Door County Folk Festival
Rick King
Southfield, MI)
(Dance Instructor, Bird-Watching Hike Leader)

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Can you identify?: Golden-hooded Tanager (Canopy Tower, Soberania, Panama, March 2021), Hermit Thrush (Magee Marsh boardwalk, Ohio, May 2023), Rainbow Lorikeet (Sydney Park, NSW, Australia 2022), Rosellas, Parrots Bowerbirds (mobbing new arrivals - O_Reilly's Rainforest Retreat, Queensland, Australia, October 2022), Screech Owl (Magee Marsh boardwalk, Ohio, May 2023), Southern Cassowary (Queensland, Australia, October 2022), Stork-billed Kingfisher (Borneo, Malaysia, Fall 2017), White-necked Jacobin (Canopy Tower, Soberania, Panama, March 2021)

Rick King
first danced at the Detroit Folkdance Club in 1973 for about 2 months but didn't dance regularly until 1978 at Alex Cushnier's group at Wayne State University. In 1979 joined the Detroit Folk Dance Club. In 1984, he took a hiatus from dancing and became active again in 1989, dancing 2-3 nights per week. In 1990, he began teaching folk dance classes in Huntington Woods and Southfield, MI and promoting folk dancing in the area, organizing dance workshops featuring local Chaldean and Lebanese ethnic groups. In 1995 he started a monthly dance group on Suns that later moved to alternate Sats in Ferndale. That year he also took a "folk dance" trip to Europe, Bulgaria and the Koprivshtitsa festival. In 1996, Rick became leader of what had formerly been the Wayne State group and moved it to the Ferndale location, dancing two Fris a month, while continuing the monthly Sat group. Eventually the two groups merged into Fris, meeting weekly. At the same time, Rick became the leader for the weekly Monday teaching nights. Rick's music collection goes beyond the basic folk dance "repertoire" recordings and contains more current versions, especially from the Balkans and the Middle East. His loves doing simpler dances to alternative music that has an "ethnic" feel. Rick is also an avid bird watcher.

While always interested in birding, it didn’t become serious with Rick until on a trip to Mexico in the early 90’s where, while visiting Chichen Itza, a Turquoise-browed Motmot perched close by and he saw it’s beautiful, rich, colors, it’s bizarre racquet tail, it’s big bill, and he said “Wow!”. That was his “spark” bird. Since then he's traveled when he could to Mexico, Central America, South America and has been blown away many times by all the spectacular birds he has found there. He's also traveled to Africa, Asia, Australia, and some in Europe (where he snuck in some birding during a trip with Ventzi Sotirov to Pirin, Bulgaria). And, of course, he has traveled all over the USA and Canada, from Arizona (spring and summer), to Maine, to Hudson Bay in Canada, Texas, Washington State, Florida, Ohio, of course Pt. Pelee Nat. Park in Ontario (one of the top birding spots in the world), and many more. His lifelist stands at 2727. His next destination is going to be southern Africa.