There's a special place in my heart for the drawings of kids.
Recently, I spoke to the Atlanta Chapter of the Audubon Society at the Chattahoochee Nature Center about my book on Jim Tanner and the ivory-billed woodpecker, a.k.a. the Ghost Bird of the 1930s.
After I finished, young Allan came to me quickly and gave me a drawing he had just completed. An ivorybill with a smiley face floating over it, a good sign for a species that could be or could become extinct.
Our greatest responsibility as adults is to teach, guide and influence our youth. Nurture their blossoming spirits. Kids adrift have uncertain futures. Too many fathers in this country think that fatherhood comes with an escape clause, when the most precious thing on earth is the love and respect of a child. Shearwater was abandoned by her father but through the love of birds she has been able to reconnect to the joy inherent in all life.
If ivorybills are still with us—and many, many people believe they are, despite the odds against them—then their survival is due to their never-say-die tenacity.
Allan's parents are avid birders and teachers, therefore I know that Allan is getting a good start on life. And he'll know his birds and an ivorybill if he sees it.
Many thanks, Allan.