Archive for December 7th, 2011

Birding Legend Victor Emmanuel

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

This is Passport to Texas

Serious birders all know the name Victor Emmanuel. More than fifty years ago he founded the Freeport Christmas Bird Count.

Since 1976, Emmanuel has operated a nature tourism company that takes people to birding hotspots around the globe.

And it all started with a desire to make his passion his work.

51—I’ve been interested in birds and nature ever since I was a little boy. And I always wanted to know how I could find some way to make a living doing it. And I met a man named Peter Alton who was doing it for the Massachusetts Audubon Society, and thought, well maybe I can do that.

And then I had a gentleman call me and ask me to take he and his sister out birding when I lived in Houston. So, I thought there was some market for that in society. And then the National Audubon Society had their convention in New Orleans in 1975. And they asked me to plan some trips for them to Mexico.

And, I had met George Plimpton through a bird count that I do down in Freeport; he introduced me to Peter Matheson.

Peter Matheson went on one of my first tours as a celebrity leader. I got to know Roger Tory Peterson, who was kind of the person who developed bird watching as a hobby in the united states by his field guides. And he helped me. So, I had a lot of lucky breaks, and a lot of people joining me—friends of mine—who helped me get started.

Learn more about birding in Texas when you go to the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

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