World Series of Birding Team Recap – Birdin’ with Glorious Purpose

Birdin’ with Glorious Purpose – 2024 WSB Recap

Team Birdin’ with Glorious Purpose (see the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Loki for reference – our nerddom covers many genera) 2024 comprised of Tedor Whitman (Cora Hartshorn Arboretum (CHA)), Wendi Mulvey (CHA), and Jenna Zimmerman (Turtle Back Zoo). We’re a Level 1 Team competing in the Limited Geographic Area (LGA) category. We bird in Essex County, acknowledged to be the most difficult county to bird in for the WSB. But because the collective conservation efforts of the Essex County government, along with Essex County’s many small cities and town governments, along with conservation organizations like the Cora Hartshorn Arboretum, Greenwood Gardens, the Riverkeepers, the South Mountain Conservancy, and the Zoological Society of New Jersey; there are still many small places in Essex County to go and find birds thriving. All we have to do is go find them during our 24 hours of the WSB.

The 2024 WSB was in most ways similar to our past series. There were birds we were surprised to miss like Cedar Waxwing and Common Loon. We also got birds that were a complete surprise like the Horned Grebe and Clapper Rail. What was completely new was that we won this year’s LGA category. Our 118 birds put us at 91.5% of par. Good enough to come in 1st place. Apparently, we even get a trophy. I didn’t know that because this is the first time in 15 or so WSB’s I’ve ever been on a 1st place team.

So many thanks to Wendi and Jenna for that epic 20-hour birding tour and for having the good grace to say it was fun. And many thanks to drivers Marguerite (please don’t drive us into a ditch again), Shannyn (you say “bird” as if it was spelled “burd”), Jackie (“Go ahead and put your muddy feet on the seats. I don’t care, it’s my husband’s car”), and Alex (he’s driving like he wants to get this done really quickly) for getting us where we needed to go with poise and kindness. And heartfelt thanks to all our supporters who donated to the cause. Each and every donation does help make life a little easier for the birds of Essex County.

Tedor Whitman