Aviantica: How We Took Flight

Two years ago this week, Michele was talking to me about a weekend trip we were about to take: The Biggest Week in American Birding east of Toledo, Ohio. Michele used very unfamiliar words to me like “Warbler, Coot, Sand Piper, Peterson’s, Kaufman’s, binocular harness”, to mention a few. I remember looking straight into her eyes and saying, “Uh Chel, I just want you to know, I might not like this.” Now approaching my 3rd Biggest Week, my life list is 241 and I say things like, “Birdtastic, birdtacular, Birderazzi, Prothonotary, Piping Plover,” and my new favorite bird word “Aviantica.”

When you pick up a new interest in your 40’s, there’s a certain excitement that comes along with it. A woman of my age understands the commitment and dedication it takes to gain a new skill. And birding requires patience, a LOT of patience, not to mention perseverance and the ability to drop everything in a moment’s notice to get that “lifer.”

Last year, Michele and I invited our friend Nissa to join us for The Biggest Week. We made a playlist of bird songs on the drive... Edge of Seventeen, When Doves Cry, Fly Like an Eagle, etc.  Nissa, who is not exactly a morning person, but more a woman of the night (wait, that doesn’t sound right; let’s say “night owl”) was a real trooper. She was up, in the car, harness on, and on the boardwalk just after sunrise. We had so much fun that we pulled a 14 hour day. We didn’t get 100 bird species that day but it was still epic.

A few months later we noticed that our inner-cacaw was still going strong. Bird vernacular was a common theme in our conversations.  We kept saying that we wish we could have a shirt that said “Cacaw” or “Birderazzi.” 

And so, the concept of Aviantica was formed. The antics of birding...  because it’s fun, kooky (dare we say “athletic”?) and there’s a real need for bird awareness, causes, etc. 

Michele, my wonderful partner, our bird enthusiast and mentor, started birding years ago with her best friend Rose.  Michele has a fantastic ear for it.  She has a memory like a hawk. (Pun intended!)  Most of all, Michele is enthusiastic and her eyes light up when she sees or hears something “cool.”  Without Michele, Aviantica would have never happened.

Nissa is a genius graphic designer and branding expert.  She is the art behind all of this.  Her designs reflect her perfectly: “Cool, clean, and memorable.”

When Michele and I saw Nissa’s logo design, we knew this was going to happen.

My name is Leslie.  I, like the other two women, am a true nature lover.  Birding for me just made sense.  I already loved to hike... why not look around and have a real listen? 

Aviantica represents birding pride, community, conservation, awareneness, and a way to represent your favorite hobby with the coolest gear.  We can’t wait to see all you birders out there wearing Team Aviantica, revealing birding pride and enthusiasm.

Cacaw everyone... cacaw!

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