Retiring Travis

Travis at Right had a fantastic run netting 613 species in just under 9 months in the U.S.

Travis (at right) had a fantastic run netting 613 species in just under 9 months in the U.S.

Well, as most of you now know, “Travis” the Traveling Trinovid, is a binocular on a big year. His trip is a bit unorthodox as he started his adventure on April 7, 2013 meaning he technically still has another two and a half months before he reaches a full “big year”. However, Travis is honestly a bit tired, and since most birders are accustomed to a big year running the typical calendar year, the decision has been made to happily end the run at 613 species seen in the United States in 9 months! Never fear though, Travis is passing the baton to a new eager binoc, ready to start a run of her own. In the image above Travis (at right) passes the responsibility off to a sexy young 7×42 Ultravid HD. Fresh out of the box and wide-eyed with wonder (the 7×42 touts an amazingly wide field of view), this yet un-named binocular begins it’s trek here in Titusville, Florida at the Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival.

Stop 1 - Merritt Island NWR

Stop 1 – Merritt Island NWR

Our new binocular on a big year took her responsibilities very seriously from the get go. Above she studies the lay of the land and the birds she might see at her first official stop, Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. She will be reporting soon with her continuing adventures though on this blog.

In the interim though, what shall become of our beloved “Travis”. He has a passion for intense birding adventure, he has been in the hands of some of the best and most influential birders in North America and seen some of the most amazing birds and wildlife spectacles over the past 9 months.

The list of notables to have carried and birded with Travis is long and illustrious, and a complete list will appear soon. Highlights of his year include the spectacular adventure of ABA’s Camp Colorado and VENT’s Camp Chiracahua, picking up lifers in the hands of generation next’s hottest birders. He also shared the success of Neil Hayward’s historic Big Year effort and was slung around his neck & in his hands when that ever hoped for “Bonxie” (Great Skua) swung into view that fateful December day off North Carolina! He was in Texas for the discovery of THE Amazon Kingfisher at the 20th Anniversary of the Rio Grande Valley Bird Festival and he played a part in what is now being described as the biggest single day twitch in American birding history (it is believed that close to 1,000 birders viewed this bird over that weekend)! Or what about the nervous excitement as North America’s first Eurasian Sparrowhawk sailed by a small group of birders clinging to the edge of the continent in the central Aleutian Islands! These are but a few of the highlights many of which have yet to be told.

So what’s next for Travis, our adventurous soul just 10 months young?!?… Well, adventure birding courses through his neck strap and his rubber armor alike. There is no way this boy will ever be able to merely retire and live a sedentary life sitting on a dusty shelf. So Travis is looking for a new home. A good home where he will be able to feed his insatiable desire for wildlife adventure for many, many years to come. Do you think you could provide the perfect home for Travis?!?….

Details of how you could own Travis will appear here and on the Leica Birding Facebook page very soon, so stay tuned. In the interim, give some thought as to why you feel you might be a most deserving permanent host for Travis, you may be called on soon to share these thoughts. :)