Alligator River/Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge
P. O. Box 1969
Manteo, North Carolina 27954

Contact: Bonnie Strawser - 252-473-1131

Back to News Home Page


News Release

July 14, 2008

Author to present 2008 Wings Over Water keynote address

Don't miss the annual Wings Over Water Wildlife Festival, Nov. 4-9,
when all things wild are celebrated on the Outer Banks through events
ranging from paddling to birding, history to art, and photography to
red wolves.

And this six-day event is held when off season rental rates are in
and heavy traffic is out.

This year's keynote speaker will be birder and author, Pete Dunne,
who also will lead two programs.

When he was seven years old, Dunne, now 56, was presented with two
instruments that would define his life. One was a pair of binoculars;
the other a book -- a book about birds. One brought intimacy; the
other understanding and through them the woodlands behind his
suburban home became a portal that opened onto a world of discovery
and wonders.

Dunne, vice president of the New Jersey Audubon Society and
director of the Society's Cape May Bird Observatory, uses his talents
and energy to make the natural world real for others. The author of
The Wind Masters, Hawks in Flight, The Feather Quest, Dunne’s
Essential Field Guide Companion, he also has written regular columns
in birding magazines, as well as the "New Jersey Sunday Section" of
the New York Times. In his writing and frequent speaking engagements
around the world, he weaves information, insight and even fantasy
into a net that captures minds and hearts.

A field birder with an international reputation, he has served
on the board of the American Birding Association and the Roger Tory
Peterson Institute. An authority on the optical needs of birders, he
has served as a marketing and product advisor to Nikon, Zeiss, Leica,
Leupold, Swarovski Optik, Swift Instruments, Bausch and Lomb, and
other companies.

As involved as he is with New Jersey Audubon's outreach and
programming, Dunne makes time to lead an every Monday morning bird
walk and, in season, to assist with the Cape May Hawk Count -- the
count he established 31 years ago.

"It keeps me grounded in what is real and what is important,"
he explains.

He also is the founder of and a 24-year veteran of the World
Series of Birding. Called "The World's Greatest Natural Treasure
Hunt," the annual event attracts more than 100 teams and raises more
than half a million dollars for conservation every year.

In recognition of this event, and for life time achievement
promoting the cause of birding, Dunne was awarded the American
Birding Association’s Roger Tory Peterson Award in 2001. Other awards
include the EPA Environmental Protection Award, Governor’s Conference
on Tourism Environmental Award and the 1991 Winchester Good News
Hunting Writer’s Contest first prize.

When not working, writing, traveling or birding, Dunne spends
his time with wife Linda and the couple's volatile pair of Labrador
retrievers, Max and Raven, in the riverside village of Mauricetown.

His keynote program -- “Twenty-five Things That Changed Birding” --
will be a reflection upon some great and small institutions, ideas,
products, initiatives, and byproducts that changed the face of
birding, making it the avocation it is today. Some are obvious. Some
will surprise you. All will make you think and ponder about the past,
present and future of this hobby enjoyed by millions.

The Wings Over Water Wildlife Festival keynote dinner will be at 6
p.m., Friday, Nov. 7, at Roanoke Island Festival Park. Cost is $30
and advanced registration is required.

Participants are encouraged to register soon as most programs have
limits on number of registrants. And those traveling to the area also
should book accommodations early to ensure that lodging can be found
in convenient areas.

Call the Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce to receive a copy of OBX
Wild which includes a complete listing of program offerings. The book
also is available at area visitor centers, businesses and in
downloadable form on the official website at www.wingsoverwater.org.
Call the Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce at 252-441-8144 or go to
www.outerbankschamber.com.