[Tweeters] Bob Sundstrom, Gone Birding

Dennis Paulson dennispaulson at comcast.net
Fri May 21 14:19:58 PDT 2021

I’m just back from a trip with no Wi-fi, so sad now to learn this sad news, and I'm sending all my sympathies to Sally and the rest of Bob’s family. Bob was in my first Master Birders class in 1988, and he went on to shine in the birding world, leading tours and teaching classes to educate and enlighten so many people over the years. He and I taught several weekend classes in eastern Washington years ago, and we had a lot of fun doing that.

I was in contact a lot with Bob through the early years of BirdNote as we both were enlisted as writers, and he went on to become the most prolific writer in that important program.

Even though Bob had a PhD in Anthropology, he developed as scientific an outlook on birds as any professional ornithologist, and he was a credit to our ornithological and birding community here in tweeters land. I know so many people will remember him fondly, as I do.

Dennis Paulson

> 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 <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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