greatly influenced you? (a parent, 6th grade teacher, scientist etc...)
No. I developed my interest in science and natural history mostly through reading.
3) Your background: (job title, profession, education/training etc...)
I'm a graphic designer. I create websites for a living. Birding is a hobby. When I decided to make a hummingbird website, I read all the books the library had about them, and emailed all the professional ornithologists whose email addresses I could find. I'm not really a hummingbird expert (although I play one on TV). <- a little Simpsons humor :-)
On one camping trip, I was sitting in the car, reading, since it was raining outside. I was bored, so I made a hummer feeder out of a Coke can and hung it from the sunvisor. I rolled down the window, and several hummingbirds flew in to feed. I held my finger up to the can, and two birds perched on it to use the feeder!
5) What advice can you provide to a student who might be interested in working in your occupation some day?
Use your libraries, both the one in your neighborhood and the one at school. Read everything you can find.
6) Any family members, including pets?
I am married, no children. Our "pets" are the wild critters in our back yard: birds, squirrels, rabbits, chipmunks, and snakes. Sometimes we also see deer and coyotes, but they are just passing through.
Favorite books: anything about hummingbirds. Favorite food: chocolate, of course!
Hobbies: camping, scuba diving, windsurfing, classical music, driving my Miata with the top down.