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Mike San Miguel 1939-2010 - A Summer Song

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Published on Jul 21, 2010

http://ebird.org/content/ebird/news/e... ++ Photos by Mike's friends and family. -- The following written by Kimball Garrett: Most of you are familiar with Mike's accomplishments in the world of field ornithology. He was a long-time bird bander with a bug for gathering good bird data. He was an extraordinary connoisseur of rare birds, finding a great many of them and enjoying trips all over California to chase them. His experience and talent earned him a place for several years on the California Bird Records Committee, and he was one of the best ambassadors the Committee ever had. He served Western Field Ornithologists in many important capacities, culminating in a several year stint as President during which the organization gained new vibrancy and scope. He had an important role in the production of the CBRC's book "Rare Birds of California" and published several papers in WFO's journal Western Birds. He embraced eBird with unbridled enthusiasm (...he did so much with unbridled enthusiasm) and has entered more eBird data from California (4245 checklists) than almost any other individual as well as editing submissions from several counties. He did a heroic amount of field work and paperwork for the Los Angeles Breeding Bird Atlas and other large-scale data gathering projects. In short, Mike was not only about the most active birder I have ever known, but he was also the most enthusiastic birder - he loved being in the field whether alone or with his many friends, and he enjoyed learning something new every outing. Those who knew Mike well, and a great many who didn't, were keenly aware of Mike's tireless work for bird and wildlife habitat conservation. We all try to be good conservationists, and we're all keenly aware of the problems birds and their habitats face. On my countless wonderful trips in the field with Mike the conversation would inevitably turn, and pretty quickly, to the inexorable loss of bird habitats as urban areas continued to grow and consume the places we enjoyed going. If he enjoyed birding in an area, he felt it was his responsibility to work as hard as he could to make sure it was preserved or restored for birds and birders. His career working in environmental work for Southern California Edison no doubt had a positive impact on southern California habitats. His efforts for bird habitat at Piute Ponds, the San Gabriel River, and so many other areas we take for granted have been heroic. His battles with agencies that were damaging habitat were fought with fervor but also with grace - even the Army Corps of Engineers must have had great respect for Mike. When Mike had a conservation mission he was almost unstoppable, and the world is much better for that passion of his.

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