Outdoor Story: From Birds to Bugs

Mike Quinn on Central Texas Gardener with Tom Spencer. Photo credit: KLRU-TV, Austin

Mike Quinn on Central Texas Gardener with Tom Spencer. Photo credit: KLRU-TV, Austin

This is Passport to Texas Outdoor Stories

Mike Quinn is an entomologist whose interest in bugs developed through his family’s 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.

Do you have an Outdoor Story? Go to passporttotexas.org, and share it with us…and we might share it with Texas.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

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A YouTube video of Mike Quinn on the KLRU-TV Austin (PBS affiliate) show Central Texas Gardener with Tom Spencer

 

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