Bob Dunlap is a zoologist and data specialist for the state Department of Natural Resources. He’s also president of the Minnesota Ornithologists’ Union, the state’s largest birding group. His term runs through December.


I just finished “Diary of an Amazon Jungle Guide” by Paul Beaver which chronicles the author’s adventures in guiding tourists in Amazonian Peru. As my wife and I enjoyed our honeymoon in the Ecuadorian rainforest, we both have a keen interest in the Amazon region and its myriad wildlife. Last February we led a group of Minnesotans on a birding trek to central Colombia and plan to lead more such trips. Inspired by our trip to Colombia, I’m reading “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel García Márquez.


I’m always following birds, although my expertise is largely restricted to the 440-some species that have been found in Minnesota. A crazy handful of Minnesota birders like myself keeps lists of the birds we see in all 87 Minnesota counties. I’ve seen at least 150 species in all but nine counties (which I plan to push to 150 next year). I’ve seen at least 250 species in each of the seven metro counties (except for Anoka — currently at 238 — which is proving to be a challenge).


I’m a fairly recent convert to podcasts although anything on Minnesota Public Radio has been a staple for awhile. My music library comprises some 5,000 songs acquired over the past 15 years. I suppose you could describe my taste in music as eclectic, ranging from Alison Krauss to Rob Zombie.


When I’m not outdoors birding, hiking, taking photos, or walking our dog, Phoebe, you might find me indoors playing pinball at an arcade or brewery. The hobby/sport has been regaining in popularity over the past decade or so, and my sister founded the coed pinball league Pinball Twin Cities ( in 2016 in which my wife, friends and I participate. For me, pinball has become a social experience to enjoy a beer or two with friends while aiming for a high score or multiball on whatever machine I’m playing. (Attack from Mars is a personal favorite.)