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Banquet Speaker for WOW 2022


Presentation: "The Incidental Sparrow "


Rick Wright

Rick Wright

Rick Wright book

Book review of Sparrows by Homer Hansen.

Rick Wright


Rick Wright leads a full program of Birds and Art tours in Europe and the Americas for Victor Emanuel Nature Tours. A native of southeast Nebraska, Rick studied French, German, philosophy, and life sciences at the University of Nebraska, where he worked in the bird collections of the State Museum and served as teaching assistant to Paul Johnsgard. After a detour to Harvard Law School, Rick took the M.A. and Ph.D. in German at Princeton University. His years as an academic included appointments as assistant professor of German at the University of Illinois, reader/scholar at Princeton University’s Index of Christian Art, and associate professor of medieval studies at Fordham University. Among Rick’s scholarly publications are two books on the Latin and German animal literature of the late Middle Ages. Author of the American Birding Association’s field guides to birds of New Jersey and of Arizona, and of the Peterson Reference Guide to North American Sparrows, he is a prolific contributor to the birding literature and a sought-after speaker at festivals, conventions, and workshops. Based in Tucson from 2004-2010, Rick and his family—his wife, Alison Beringer; their little girl, Avril; and their chocolate lab, Gellert—now live in Bloomfield, New Jersey, but travel widely in search of birds, above all to their beloved southeast Arizona.

The Incidental Sparrow
Have you ever gone out in search of something—and instead discovered something entirely unexpected and far more wonderful? Such is the experience of birders every day, and such was the experience of early explorers and ornithologists here in the Southwest, where every outing, whatever its original purpose, could lead to discovery. Many of the sparrows of southeastern Arizona were first encountered by scientists in search of something completely different, making their discoveries all the more exciting. Join Rick Wright for some surprising stories of the gold miners, soldiers, and grave robbers who introduced us to some of southeast Arizona’s most familiar, and most charming, birds.

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