[Tweeters] In memory of Dave DeSante

Steve Hampton stevechampton at gmail.com
Thu Oct 20 21:39:25 PDT 2022

I'm passing this on from CalBirds regarding Dave DeSante, who first studied
and coined the term mirror-image misorientation.

His focus and kindness touched the lives of many decades of birders far and

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Kimball Garrett <cyanolyca818 at gmail.com>
Date: Thu, Oct 20, 2022 at 10:23 AM
Subject: [CALBIRDS] Dave DeSante
To: <calbirds at groups.io>


I know that these email birding listservs have largely fallen out of favor
with birders these days, but I am surprised not to have seen mention on
Calbirds of the passing of Dave DeSante on October 18th, as reported in
yesterday's message from Rodney Siegel, Executive Director of the Institute
for Bird Populations. Dave was a giant in California birding and
ornithology through his work on navigation and vagrancy in migratory birds,
and of course his founding of the IBP led to the great work that
organization has done for decades on bird population monitoring and
conservation biology. Every bird bander, bird conservationist, and vagrant
seeker in the Americas is well aware of Dave's contributions.

The message from IBP said Dave passed away while "pursuing a sighting of a
vagrant bird, which in this case was an ultra-rare Willow Warbler that
showed up in Marin County." Dave's doctoral dissertation at Stanford
University on vagrancy was pioneering and set the stage for our
understanding of a phenomenon that ignites the passion of many birders.
And his work certainly cemented the status of Southeast Farallon Island as
one of the premier vagrant traps in the world. Among his findings was the
notion of "mirror-image" misorientation, which ironically might go a long
way toward explaining the recent appearance in California of the two
primarily European *Phylloscopus* warblers (Wood Warbler and Willow
Warbler) that have attracted hundreds of birders each the past few days.

Please think of Dave on your next vagrant chase, or even just the next time
you are out and enjoying birds. We owe him so much and will certainly feel
his loss.

Kimball Garrett
Juniper Hills, CA

Steve Hampton
Port Townsend, WA (qatáy)
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