Whew! The dust has finally settled after another fun BBQ for the Birds. Held Oct. 5 at the Old Stone House in Brighton, Colorado, the event was an opportunity for Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory to thank its members and raise funds for conservation and education programs.
Despite a frigid start to the day, close to 60 people showed up before 7 a.m. to go on a bird walk around Barr Lake with renowned birder Greg Miller. The day eventually warmed up and the backyard at the Old Stone House filled with more than 250 folks who enjoyed bird banding, live music and raptors, a history walk of Barr Lake and the stone house and more than a dozen exhibitors. The indoor classroom at the Old Stone House Environmental Learning Center was standing-room-only for a workshop by award-winning wildlife photographer Noppadol Paothong, followed by talks from RMBO biologists on Mountain Plover conservation in Nebraska and Western Tanager migration.
With much-welcome sun and lingering clouds, everyone gathered in the backyard before lunch to hear Greg Miller talk about his big year. Greg, whose participation in a birding competition was portrayed in the book and film The Big Year, discussed how he got into birding, the now-famous competition and life on the movie set with Owen Wilson, Steve Martin and Jack Black (Jack portrayed Greg in the film).
RMBO also passed out its annual awards at the BBQ. Congratulations to Dale Jones, recipient of the Nelda Gamble Volunteer of the Year Award, and Coen Dexter, recipient of the Richard G. Levad Award. Dale, a Volunteer Naturalist, has personally interacted with more than 4,000 children and adults on behalf of RMBO, inspiring them to become critical thinkers and better citizens. Coen has been a pillar in the birding and conservation community on the west slope of Colorado for many years.
Thank you to our partners, volunteers, supporters, staff and community members for another fun, successful BBQ for the Birds. We raised nearly $12,000 at the event! Thank you as well to the event sponsors: Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Wild Birds Unlimited of Denver and Arvada, United Power, Denver Field Ornithologists, Colorado Field Ornithologists, Wildland Resources and Fiesta Time.