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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
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January 21, 2015     Feather River Bulletin
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January 21, 2015
 

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Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015 1B Sooty terns and brown noddies flock to the beach off Australia in the 6reat Barrier Reef. of an island When listening to Quincy's Co~in Dilifi gll trn about birding, must pay extra attc ntion. He uses a lot of"f0wl" language. Dillingham just finished breaking a personal record for the number of bird species he has seen in one year. Partly due to a trip to Australia, Dillingham marked 625 species for 2014. Dillingham arrived back in Quincy last week, energized for another year of birding, the hobby that has taken him to the ends of the world. "A lot of it is the chase. Seeing if you can fmd ... something," Dillingham said, explaining his fascination with birding. "Birds have always just thrilled me. There's a lot of unique birds out there that do really unique things." Though his mother was a birder, Dillingham wasn't interested in birds growing up. In hindsight, Dillingham wished he had more of an interest back then. "I remember in high schoollmy room asked me if I wanted to go look for California condors before they went extinct," Dillingham recalled. "I said, 'Nah.' And now I don't have that chance. That's something I regret." It was as a wildlife traveled to Mexico, New Zealand, Columbia, student at Humboldt::: Costa Rica, Finland, State UniversiW that Ireland and England in Dillingham took up the search of new species. pastime of birding. It Was 1996 that Colin Dillingham was part of a traveled to Costa Rica trivia team made up of and gained a new wildlife students. All the personal record 585 other students birded, species seen in one year. and eventually In 2014, with his Dillingham started to as six-week trip to well. Australia, Dillingham Colin met his future broke his record. wife Angie at Humboldt Colin stayed in State, and the two fell in Eastern Australia love birding together, during his visit. To Eventually, his hobby begin with, he met up turned into a passion, with his brother (who Colin started planning lives in Australia) and his vacations around targeted the rain forests birding. Since he in northeast Australia. started, Colin has Within the first three A flock of magpie geese, above, gather near the seashore in Australia. Plumas County birder Colin Dillingham, left, stands at the Gara Gorge Oxley River National Park in Australia last month, touring the area in a six-week birding expedition. Australia is the latest in a number of countries Dillingham's passion for birding has taken him. bq~ ;11r All the colors of the spectrum can be seen in the feathers ~rlkeel:..~..~ ...... ,, ................................ of the This southern cassowary, spotted by Colin Dillingham, lives in Kuranda, an area in Queensland, Australia. The flightless bird has no keel on its sternum bone. A masked lapwing hunts for food by the water's edge. A mother whiptail wallaby and her joey are spotted at the Cania Gorge National Park by Colin Dillingham. In addition to birds, Dillingham appreciates mammals and reptiles. days of his trip, Colincontinuously surprisedAmong a flock of magpie "They usually wait until South Wales, Australia, spotted 82 species that by the reality of various geese, he spotted one they're dead', then find for 2015. He also holds were new to him. birds' traitS, with a bird band on it. out how old they were.the all-time record for Examples of the "I didn't expect the "I was able to move It's kind of a fun Plumas County. diversity of birds Colin chowchilla to be as vocal around it and read allchallenge to get closeNow that he's back, saw include masked as it was. It was unlike the band numbers off it," enough to the goose and Colin plans to continue lapwings, cassowaries, any other species I'veColin said. "I sent the get it to walk around so birding close to home. magpie geese, ever seen before." numbers in to the you can read the "At this point in my chowchillas and Similarly, Colin Australian bird-banding numbers." Plumas County birding rainbow lorikeets. In describes the colors on lab, and it turns out it Colin, like many experience, it's really addition he saw a some of the species heWas the oldest magpie birders, logs the species hard for me to find a new number of mammals, saw as nOthing short of goose in the world. Ithe's spotted onto the species. I've been here including duck-billed remarkable, was a 24-year-old goose." website ebird.com, for 13 years and have platypuses, koalas, "You can't pick some Before Colin called inBirders around the seen all the expected kangaroos and of the colors out in athe band numbers, the world keep track of each species. Now it's just wallabies, field book, but when you record for oldest magpie other's progress. Theytrying to find that next Dillingham stayed at see it in life ... it's goose was 22 years. Now also keep an eye on what rarity," He said. what he calls "bird and amazing how brilliant the goose Colin spotted species are popping upThough it may take breakfasts": bed and some of those colors is recorded as the oldest in different regions, some luck, along with breakfast establishments are." magpie goose in history. At the time of writing, the skills he's already that accommodate the One adventure Colin "Most people don't Colin has the record for acquired, Colin is needs of birders. During had was at the wetlandread band numbers off the most number of hopeful for some new the trip, Colin was center in Newcastle. live geese," said Colin. species logged in New adventures in 2015.