Date: 3/7/17 6:35 pm From: Yong Kong <yklitespeed...> Subject: Re: [JERSEYBI] Remembering Howard B. Eskin & Celebration of Life Scheduled
Grown man do shed tear.
It was only a nights few ago when I took out my home-made bird ID binder that had Howard's two photos of a "confirmed" Longbilled Dowitcher that he found at Brig on 7-22-2014. If I recall, most were leaning towards shortbilled Dow based on the sighting date, but Howard went against the grain and confirmed the ID by reaching out to many sources to back-up his find.
Some time after Mary and I bought our tiny wooded lot in 2008, I told Howard that the first coolest bird I found on my new home site was a Blue-headed Vireo, and told him I wished I had a photo of that Vireo so I could frame it. I do not recall where I told him of this story. A few days later, Howard sent me a photo of his own Blue-headed Vireo. Of course it was an awesome photo. I was so deeply touched. Because of how Howard reached out to me, Blue-headed Vireo became one of my favorite bird.
One time at Brig, I asked him what was his trick finding good birds at Brig. He simply said, two loops are required. First loop, somewhat faster pace to find out where the birds are. Then, on the second loop, concentrate in areas where the birds were seen during the first loop.
I saw him again a few months later at the Brig visitor parking lot as he was getting ready for his second loop. I usually try to stay in the shadow when I am out birding. But with Howard, it is different. As I walked up to his SUV to say hello, I noticed a box of Dunkin Donut "open" on top of dashboard and several were missing. I immediately told Howard that he was so busted, and I now know how and where he was getting all his energy and motivation to go birding
I will miss seeing his license plate along the dike drive at Brig, so much.
Yong Kong Camden County
-----Original Message----- From: August Mirabella Sent: Tuesday, March 7, 2017 7:43 PM To: <JERSEYBI...> Subject: [JERSEYBI] Remembering Howard B. Eskin & Celebration of Life Scheduled
All, I wrote the following for our local BucksCoBirders Yahoo! Group but wanted to share with the NJ listserv as well.
First, I have provided links to Howard's obituary, which is well worth reading if you want to know more about Howard. There are two links to see the whole obituary. It includes the following info: A Celebration of Life is scheduled on Sunday, May 21, 2017 at 1 P.M. at Bowman's Hill Wildflower Preserve, 1635 River Road, New Hope PA, with a reception immediately following.
As you all know, Howard was a ubiquitous contributor to this group and the tri-state birding Listservs. In early 2005, Howard reported a Sandhill Crane in Harleysville, PA, and he was referred to me. We spoke on the phone, and we hit it off immediately. I checked out the bird, which turned out to be a Great Blue Heron. I invited him to the bird walk at Peace Valley Nature Center. As he often said, his first appearance there was an auspicious day. It was the day that Jessica Huff and I found the Redwing. Unfortunately, he had left when we found it, but he became a regular on the walks. He allowed me to include his photos in my weekly posts, which started as a regular e-mail to fellow birders to support the Peace Valley Nature Center as a birding hotspot. As it grew, he helped me choose a better forum that became the BucksCoBirders Yahoo! Group of now over 450 members, and he has been my backup for managing the group. His example led to others sharing their incredible bird photography with the group.
Judy and I introduced him to many birding hotspots on many an outing locally and throughout the tri-state area. He was a dynamo intellectually and physically. Gradually we couldn't keep up! He learned bird identification at incredible speed and studied them in all respects. He presented programs of his photos, and donated them to many nature organizations, usually wihout any compensation. His photos were sometimes used for fund raisers.This was all when he was already in his 70s. His obituary lists some of his other interests and hobbies before bird photography that were equally examples of his expertise in all he did.
Howard became a close friend and confidant to me, and as many posted to his online memorial page and Facebook, was always available to advise, help, and contribute when needed. This advice covered everything when life's bumps along the road appeared. Although, I tried to do the same for him, I was no match for his limitless knowledge and wisdom.
I will remember not only his friendship, his intellect, his energy, his bad jokes, but also his extreme generosity, and caring nature. He was a man that was devoted to his family, cared about his employees when the current corporate culture did otherwise, and was a mentor to many. One standout in my memory was a time we were down in Cape May taking a walk at Higbee Beach Hidden Valley area. Grown conjoined brothers were walking with a caretaker or family member. We exchanged greetings and moved on, and Howard became emotional with tears in his eyes over the plight of these two young men. He cared.
When his fate was inevitable over the last year, he faced it bravely. He knew he had a very rewarding life, lasted far beyond his genetic heritage would have dictated thanks to modern medical advances, and only wished he could live longer to care for his wife and family. He joked that a bright spot would be not having to endure longer the current political climate of the US.
That was Howard and the above just scratches the surface of who he was and the good things I will remember.