I just heard that Pete Bacinski, legendary birder and all-around good guy, died last night of a cardiac event.
He'll probably be best remembered as one of the all-stars in the first World Series of Birding and for all the other work he did for NJ Audubon, but I'll always think of him as the soft-spoken, easy-going guy who made friends easily and just happened to be an incredible expert on birds and other aspects of nature.
Pete, who was Fyke's guest speaker in September 2017, was born and raised in the Meadowlands and returned when he could.
"I grew up in Lyndhurst," he once wrote, "and cut my teeth on birds and natural history in the New Jersey Meadowlands."
The last I saw of him was at Brig last June -- birding, as usual.
Pete, who always looked a tad disheveled, wanted to start a campaign to name the Cedar Waxwing "America's most beautiful bird."
He wrote: "Never a feather out of place. The quintessence of avian sartorial splendor."
That was Pete -- always thinking of birds. A great guy.