James Currie (birding expert)
Currie in Lake Worth, Florida, 2012.
April 9, 1972 |
Cape Town, South Africa
|Residence||Lake Worth, Florida|
|Alma mater||University of Cape Town
|Occupation||Creator, host & producer:
Nikon's Birding Adventures TV
Currie was born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa. His parents owned and ran the restaurant at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens on Table Mountain. Currie started birdwatching around the age of seven, becoming enamored of the power and beauty of birds after witnessing a Black Eagle swoop down and grab a rock hyrax right in front of him. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in African languages (he speaks Xhosa, Zulu and Afrikaans) from the University of Cape Town; a Master of Science in Environmental Management from Middlesex University; and worked for over a decade in Africa as a wildlife and birding tour guide. From 2004 to 2007, Currie was the managing director of the Africa Foundation, a nonprofit working to protect rural lands across Africa.
Birding Adventures TV
Currie created, produces and hosts Birding Adventures TV. The show, sponsored by Nikon, debuted in 2009 and was initially broadcast regionally on Fox Sports Net Florida and Comcast Southeast. In 2012, the show aired nationally on NBC Sports Network. It focuses on rare and unusual birds, “the adventure of birding, the new smells, new bird calls, new wildlife and amazing cultures,” and emphasizes the importance of bird and wildlife habitat preservation. Going against stereotype, Birding Adventures showcases birding as an active sport, rather than a passive one. Episodes have been filmed around Florida and in exotic locations such as Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Australia and the Andes Mountains. There are 13 episodes per season.
In keeping with his philosophy of birding as an active sport, as host of Aerial Assassins on Nat Geo Wild, Currie follows packs of the unpredictable Harris’s Hawks hunting in the Sonoran Desert in Arizona. The show premiered on January 20, 2012.
Currie consulted on and provided footage for the 2011 film The Big Year, a comedy about a bird-spotting competition, starring Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson. In 2012, he produced a four-part series on the birds of Botswana for the Botswana Tourism Organization. He contributes to the American Birding Association’s blog.
- Elizabeth Clarke, “Lake Worth’s James Currie is a star among bird-watchers,” Palm Beach Post, January 13, 2012.
- “James Currie puts the adventure in birding,” National Audubon Society, June 25, 2012.
- Linda Ballou, “Interview with Birding Adventurer – James Currie,” National Association of Baby Boomer Women, September 11, 2011.
- Linda Stafford, “Helping Hand for Rural Africans,” Financial Mail, September 1, 2006.
- “The King of the Quest,” Wingscapes, June 24, 2011.
- Amy C. Rippel, “TV discovers scrub-jay’s star power,” Orlando Sentinel, January 3, 2009.
- Howard Salus, “Everglades Birding Festival,” ENV Magazine, January 3, 2011.
- “Aerial Assassins,” Natgeotv.com. Accessed August 20, 2012.
- James Currie, “Aerial Assassins Premieres on National Geographic,” American Birding Association, January 17, 2012.
- James Currie, “Botswana – a Birding Bonanza,” American Birding Association, July 11, 2012.
- “Blogger: James Currie,” American Birding Association. Accessed August 20, 2012.