American Birding Podcast



Robert Mortensen Joins the ABA Team as Bird of the Year Coordinator!

I have some great news! Today, we’re officially welcoming Robert Mortensen as the coordinator of the ABA Bird of the Year program.

Many of you already know Robert as the host of, a multi-author blog sharing enthusiasm for birds and birding. He’s seen Tweeting below in a photo by Kelly Riccetti.

Robert Mortensen Red-Tweet#400A new ABA member this year, Robert had watched the launch of our new Bird of the Year program with keen interest. He even developed his own initiative, The Great American Kestrel Count, to help advance the Bird of the Year.

But like a number of you, me included, he felt that significantly more could and should be done with the program, or ABA BOY as we call it for short. He voiced those concerns in a comment to a interview I did over at 10,000 Birds recently.

In the wake of Robert’s comment, I got in touch with him and asked if he’d be interested in coordinating the program. I was thrilled with his very positive, enthusiastic response.

Let this be a lesson: constructive criticism of the ABA may land you a job here!

Robert will begin immediately helping us transition from 2011’s American Kestrel, to 2012’s yet-to-be-determined BOY.

Robert began birding in the summer of 2004 when his father-in-law handed him a pair of binoculars to go on a Sunday afternoon walk at Deer Flat Wildlife Refuge in Idaho. Birding was an instant addiction.

Married to Jessica since 1999, they have four children that keep them hopping. They live in Bountiful, Utah adjacent to spectacular birding at parks and refuges on the eastern shore of the Great Salt Lake. Robert earned his degree in Construction Management from Brigham Young University and somehow fits his construction career around his birding.

BOY AMKE logo lg 2He is a “well-rounded nerd” who enjoys adventures with his family, serving in his church and Boy Scouts of America, family history, music, and an avid college football fan. Robert plays clarinet and saxophone and enjoys singing too.

I had the pleasure of meeting Robert at this September’s Midwest Birding Symposium. Below, he’s pictured with Greg Miller (l). Notice that Robert (r) is sporting both the kestrel sticker on his binocular barrell, as well as our 2011 BOY passalong card in his name badge holder. Thanks to Cheryl Harner for the image.
I know that Robert will do a super job of developing and growing this program. He’s already proved himself to be an innovator and a builder of the birding community. And he really lives his motto, Birding is Fun!
Welcome aboard, Robert!

Greg Miller and Robert Mortensen