Birding Home Page
Backyard picture updated every now and then.
Sorry for the quality, but it's a cheap camera.
The fabled Pacific Northwest Whalebird
"Bru" Helmboldt has been birding (semi)seriously since 1982, when he stumbled on the
Whitefish Point Bird Observatory (WPBO)
near Paradise (really!) in Michigan's upper peninsula, and observed over 2,000
Broad-winged Hawks and 1,000
Common Loons in one 24-hour period. His life-list now totals 462 species of birds. These include many which he has banded as a volunteer at
WPBO (a major bird migration choke-point on
Lake Superior near Sault Ste. Marie) and the
Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory (RMBO) (which used to be the Colorado Bird
Observatory), a newer bird study site on Barr Lake northeast of Denver. His birding highlight is probably the one day, MAY 8th, 1990, that he teamed in banding 192
Sharp-shinned Hawks (Sharpies) at WPBO.
Bru's first wife, Wendy, wasn't much for going out in the woods (or anywhere else, for that matter) and watching birds, but she soon departed for greener pastures anyway.
When Bru met his second wife, Melanie, in 1990, she had only a mild interest in
feathered critters, but she rapidly compiled a life-list of 390 species. Her favorite birds were raptors (hawks and owls) and her birding highlight was her first
Bald Eagle in flight.
In recent years, Bru has birded the
Great Salt Lake basin and Utah mountains,
the Grand Canyon (north and south rims), Zion N.P., Bryce N.P., and Cedar Breaks N.P.,
having lived in Salt Lake City for three years, and he began exploring
the Pacific northwest and Puget Sound area after moving to Duvall, Washington, east of Seattle, in 1994. His recent birding vacations included
return trips to WPBO, a second expedition to birder's Mecca,
Southeast Arizona, (especially
Patagonia / Sonoita Creek and
Madera Canyon), a rather disappointing pelagic trip out of Monterey, California, and a Lindblad/National Geographic expedition to southeast Alaska. Local excursions included two
pelagic trips on the Johnstone Straits
(northeast coast of Vancouver Island),
camping near Tofino on Vancouver Island, British Columbia,
(did you know that a
Steller's Jay can hold 15!
Cheerios in it's beak, storage pouch, and crop at one time?),
and the Vancouver city area of B. C., Canada, the
San Juan Islands in Puget Sound, and the Newport area of the
Oregon coast. Bru participated in a "big day" in early May, 1996, which resulted in 103 bird species counted within
King County, Washington, in one day.