Bird events retrace path of Border Songs author

Published on Wed, Feb 9, 2011 by By Tara Nelson

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Birding enthusiasts have several opportunities to learn about local avian species this month as North Cascades Audubon Society president Joe Meche will present three programs as part of Whatcom READS! 2011. 

Meche will lead participants on a bird walk at 2 p.m., Saturday, February 12, where he will retrace the path he traveled with “Border Songs” author Jim Lynch, helping gather information for his book. 

Meche will also lead a walk along Whatcom Creek from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Sunday, February 20, leaving from the Bellingham public library lecture room (call 778-7323 ext. 2).

Others may prefer to watch Meche present a slideshow of birds found in Whatcom County the same evening, February 20, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., also in the Bellingham Public Library lecture room.  

Meche served as the “bird consultant” to Lynch while he was writing his novel “Border Songs,” in which the main character, Brandon Vanderkool, is a 6-foot, 8-inch social misfit whose father pushes him off the family dairy farm and into the U.S. Border Patrol.

Brandon prefers bird watching and creating organic sculptures to law enforcement, but his keen observation skills soon detect an endless stream of illegal immigrants and drug dealers.  

Lynch will speak about “Border Songs” as well as his 2008 novel “The Highest Tide” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, February 22, at the Blaine performing arts center (PAC).

For more upcoming events, visit