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A Boy, His Grandfather, and Too Many Questions!!

My story began almost 45 years ago with my grandfather, Andrew Francis Dapkins. I use to accompany him on his laundry delivery runs and we would have lunch breaks at the same small pond in Point Pleasant New Jersey called Little Silver Lake.


As a young boy, this place was magical for me. It was a place I couldn’t wait to visit as I had time to spend it with my grandpa and watch the birds. At this point, I knew nothing about these wonderful flying miracles but that was soon to change. There was a pattern that developed during our lunch stops which involved "What's that?" questions, a lot of “What’s That? Questions. I am not sure how long the relentless question went on for, but I am fairly certain it didn’t last long. At some point my grandpa had enough, and this is where my love for and learning about birds began. I received my first field guide gift from him in hopes my questions about birds would stop. Gladly for me, not him, the questions did not stop but grew more frequent and more involved.


As my teenage years approached, I was incredibly lucky to find a friend my age, thanks to Barry, who also enjoyed my hobby. We honed our skills throughout the suburban landscape setting a good base for the future. When most kids our age were trying to figure out who they were we were in the woods and in the field guides.


As an adult I was extremely lucky to have a career that required me to travel the world, bringing my hobby with me and expanding my knowledge and enjoyment to an all-time high. I met some amazing and diverse people that taught me new ways to enjoy birdwatching. I was able to broaden my experience and learn about species once read about in a book or while watching a documentary. This is also the time I started getting involved in a more hands on approach by volunteering with environmental groups and citizen science agencies.


My very first interest in helping birds directly was while I was stationed in Guam. Prior to arriving I read an article about the Brown Tree Snake and how its introduction has devastated the local population of the Micronesian Starling. Once I arrived, I reached out to the natural resources department and asked how I could help. Little did I know that I was getting involved in a program that would eventually prove to be a success story for this species.


And now as I reach my later years, I continue to chase the birds, but my mission now is to share what I have experienced and enjoyed for so long with anyone and everyone that I meet. I have been given the wonderful opportunity to sit on the South Middleton Township Park and Recreation Board that is a staunch supporter to connect the growth of the township with the growth and restoration of the natural environment as well.


I have always been an active person with an inability to sit still, which, as I grew up, was a great trait to have when looking for birds as they seem to share this same problem.


I am an avid yet casual birder who loves sharing my hobby with all ages, abilities, and experience levels. I am not your typical quiet birder, and neither are my outings. I like to interact, talk with, and educate other nature enthusiasts both outside of and during my outings. I encourage questions, excitement, and enthusiasm.


I am a staunch advocate that birding is for everyone and everybody, regardless of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, health, ability, experience, or any other consideration, and hold my guests to this same standard.

Cumberland Valley is a wonderful place to live and has a large diverse area for birds, nature, and wildlife. We have a large valley that sits between two mountain ranges and is in the temperate forest zone that is very high in biodiversity for some excellent birding.


At “The Bird Guy Tours” Our casual and informative events will take you throughout Cumberland Valley and the surrounding area.


Our events:

- are focused on birding but are not restricted to just birds as there is so much to see how could we not enjoy it as well?

- are for everyone and everybody, regardless of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, health, ability, experience, or any other consideration.

- range from those traveling through needing a quick species or two, to an all-day excursion that will take you to many locations in Cumberland County and surrounding areas.

- are shush-free, interactive, and educational, so we encourage questions, excitement, and enthusiasm.

- encourage you to bring a friend, curiosity, and binoculars if you have them.

- will take place in the rain, snow, or sunshine. So, wear proper clothing for the weather.

Signing up for our free events is encouraged but not a requirement.

You can sign up here at The "Bird Guy" Tours or just show up.


I can’t wait to share our area with you. Come join me and enjoy all that my state, county, and communities have to offer.


Hope to see you out there.


Andrew Dapkins

Guide and Owner

Meet The Team

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