What does a retired Hollywood, aerial stuntman, BJ Worth, have in common with an avian child prodigy, Josh Covill??
LOVE OF BIRDS AND DOCUMENTING THEIR BEHAVIORS, SONGS AND HABITS TO SHARE WITH OTHER BIRD LOVERS
BJ Worth was drawn to nature at an early age and was particularly captivated by birds’ ability to fly. While studying Zoology at the University of Montana, he began learning how to sky dive. He excelled at jumping out of “not so perfectly good airplanes under the guidance of highly animated smokejumpers!” With his BS in hand, he soon found himself skydiving around the world – for 35 years! He gained notoriety as an accomplished athlete, filmmaker and aerial stunt performer – check out the dive from the Eiffel Tower in the James Bond movie, “A View To A Kill.” After a highly successful career, he returned to his bio-roots and birds and brought with him his filmmaking skills. Since 2000 BJ has pursued birding with utmost enthusiasm. He has enriched his hobby by videotaping more than 900 species of birds doing what birds do.
Josh Covill began “birding” before he was ten. He was identifying birds and recording their behavior, calls, songs and habits to memory. With his parents’ encouragement and Dan Casey’s tutelage, he became a highly respected birder at an early age. He became active in the birding community and attended his first Young Birders’ national convention at 14 years old. Before entering high school, he was leading birding walks in the Flathead Valley. His gift of identifying birds is uncanny and he continually is among the leading birders no matter the habitat, season or location. You will see his name at the top of many eBird checklists and always leading on Montana eBird’s lists. Josh has become not only an excellent photographer but an accomplished video editor as well. If you ever get a chance to have Josh lead a field trip you will be impressed by his ability to teach birders on any level.
Both BJ and Josh are founding members of an organization called Wings in Nature (WIN) founded in 2017 by Birding enthusiasts from many areas of study – with several of them ranked among eBird’s top Montana Birders. These individuals joined together to establish tools and materials for public educators, back-yard birders, landowners, state agencies and more with events and workshops. WIN’s mission is to safeguard bird populations by inspiring our awareness and enthusiasm for birds, bird behavior, bird research and birding activities. Their conservation activities help facilitate collaboration within like-minded communities. One of the strategies being used is to develop and distribute audio/visual tools so that birders can pursue their passion more effectively and share their birding experiences more easily.
BJ and Josh are Board Members of WIN and together they been working on various multi-media bird related projects. Two of their projects are: “Birds in Motion” and “Winged Harlequins” “Birds in Motion” is an ambitious perpetual project to produce a video anthology of bird behavior for all the birds regularly occurring in North America. Using BJ’s original 800 videos as a basis for this project, BJ and Josh have been traveling around North America recording behavior of as many bird species as possible. The current plan is for WIN to launch “Birds In Motion” in May, 2018. “Winged Harlequins” is a 30-minute documentary featuring Harlequin Ducks and the species’ collective response to threats facing its global population. Josh and BJ have traveled to coastal sites along the Pacific Northwest in the US and Canada to record the behavior of these small colorful sea ducks on their wintering grounds. The courting behaviors of young males are particularly interesting as they fiercely challenge one another to woo the available females with whom they will create life-long pair bonds. They also sought out biologists to share their experience focused on monitoring population trends. They are also studying and recording Harlequins in western Montana.
Bitterroot Audubon Society is excited to have these two energetic and creative people present the above two projects as well provide a “show-and-tell” with the specialized camera equipment they use to capture their vivid sequences – now recorded in 4K video. We are sure to be amazed by the breadth of and depth of their work.
Join Bitterroot Audubon Monday, February 19th at 7:00 P.M. at the Bedford Building Community Room, 223 South Second Street in Hamilton for this exciting program. Audubon related announcements will precede the program & refreshments will be served. Please note the change in location. The public is invited. For more information contact Kay at 360-8664.