Linnaean Society tribute to Starr

Helen Hays and Joe DiCostanzo of the Linnaean Society of New York compiled and published, in the March/April 2013 News-Letter, memories of Starr submitted by many of those who knew her. These essays paint a vivid portrait of Starr and express the love and respect that so many of us felt for her. The issue also has many photos both of Starr and of her favorite bird, the Cerulean Warbler.

Some of these submissions came from viewers of this website. So that all, not just Linnaean members, can see this tribute issue, it is downloadable here as a PDF file:

Linnaean Tribute to Starr

May 8 is Lenore’s Memorial Event for Starr Saphir

The event is free and open to all, and it will begin at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 8, at Summit Rock in Central Park, which is just off Central Park West and 83rd Street. You can reach Summit Rock by entering the park off of either West 81st or West 85th Street. This map shows you where it is.

Lenore Swenson wants to set aside some time at the beginning for people who want to share their thoughts about Starr. There are benches ringing the area so those who want to sit can do so. The trees here have often provided spectacular displays of warblers, as Starr’s walks observed, so we hope that we will be treated to some pretty sights and sounds.

After discussion, Lenore will lead a birding walk through the Ramble, just as she and Starr did for over twenty years.

In case of rain, the alternate date for this event is Friday, May 10.

Birdathon in Honor of Starr, to Support her Favorite Charity

I received this notice from Sandra Paci today and wanted to pass it along to our viewers:

On February 5th of this year, the New York City birding community lost Starr Saphir, who was a friend, teacher, mentor, and inspiration to many.  In honor and remembrance of Starr, her life, her indefatigable spirit, and her unsurpassed love of birds and birding Lenore Swenson, Donna Evans and Sandra Paci will participate in this year’s International Migratory Bird Day Birdathon on Saturday, May 11th as the team “Friends of Starr Saphir.

Pledges raised will go, as per Starr’s wishes, to the American Bird Conservancy’s Cerulean Warbler Fund.   The Cerulean was Starr’s favorite bird of all and was the reason why she was almost never seen without her signature blue headscarf and blue rain jacket.  ABC’s current efforts focus on establishing a conservation corridor between three private reserves on the Cerulean’s wintering grounds in Colombia and on reforesting land in the heart of the bird’s breeding territory in Kentucky, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.  Since the theme of this year’s IMBD is “Life Cycles of Migratory Birds” supporting this cause is a perfect fit.

You can find out more details about the past results and future efforts of ABC’s Cerulean Warbler programs here:

And here:

On May 11th, Lenore, Donna and Sandy will be out from dawn to dusk trying to see as many species of birds as possible.  It is their desire to make a meaningful contribution to the Cerulean Warbler Fund in Starr’s honor and they hope that you can help.  Pledges can be based on the number of species seen or a fixed amount.  Contributions are fully tax deductible and will be made out directly to the American Bird Conservancy with “Cerulean Warbler Fund” and “May 11 Birdathon — Friends of Starr Saphir” in the memo section.

To make a pledge, please contact Sandra Paci, email: or cell: 1-347-834-5881.

Thanks very much for your support!

Starr is featured in my new birding book


I recently published A Big Manhattan Year: Tales of Competitive Birding. You can read more about the book here on my website.

I devote a chapter to a profile of Starr, who appears often throughout the book. I also discuss both the basics and the finer points of birding in Manhattan, introducing the reader to Manhattan’s most sought-after rare birds and explaining in detail my strategies for observing them. My battle with Andrew Farnsworth for the big year lead maintains narrative tension and continues to the climactic last day of the year.

The book is available both as a paperback and as an eBook for the Kindle. My site has links for buying, browsing, and searching inside it. Have a look!

I also have begun blogging about my own birding again, so, if this is something you enjoyed, see my blog.

–David Barrett