[Tweeters] Bob Sundstrom, Gone Birding

Hans-Joachim Feddern thefedderns at gmail.com
Mon May 17 16:44:52 PDT 2021

My condolences to his family! The last time I saw Bob was at High Island,
Texas in 2019 I believe. He was leading a group and I first saw him at the
pond at Boy Scout Woods and later at Rollover Pass! His passing is a great
loss to the birding community!

RIP Bob!


On Mon, May 17, 2021 at 2:28 PM Constance Sidles <constancesidles at gmail.com>

> I am so very sorry to hear about Bob. It is a heavy blow and a great loss

> to all the birding community. Through his classes, Bob brought countless

> people to love birds and nature as much as he did. Those of us who were

> privileged to be in his classes hope to carry on his work to foster a love

> of nature wherever we go. It is only through such love that we will be able

> to preserve the natural world, a world that we are a part of, though

> sometimes we forget that.


> I still smile when I remember Bob playing bird songs in class. I think I

> must have been one of his worst students, though he never said so! There

> was one time when he was playing songs from two different species that

> sounded quite similar. Bob noted the differences in the songs and asked,

> "Can you hear that?" Everyone in the class nodded. I did too, though I

> couldn't tell the songs apart at all. Bob must have seen my baffled look

> because he said, "Let me play those songs for you again." I think he would

> have been happy to play them 50 times in a row for me, except the other

> students would have objected, no doubt.


> Even after the class was over, I kept trying to get better at birding by

> ear because Bob made me feel like I could.


> I can tell the songs apart now, Bob. Thank you. - Connie


> On May 17, 2021, at 11:03 AM, Ellen Blackstone <ellenblackstone at gmail.com>

> wrote:


> Hello, Tweeters,


> Sad news here about Bob Sundstrom from his wife, Sally Alhadeff.


> Take care, Everyone,

> Ellen Blackstone

> Seattle

> =================



> Bob Sundstrom passed away on May 16, 2021, after a recurrence of leukemia.

> He died comfortably and in good spirits at his home in the country along

> Scatter Creek in south Thurston County, in the company of his wife, Sally

> Alhadeff and their three cats. He was 69.


> Birds were a great love for Bob, as well as his career. He earned a living

> as a full-time professional birder: leading tours to many parts of the

> world for Victor Emanuel Nature Tours, conducting van trips from Mercer

> Island, teaching, and writing for radio. For thirty years Bob taught Birding

> by Ear for Seattle Audubon Society, helping many to know and appreciate

> the voices of birds.


> His writer’s voice will continue to be heard through nearly 900 BirdNote radio

> stories he authored as Lead Writer. He continued writing into his final

> days, including a final story on May 14. He thanks founder Chris Peterson

> and Executive Director Sallie Bodie for the opportunity to be part of the

> BirdNote team. He was overwhelmed by the gratitude expressed for his career

> work in his last months.

> (https://www.birdnote.org/messages-bob-sundstrom)


> Bob liked to say that birds were his day job, but not his obsession. When

> not birding or writing, Bob loved books, music, bicycling, and single malt

> Scotch. He and Sally took great pleasure in gardening and tending the

> natural habitats on their rural acres. He became a great admirer of

> classic literature and poetry. He earned his Ph.D. in cultural anthropology

> at the University of Washington.


> Bob is survived by his wife, Sally Alhadeff, brother Bill Sundstrom, and

> nephews Ethan and Erin Sundstrom. His loving parents, Mary and Bill, are

> deceased. He thanks many friends and colleagues, the Olympia Unitarian

> Universalist congregation, and Sally’s family for their loving support.


> Sally and Bob had 28 wonderful years together. They loved watching the

> swallows glide and the ravens soar above their camas-covered meadow along

> Scatter Creek.


> If you’d like to leave a remembrance in Bob’s name, please consider a

> donation to BirdNote (birdnote.org).

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*Hans Feddern*
Twin Lakes/Federal Way, WA
thefedderns at gmail.com
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