By Amy K. Hooper
Amy K. Hooper, WildBird Editor
This summer, one of my favorite birders, June Osborne – who served on the WildBird Advisory Board and wrote a column for many years from her home in Waco, Texas – began a final struggle with her health. She unfortunately lost that battle.
In this issue, we pay tribute to June, beginning on page 20. Birders in Texas and elsewhere – even Scotland – sent e-mails commemorating her enthusiasm, knowledge and warm spirit. If you did not have the pleasure of knowing June in person, I hope that you’ll enjoy a sense of her spirit through this tribute.
Born in June 1931, “Tex” – her nickname here at WildBird – began birding decades ago. She spoke at nature festivals and Audubon chapters, she guided birding tours in the Americas and traveled abroad, she lead birding Elderhostels, and she served as resident birder at a property in the Texas Hill Country each spring. Her husband, Harold, accompanied her.
June wrote various books, including a guide to Concan, Texas; an anthology of her birding experiences; and species guides about the Northern Cardinal and the Ruby-throated Hummingbird. She penned columns for local newspapers as well as WildBird.
In her obituary, Harold wrote June “truly believed one person can make a difference. And so she did.”
In the spirit of birders who make a difference, I invite you to participate in WildBird’s Birder of the Year contest. In each issue, you’ll find questions in the Lister’s Forum and Birder’s Back Yard departments. Your responses to those questions could earn you prizes and a trip to a birding hotspot. The WildBird staff generally chooses readers who contribute to the birding community and/or birds’ welfare.
In this issue, you can vote for the 2007 Birder of the Year on page 61 – and you can consider responding to the questions posed in the 2008 issues. Who knows? If chosen as a Forum Birder or Backyard Birder, you might be on the receiving end of WildBird readers’ ballots as 2008 Birder of the Year – and on your way to a guided birding trip with new optics.
Pick up your binocular, pick up your pen, and participate in the upcoming year. Make a difference. Emulate June.