Ask the Experts: #9

In this episode our Experts are confronted with a wonderful fantasy. Let’s see how they respond.

From SVBC member Hayden Delevan; Willows, California:

Hi guys, here’s a fantasy. You stop to help out some helpless dude who has a flat tire.  The guy turns out to be multi-billionaire Bill Gates.  Mr. Gates says, ‘Hey, thank you so much.  As a reward, here’s my credit card.  I want you to go birding at three places, anywhere in the world.’  What are the three places you would go to?

Pepe Castiblanco: Co-owner and proprietor of Casa Botania B&B and professional birding and nature guide.

First, I need to finish seeing and visiting my own country and some places I haven’t been to. Second, I would go to South America and see at least Brazil and Colombia. Third, visit any country with the most birds of paradise, whether it is Papua or Sulawesi or Indonesia or all three. That’s what Billy G will sponsor me to go to!

Uzvaldo Franzinni: Monthly contributor to the Zanti Journal of Ornithology.

I have always been fascinated and irresistibly drawn to the remote islands of the world. There is something so alluring about the biogeography of islands; they are often home to unusual endemic bird species. And we, as naturalists, are just goofy for endemic species, in case you didn’t know.

And so first of all I would say, ‘Thank you Mr. Gates but rewarding me for helping out another human being is not necessary. But since you are Bill Gates and perhaps it is money that you have and peace that you have not, I will accept your most generous gift. And be assured Mr. Gates, I will send you an email with a photo from each of my three destinations (using a Microsoft product).’

My three desinations:

  1. Easter Island; WAAAY off the coast of Chile. I might even find time to look at those weird stone monuments.
  2. Bruny Island; an island off of an island off of an island. Bruny Island is south of the island of Tasmania, which is south of Australia.
  3. Your very own Cocos Island.

David Rodriguez Arias: Tropical Biologist and natural history guide in Monteverde, Costa Rica.

I think every single birder would love to experience a fantasy like this one. The three places I would choose are: 

  1. Papua New Guinea: It is well-known that most naturalists have the thought of going to this side of the world. With all the stunning feathered and non-feathered creatures, this island is a place I always keep in my mind to go one day.
  2. Colombia, the country with the most species of birds reported: I am still waiting to go to this side of the tropics and enjoy all the habitats this nation offers, from sea level, up to the Andes and the Amazonian forest.
  3. Australia: the name of this country brings up a lot of wonderful memories from my childhood watching Blue Planet. This massive piece of land definitely is a place I would love to go one day to experience all the stunning wild life in real life.

I just hope Mr. Gates will soon pass near Finca Cántaros.

(ps, from Greg Homer: The San Vito Poker Club would also welcome Mr. Gates along with Elon Musk, and Jeff Bezos to our next poker game.)