The second in a series of occasional profiles of birdwatchers who are from or spend a lot of time in northwestern Pennsylvania.
Family: daughter, Aimee Gevirtz, and son, Geoff Ginader. Four grandchildren, one great-granddaughter.
Lives in: Millcreek Township
College: B.S., mathematics, Grove City College
Profession: RealtorR, Pennington Lines Real Estate.
Originally from: Erie
Favorite bird: Woodcock
Rarest bird I’ve seen: Piping Plover
Usual birding partners: Larry Massey (deceased) – birded with him and Janice Grindle for 25 years.
Birding gear and equipment I take everywhere: Scope and binoculars.
Favorite birding field guide or app: “Peterson’s Field Guide to the Birds” and (Presque Isle Audubon Society’s) checklist of the birds of Erie County telling when the birds come and go, and how plentiful they are.
What I like most about birding: I loved to visit the banding stations on Presque Isle, and wrote for Jean Stull when she was banding. When I was birding with Larry and Janice, we always had a list of what we wanted to see, and we checked out the best habitats for finding those birds. Sometimes we birded with Ron Leberman, who banded birds on Presque Isle for years, and knew where to find the good ones.
The best bird-watching day I’ve ever had: It was actually my best bird-watching year. I teamed up with Jean Stull, and my ex-husband and Jim Stull were a team. They wound up seeing 246 species and we saw 238 for the year. Jim Stull wasn’t about to let any women beat him, and directed all birds to check in with him when they flew into the area. It was just a fun year.
Your advice to beginning birders: Read your bird book! Carry the checklist of area birds.
Should a sighting be counted if you’ve only heard an identifiable bird call but not seen the bird itself? Yes, if you know the call.
Do you keep a life list? How many birds have you seen? No, it’s pathetic that I never did that. Janice has a list of the birds we saw when we birded together.
Do you approve of the idea of competitions such as a Big Year or Big Day? Absolutely.
Etc: I used to speak on birds to local garden clubs. I also worked on a couple of displays for the Stull Interpretive Center when it opened. I did a couple of TV shows on birds on local TV — Birds of Erie County and Birds of Gull Point.