Friday, November 1, 2013

Explorers Club talk—November 4 in New York City

I'm looking forward to returning to the Explorers Club. The club itself is a great place to explore, filled with memorabilia from countless expeditions to the far reaches of the Earth and also outer space. Noteworthy past members include Robert Peary (of North Pole fame), Roy Chapman Andrews (arguably the model for Indiana Jones), Roald Amundsen (of South Pole fame), Theodore Roosevelt, Edmund Hillary, and astronaut Neil Armstrong. Astronauts Buzz Aldrin and John Glenn are current members.

I'll be talking about my own expeditions through the mountains of northwestern Mexico in search of the giant Imperial Woodpecker—largest woodpecker that ever lived and perhaps the rarest bird on the planet. It hasn't had a documented sighting since 1956, and yet stories persist among mountain villagers that a handful of them yet live on. My goal was to find out if the rumors were true, and beyond that, to talk with people who knew this species intimately, and try to find out why its numbers plummeted so precipitously in the late 1940s and early '50s.

The Explorers Club is at 46 E. 70th Street, New York, NY. The reception begins at 6:00 p.m. and my talk at 7:00. For full details, call (212) 628-8383, send email to, or click on this link. Hope to see you there.