Archive for June 16th, 2009

Texas Outdoor Story: From Birds to Bugs

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

Passport to Texas Outdoor Stories from Texas Parks and Wildlife

Mike Quinn is an invertebrate biologist and his interest in bugs developed through an interest in birds.

My parents were birdwatchers, and I had an interest in outdoors as a child. But it wasn’t until I was in my twenties… I was helping ornithologists at UT study painted buntings at McKinney Falls State Park, and walked around the bend, and we saw this large butterfly there sunning itself – absolutely gorgeous in the sun – and Anita Fauquier says, “I think that’s a giant swallowtail.” And it hit me like a ton of bricks. It was an epiphany for me that you could put a name on an insect. Why that was a revelation to me I still don’t quite don’t know, because I could identify birds by sight and sound, and plants and herps and etcetera. But putting a name on an insect was somehow a foreign concept. And I went home and I borrowed my mother’s butterfly field guide (which I haven’t quite returned yet), and just from that point on I started paying much closer attention to insects, and that led me to my degree now that I have in entomology and the job that I have studying them at Parks and Wildlife.

Spend time outdoors—you never know where it will lead. Share your outdoor story at

That’s our show for today… For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.