Pictured above, Yve holding a picture of the final bird of 2017, a Loggerhead Kingbird
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I first met Yve Morrell in 2017 during her Big Year. I had flown down to Texas to search for a Jabiru. A bunch of us, including Yve, searched in vain for it for most of the day. Many of us did get a Black Rail that day, so it wasn’t a total loss for ether of us.
Above: Searching for the Northern Jacana
What we didn’t know at the time is we were both booked on a pelagic with Debbie Shearwater and met again on the boat. The highlight of the trip, for me, was a Blue-footed Booby.
Photo by Yve Morrell
My other reason for going to California, after Texas, was to finally see the California Condor. I had looked for it in 2012 at what was then Pinnacles National Monument, but had no luck that day. I mentioned to Yve that I was going and she met me there for the long hike up the mountain at the newly renamed, Pinnacles National Park, to find them.
Three and a half hours later we had our first, distant look at 4 California Condors:
Yve continued on with her Big Year and eventually saw species 816, the Loggerhead Kingbird in Florida, giving her top spot for the 2017 Big Year.
Pictured below is Yve with Lynn Barber, the first woman birder to top 700 species in a Continental ABA Area Big Year, when she broke Sandy Komito’s 1987 record with 723 species in 2008.
Join me on February 15, 2023 as Yve and I reminisce about her 2017 Big Year on The Big Year Podcast!