Karl Overman: Birds and More


Robert has been my most frequent birding companion  in the decade of 2000 before he moved on to greener pastures in Florida.  If it is a rare bird in Michigan, Ohio or Ontario, he was game for chasing it.  The first photo is during the Dream Cruise along Woodward Avenue in front of the law office of follow birder Gerald Sniderman.

The second photo obviously calls for an explanation.  There is a significant aspect of birding that is normally downplayed and that is all the times when you just have to wait out a rare bird and sometimes that wait is in vain.

“Beloit, Wisconsin” was prominently placed on the birding map when a Green-breasted Mango turned up there in September of 2007.  Robert chased that bird successfully with Scott Jennex one weekend and then generously offered to drive me there the next weekend from suburban Detroit. When we got to Beloit, we spent the entire day waiting for the Mango to show up.  It never did and that fact is reflected in Robert’s pose below.  We showed up bright and early the next day, October 1st as early morning was allegedly when the Mango was most reliably at the feeders.  Again a no show.  We gave up and drove north to Dane County to look at shorebirds. To drive back to Michigan we had to go by Beloit so we decided to go through the motions of looking for the Mango again. As we pulled up to park on the street, I was struck that there were still quite a few cars around.  I stopped a guy walking to his car and ask if the Mango had shown up, fully expecting a negative answer---”Sure, it is sitting in the tall tree by the second house.”  Unbelievable.  We dashed off and saw the Mango flycatching from the top of that tree.

In January of 2010, Robert teamed up with Alan Wormington to find the first Amazon Kingfisher for the ABA area in Laredo, Texas.

To see Robert’s excellent photos, including of the Amazon Kingfisher,  go to www.flickr.com/photos/robepstein/collections/72157622390090786/


Robert Epstein

modified April 13, 2016