Malkolm is cycling on! He is now cycling from Alaska to Washington DC, and then continuing on to the UN Climate Change conference in Cancun in December.
It all started with Bird Year, Malkolm and his parents' year-long, fossil-fuel-free journey in search of birds. Cycling a total of 13,133 miles (21,144 km), they identified 548 different bird species and raised more than $25,000 for bird conservation. Bird Year turned them into confirmed cyclists and taught them that climate change was more serious than they had thought.
In 2009, Malkolm biked from Whitehorse to Ottawa as a part of Pedal for the Planet: the project called for the Canadian Government to become a leader in the struggle to come to grips with climate change. The Harper Government did not even meet with the young cyclists.
Malkolm is now 18 and just finished high school. On August 24, he dipped his foot in the Pacific Ocean in Skagway, Alaska. Then headed up and over the White Pass to the Alaska Highway on his journey to Washington and on to Cancun.

Monday, April 7, 2008

The Yucatan Express (Ken)

The future was misty and unclear when we first started talking about doing a Bird Year several years ago. Malkolm, however, knew one thing. He wanted to be along the upper Gulf Coast during the spring migration. Now I know why.

Before we headed to Dauphin Island, a famous “migrant trap,” we stopped at the bird banding station at Fort Morgan. We were lucky to meet Scott Weidensaul (Pulitzer Prize nominated author of Living on the Wind), and Bob and Martha Sargent, the founders of the banding station. It was a slow day for birds at Fort Morgan.

“The songbirds are all being blown to the interior,” Bob said, pointing up at the trees swaying in the brisk south wind. “A front is coming through tomorrow though – things will be different this weekend.”

He was right. On Saturday the canopy at the Shell Mounds was dripping with warblers, orioles and tanagers. It was hard to know where to point your binoculars. Bird rumors rippled through the birders along the trails. “There is a Painted Bunting down at the bowl. Have you seen the Scarlet Tanager? I heard someone saw a Swainson’s Warbler near the Bee Tree!”

Most of the other birders had heard about Malkolm’s Bird Year and were chasing him down whenever they saw an interesting migrant. By the time the sun set on Saturday, Malkolm found 10 new species of birds – a tough thing to do when you’ve already identified 474 species. Sunday was the same and we were all frazzled at the end of the day.

We were almost relieved when the weather cleared and the south winds resumed on Monday. We could imagine the invisible migrants riding the northward Yucatan Express over our heads. Almost relieved.


Matt! & Sarah said...

Woohoo! That's what I like to see. What a great boost to your numbers. Only 13 away from the magic 500. I've still never expierenced a fallout...

I'm heading out on my own adventure soon. It won't be a fossil-fuel free trip, but we're going overland and using public transport for as much as possible; only a couple plane flights involved. My blog is

Have you been in contact with Moez Ali at High Island yet?

see ya!

Parus said...

Sounds like you had a good day!!

The weather was absolutely beautiful when I was at High Island a few weeks ago, AKA, no fallout whatsoever and few birds. still, I managed to see 146 species.

Definitely get in touch with Moez or Sam Woods if you haven't yet. Of the Tropical Birding tour leaders there, they have been there the longest.

what birds do you still need that you are expecting on the coast?