IN MEMORIAM: We are deeply saddened to post here that Ned Brinkley died in southern Ecuador on November 22, 2020, at the age of 55 doing what he loved best: being in the field on a birding adventure. He was two-thirds of the way through a month-long energetic and peripatetic jaunt throughout Ecuador, and the day's goal was to seek one of the country's most charismatic specialties, the Jocotoco Antpitta. Early in the morning while on a trail, Ned, accompanied by a knowledgeable local person, did not feel well, and his condition deteriorated rapidly. Although paramedics were summoned, Ned passed away before he could be brought to a medical facility. We have lost a dear colleague and unfailing friend, sounding board, polymath, tireless team player, teacher, and fellow birder. Words cannot express our sense of loss for someone who was an integral part of Field Guides. We mourn for Ned, for his family and loved ones, and for the gaping hole this leaves in the fabric of the birding community into which he was so tightly woven.
Ned's obituary provides additional information about his life and family and where to make contributions in his memory.
Above is a photo of Ned taken by Bret Whitney during an August 2020 trip into northern Mexico that Ned made with Bret and Micah Riegner to see Eared Quetzals and Thick-billed Parrots, two species with limited distributions that Ned had hoped to observe since he was a young birder. We have kept Ned's Field Guides bio information below.
Ned Brinkley has been birding with passion since 1971, when a luminous Prothonotary Warbler in the Great Dismal Swamp set the course of his life permanently. Vocationally, he has been a professor of European literature and film (at University of Virginia), General Manager of boutique Hotel Cape Charles, Director of Manufacturing at New Ravenna Mosaics & Stone, owner-operator of Sterling House Bed & Breakfast, editor-in-chief for 20 years of North American Birds, and an author of many articles and books on birds and birding, among them the National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Birds of North America.
He began leading field trips in 1980 and guiding tours in 1993, working for several companies before coming to Field Guides from 1998 through 2011. Much to our delight, Ned returned to full-time Field Guides work in 2019!
You will encounter Ned on tour occasionally, either on itineraries of his own crafting (Finland!) or if called into the field to lead or co-lead another tour on the Field Guides schedule--with a deep and wide-ranging knowledge of all things birds and birding, he could be a real asset on a tour almost anywhere.
In between those short stints on tour, Ned is hard at work putting together those visually appealing and informative Field Guides items arriving in your mailbox or your inbox...our quarterly newsletters, our annual catalog, and our monthly emailings and Recent Photos galleries. We're delighted to have him at the helm of these numerous efforts.
Links for Ned
Here are a couple of links relating to Ned that we think you'll enjoy:
Links to a variety of Ned's writings on birds and his book reviews, as well as some academic pieces
The "Local scoop" from the Eastern Shore featuring his field guide