yesterday, I announced to myself, an audience of one: I, Andres Kabel, embark
on a quest. Roll that word – quest, quest, quest – around your mouth. I’m
guessing you taste foreignness. Doesn’t that q-word come across as archaic?
Presumptuous? Quests take place in fables, I hear you tell me.
Sigh. A fable
could well be the fate of my efforts. But, damn it, that first step I took
yesterday was, indeed, my quest.
I am a city boy.
The world of nature and I were separate for decades. I came to birding – the
insider term for birdwatcher – late in life and, to tell the truth, in terms of
quality of birding and knowledge of birds, I am mediocre. But all that makes no
difference. I’m on a quest and my quest is to exhaustively learn everything I
can about a particular set of birds, to understand them, and to champion them
in a hotting-up world that inexorably encroaches on their continued survival.
Let me be more
precise. Over the next years, I shall bear witness to our Earth’s fifteen
species of Cranes – the Black Crowned Crane, the Black-necked Crane, the Blue
Crane, the Brolga, the Demoiselle Crane, the Eurasian Crane, the Grey Crowned
Crane, the Hooded Crane, the Red-crowned Crane, the Sandhill Crane, the Sarus
Crane, the Siberian Crane, the Wattled Crane, the White-naped Crane, and the
The actors in
this tale are not just the fifteen Crane species and me, but Earth in the
Anthropocene Era, the first epoch in which the human race helps shape the
planet at geologic scale. My quest must necessarily ask: what is the physical
future on Earth for me and the Cranes? What is my culpability and what should I
Come join me. Don’t be at all daunted, you’ll see soon enough how ill equipped I come to my quest. That’s why I need allies, colleagues, and collaborators. You’ll hear more from me over the coming days, months, and years, but in the meantime do drop by for a chat via email, Facebook or Twitter.