Editor’s Note: This is a guest submission from my dad, Rick Wallestad, who is referred to as “The Guide” on the bio page of this blog. That title comes from his background as a wildlife biologist for the state of Montana where he studied Greater Sage Grouse extensively.
As I read your post “From Europe with Love” I experienced several different emotions. The first was one of pride in my son who has taken a hobby and turned it into a passion that he shares with his family using an incredible writing ability.
The second was one of remembrance. You are turning 35 this summer—35 years ago I was 35 and on the day you were born I walked away from a 10-year career with the Montana Fish and Game Department as a research biologist. One of my regrets is that during my 10 years of field work in Montana I did not take time to go birding. All my work was with game birds, other birds were referred to as dicky birds or small brown birds.
When I was working in the sagebrush grasslands of central Montana, a group of birders contacted me and wanted to see sage grouse. Their visit was during the breeding season and I took them out to a strutting ground. We drove to the center of the ground and male sage grouse were strutting on all sides of the truck. The visitors were beyond excited as they snapped picture after picture. One of the birders said it was his 440th life bird. I now know what a life bird is thanks to your blog.
Keep up the good work!