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Man Reaches 9,000 Bird Species on Life List

From Birdtour Asia

If you’re like the casual birder, you probably have a couple dozen species on your life list—maybe even more than a 100 if you’ve been at it long enough. Well, one birder has just topped the 9,000 species mark on his life list. That’s right…9,000. Well, 9,047 species to be exact.

According to the website Birdwatch, Tom Gullick has become the only person in history to see more than 9,000 species of birds. He reached the astounding milestone on August 19 while he was birding on the Yamdena island of Indonesia. The historic bird was the Wallace’s Fruit-Dove, a beautiful bird with a scarlet cap, purple feet, an orange underbelly and a green tail. Not a bad one to be the amazing 9,000th.

What’s even more notable is that he went on to see 47 more species after adding Wallace’s Fruit-Dove to the list. If you think no one will ever top him, don’t be so certain. He has a rival birder named Jon Hornbuckle, who has more than 8,900 species. For those who are wondering, there are about 10,700 species with new species still being discovered.

Painting of Wallace’s Fruit-Dove

Still, the feat is simply astounding and shows the dedication (and wealth?) of these birders who travel all over the world to get glimpses of exotic birds.

According to Birdwatch, the person who held the record for most recorded species was Phoebe Snetsinger, who went on a quest to go birding after being diagnosed with cancer. After I read “Life List” by Olivia Gentile, I’ll likely dedicate a post to Snetsinger.

If you have the hankering of being the all-time life lister, you’d better get going because you have a lot of catching up to do!

Timothy Martinez Jr. is a writer and freelance journalist. His work has been published in The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, Remapping Debate in New York City and other publications. He’s been a bird lover since he was young and currently lives in New Orleans, L.A.

1 Comment

  1. What an enviable achievement!

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