Birds of the Western Slope Sept. 13, 2017

By Evelyn Horn


The last column that I wrote was about George Archibald. Now, after the festival at Steamboat Springs, I need to write another column about George. He was born in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, Canada. In August of 1981 he married Tyoko Matsumoto. They are still married.

In 1968, George received his bachelor degree (from Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada) and his doctorate from Cornell University 1975. He has a multitude of honorary degrees and plenty of honorary designations for his work with cranes. George and his friend, Ron Sauey, cofounded the International Crane Foundation. Sadly, Sauey died from a cerebral hemorrhage in 1987 at the age of 38.

But for me, George is the kindest, most gentle person I have ever known. Being in his company for the festival days brought a deeper understanding of this gentleman. "Here, let me help you (at a doorway), this might help a bit (at display table), this will be better (at crane display)" And, most astonishingly, he dedicated his key note presentation to me. I could hardly believe my ears, but other people confirmed his choice! And at breakfast the last morning, I could sit beside him and watch him as he fielded question after question. Does the large number of wintering cranes in the Delta area suggest climate change? (yes), are the Siberian Cranes in any improved place now? (maybe), what is happening with the Whoopers in Texas? (they're managing), are the Demoiselle cranes migrating as we hoped? (yeah)."

How fortunate am I to be on our planet at the same moment as George Archibald!

Of course, George is the worldwide traveler for the benefit of the cranes.

In his new book, My Life With Cranes, he has listed a copy of his pass-port entries: four pages worth! It looks like 1998 was a busy year. India, Germany, India, Thai-land, Bhutan, Thailand, Bhutan, Iran, Thailand, India, Bhutan, India, Nepal, India, South Africa. And I'm sure that I saw England somewhere!

My life is changed for- ever with this marvelous experience.