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Carl Kjellstrand

Carl writes of himself:
I have always loved birds. It goes as far back as my memory does. I have no explanation why. My parents had some small theater binoculars, perhaps with 2X magnification, and I used them daily looking at the birds in our garden in Sweden. Starlings, sparrows, chickadees and the bright yellow and blue large and small tits, and if I was really lucky, a spectacular long-tailed tit or European goldfinch with a bright red face.

I think the very first things I did, once I learned how to write, was to start a bird-list. My second hobby from early years was photography, and I had a big black Browning box camera – probably a less useful camera for bird photography does not exist, but with the endless enthusiasm of a child, nothing discouraged me, however small or invisible my bird was on the black and white pictures. Luckily for me, my wife is as enthusiastic as I am for bird watching.

I have gone through much photographic equipment up to several very large – and heavy - Nikon zoom lenses. But now I have the most practical little camera with an amazing 24X zoom, 25 – 600 mm, and weighing less than a pound and a half. It is a good thing, for while my enthusiasm for bird watching has never waned, my body is now more than 70 years older than when I began gazing at birds, and lugging 20+ ponds of stuff when outdoors is a bit much.

My Swedish bird list is among much unpacked stuff from our last move, but my USA and world-lists are in my bookshelf. I have seen about 450 different species in the USA, so I am approximately halfway to the about 900 different birds that make their homes here!