Remembering Our Dear Friend Stiles

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The other night, when my wife Patty and I got word that our dear friend Stiles Thomas was in failing health, I scribbled down some thoughts …


Stiles Thomas has been, without a doubt, one of the most influential people in my life, and in the lives of so many others. Stiles had a true gift: He not only loved birds and nature, but he created a ripple effect. He taught us to love them as well.

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Poem: 'The Birder's Dirge' by Stiles T.

At a Fyke Nature Assoc. meeting 10 years ago, Marsh Warden Stiles Thomas ended his captivating talk and bird-carving exhibition with a poem called "The Birder's Dirge," which he wrote in March 1986.

Who knew Stiles was a poet?

By popular request, here it is:

                 "The Birder's Dirge"
                   By Stiles Thomas

I've been down in the dumps in Brownsville,

   I've been high on hummers at Mile High,

I've flown to the Dry Tortugas,

   I guess there's nowhere else to fly.


I've heard the "kicky-poo" of the Black Rail.

   I've heard the nightjar call,

I've heard the Timberdoodle at twilight,

   I guess I've heard them all.


I've seen the ring on the Ring-necked Duck,

   I've seen the Pied-billed Grebe Fly.

I've seen the red on the woodpecker's belly,

   I guess I'm ready to die.

In Memory of Stiles Thomas

Stiles Thomas JW
It is with a heavy heart that I pass along the news that our dear friend Stiles Thomas died last night.
He was 99, and died peacefully after a long illness. He and his wife Lillian were living with their daughter Betsy.
You can send condolences to:
The Thomas Family
174 State Street
Unit 2
Newburyport, Mass. 01950
I wrote the following for the Fyke website a while back...
I will most more when I can...