John has been involved in the Purple Martin Conservation Association (PMCA), gifting donations, publishing articles, and attending conferences. It was through PMCA that he met his wife Louise Chambers who was editor and education director for PMCA and an expert birder and amateur photographer. Her move to Texas opened a TX chapter of PMCA.
John is a licensed bird bander who coordinated pioneer studies using geolocators. Through this research, he was introduced to Bird Conservancy (then RMBO) and its geolocator work with Black Swifts at Box Canyon in Ouray, Colorado. He and Louise made several trips to Ouray where they befriended this year’s Rich G. Levad Award Winner – Sue Hirschman; who, along with co-Winner Carolyn Gunn, have dedicated countless volunteer hours researching, tracking and affixing geolocators on Black Swifts.
“I was really thrilled to learn of your work on Black Swifts and discovering where they go. You just need a ladder to access Martin nests, but you need to be a professional mountain climber to access the Swifts’ nests,” John joked.
John and Louise have supported our Black Swift work as well as invested in Bird Conservancy through a donation to the Birds Forever Endowment Fund. This year, John and Louise became Golden Eagle Society members by notifying us of including Bird Conservancy in their estate plans.
“The goals of any credible conservation organization cannot be obtained without finances. They need our money now, and they’ll need it after we’re gone. Our contributions, no matter how large, or how small, all assist in continuing conservation and educational efforts. AND Y’all do great work!”
John and Louise have created their own bird sanctuary on a tract of land close to Corpus Christi.