|PRBO and the world lost a great friend and teacher with the passing of Rich Stallcup on December 15, 2012. His phenomenal understanding of the natural world and his gifts as an educator transformed the lives of countless people and greatly strengthened PRBO. This special issue celebrates Rich’s legacy, which inspires us to understand and protect ecosystems and all things wild.|
|Photo courtesy Will Wilson.|
Birder and naturalist. Whether whispering to the cypresses on outer Point Reyes, bushwhacking in Arizona’s Arivaipa Canyon, scoping the shoreline of Mono Lake, or scanning the horizon across the Cordell Bank, birding with Rich was like adding another set of senses to one’s own. Nothing escaped his notice. He seemed to anticipate an animal’s presence before it appeared, to conjure up rarities at will, to unveil nature’s secrets.
Teacher and conservationist. How many eyes and hearts did he connect to the wonders of nature? How many minds did he open to her magical possibilities? For how many young naturalists was he mentor and touchstone? Countless many, and the world is a better and wilder place for his gentle guidance.
Field biologist and scientist. Whether conducting evening surveys for owls, dawn surveys of rails, waterbird counts on Bolinas Lagoon, or bird-banding studies on the Farallones, Rich’s field notes and data forms were as thorough and reliable as any—concise and accurate, nothing superfluous, and in his fine penmanship.
Great spirit. Some called him “Cloud Bear,” a term of endearment that captured his physical presence and his shaman-like being. Further complementing his many talents, Rich had an incisive sense of humor, was a playful prankster, an unfailing friend, and most endearingly, a loving father and grandfather.
Soar on, brother. You enriched our lives, and your spirit lives on in our hearts.