You'll recall he found the thought-to-be-extinct "Lord God" bird alive and well and living in Arkansas earlier this year. Sparling was the evening's keynote speaker and the Trib ran the story under the headline, "Birders flock to meet rock star of the conservation world."
Although reporter Lucinda Hahn did a lame job of convincing me she really did get "bird fever," she honed in on some lovely quotes about the excitement surrounding this bird's find, including this one:
"The bird provides a symbol of conservation opportunity in front of us," said (Director of the Cornell Lab of Orinthology John) Fitzpatrick, referring to the decades of effort that restored the woodpeckers' Big Woods habitat, "instead of just the symbol of conservation destruction we had for 10 years."
Photo courtesy of Blue Dog Tours.