Q. How long have you been birding?
Q. What got you interested in birding?
Q.  What's your favorite birding spot in Oklahoma?
Introducing our September 2003
Birder of the Month:

of DeQueen, Arkansas
Q.  What field guide do you prefer to use?
Q.  What are your 3 favorite birds? and is/are there any particular reason(s) they're your favorites??
Q.  Tell us about your BEST birding experience.... so far.
Q.  What was your WORST??
Q.  What are you most likely to say when a bird flies before you can ID it??
Q.  What was the last book you read?
33 years!
My parents fed the birds outside my window when I was a baby.  My first word was "bird."  When I was 9 years old, I found my dad's lifelist of birds in the family bookcase from when he used to bird while in college.  He went to college with Jim Tucker and Benton Basham and they got him into birding.  Unfortunately, he never got into birding like I did but he explained to me how to make a lifelist.  That's how it all got started!  A visit from Benton Basham when I turned 14 turned my hobby of birdwatching into a birding obsession which has led me to most of the U.S. birding hotspots, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Canada.
Red Slough, of course!  But I have really not had the opportunity to bird too many other places in Oklahoma.  I would love to bird the Salt Plains NWR and the Black Mesa area someday.  And maybe that --berry place also! ~:-)
The Sibley Guide to Birds.
Inca Dove, because I have enjoyed watching and documenting them expand their range and populate southwest Arkansas over the past 15 years.
Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, because they are so exotic looking and seem so out of place here in SW Arkansas and SE Oklahoma, and yet they are thriving here!  When I see and hear them flying over the wetlands at Red Slough early in the mornings during the summer, I feel like I'm somewhere south of the border!
My third favorite is a toss-up between
King Rail, Anna's Hummingbird, and Northern Pygmy-Owl, all 3 of which I have had unique experiences with over the years!
My best birding experience was when I got to spend 3 weeks in Costa Rica, birding such famous places as the Monte Verde Cloud Forest, Carara Preserve, Volcan Poas and La Selva Biological Station.  I saw 301 species including Resplendant Quetzal, Three-wattled Bellbird, and Fruit Crow.
When I was birding in Baja Norte, Mexico, and the timing chain broke on our vehicle and we spent the whole day sitting in the hot desert miles from civilization waiting to be rescued.  Then we finally got rescued and had to ride in the vehicle as it was being towed by a wrecker truck (swaying dangerously back and forth) about 20 miles back to Mexicali.  Then we had to sit at a mechanic's shop all the next day while it was getting fixed.  I did pick up Ring-necked Pheasant for Mexico behind the shop while we were waiting.
Kingbird Highway.
Q.  Who are your heroes or role models?  Whom do you admire? and if you care to comment, why are they your heroes?
Berlin Heck! (Just kidding!!!! ~:-)  My dad was and is my role model.  He passed away about 8 years ago but his honesty, integrity, and charity when dealing with people has made a positive impression on my life.
If you've birded
Red Slough
before, you may
recognize David
AND the scenery
behind him!

Altho' David doesn't
LIVE in Oklahoma,
as you'll read below,
more than
qualified to be
known as an
Q.  Tell us a little bit about your work at Red Slough.
I work part-time for the Oklahoma Dept of Wildlife Conservation as a Biologist's Aide at Red and Grassy Sloughs in southern McCurtain County.  My duties vary from wildlife management projects and wildlife inventories to area upkeep and maintenance.  I also give birding tours to groups.  I also have a personal service contract with the U.S. Forest Service to survey birds once-a-week at Red Slough.  I've had this contract for 4 years now and have a large database of information from it.
Q.  Do you have a favorite species that you look for every year?
I look forward to the return of all the birds at Red Slough every year but especially for the return of the Wood Storks during the 2nd week of June!
Q.  What's been your most surprising find?
It would have to be a toss-up between nesting Willow Flycatchers and Black Rail!