Former NMU student finishes his ‘big year’

MARQUETTE – Former Northern Michigan University student David Pavlik has raised almost $6,000 for the American Bird Conservancy through his photographic “big year.”

Pavlik, a 2010 NMU graduate who is pursuing his master’s degree in conservation biology at the University of Minnesota, photographed 585 bird species in 2013, raising about $5,800 in pledges.

The money, he said, will go toward bird conservation in Hawaii, an area particularly vulnerable to species becoming extinct because of habitat loss.

Pavlik kept a blog of his big year, which took him to Texas, Minnesota and other parts of the United States, at birdingforconservation.blogspot.com/.

The support for Pavlik’s project exceeded his expectations. On his blog, Pavlik wrote, “I thought I might get a few pledges from some close friends, and maybe a few more from conservation minded birders. However, as the year went on, it quickly became obvious that there was much more support for this type of project than I thought.”

Some of his most notable sightings in 2013 were a Hawaiian petrel in Monterey Bay, Calif.; a tropical parula in Texas; a great gray owl in Minnesota; a Ross’s gull in Iowa; an Arctic loon in California; a white-cheeked pintail in Florida; a boreal owl in Minnesota; and a Western spindalis and La Sagra’s flycatcher in Florida.

Anyone interested in buying a high-quality, matted print of any of the photos taken in Pavlik’s big year can email him at dtpavlik@hotmail.com, although prints, he said, won’t be available for all photos due to image quality. Pavlik said he will donate a portion of all profits to the American Bird Conservancy for Hawaii bird conservation.

Christie Bleck can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250.