Rich Stallcup passed away on December 15, 2012, just a few days short of his 68th birthday. He was a dynamic force for California bird education, bird protection, and serious bird study.
In the early 1960s, when Rich was a teenager, he envisioned the first bird observatory for the U.S., a reality which became the Point Reyes Bird Observatory in 1965. One of the founders of that institution (today called Point Blue Conservation Science
), he served on its board and remained a vital part of PRBO for the rest of his life, including serving as official Naturalist at his passing.
A dedicated volunteer and worker for many other causes, Rich was a consistent and inspired promoter of birds and the environment. He was, among other things, president of the Western Field Ornithologists for four years, Regional Editor for American Birds
for 11 seasons, and member of the California Rare Bird Records Committee for eight years. He wrote and published scores of articles and four books about birds and nature, including Birds for Real
and Ocean Birds of the Nearshore Pacific
For countless people, Rich Stallcup was a friend, a teacher, a mentor, an inspiration, and a hero in conservation. It is said that he led more than 1,000 PRBO trips, bird walks, and open ocean nature tours over the decades.
"Rich was a champion for nature and all things wild," said Ellie Cohen, Point Blue Conservation Science
's president and CEO. "He had a unique fire that inspired everyone else to be a better human being. I imagine Rich's message to us today would be - spend time outside, watch the birds, and replenish your souls with nature."
Happy Earth Day from BEN!
Commit to sharing your appreciation and knowledge of birds by volunteering at a school, adult master naturalist group, or other outreach organization this Earth Day season. Your passion for birds is contagious and makes huge strides in cultivating the next generation of bird conservationists.
Photo courtesy of Gene Nieminen, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service