Big Pine Couple Featured in LA Times

You could call a new Los Angeles Times story in Tuesdays paper “Bird Watching: A Love Story.” Times reporter Louis Sahagun covers the Eastern Sierra and found out about the remarkable Big Pine couple, Tom and Jo Heindel. The Times story revealed that the couple will soon come out with a unique book – a guide to the birds of the Eastern Sierra.

The story says right now the Heindels have nearly completed a 500-page draft manuscript described by the Times as a comprehensive scientific survey of every species and subspecies ever documented in Inyo County over the last 150 years. Bird experts are quoted as saying that what the Heindels have done marks a unique work since most states in the country don’t even have a county bird book.

The story, which starts on the front page of the Times as a “Column One” feature, unfolds to document the Henidels’ dedication to birds of our area and lifelong fascination with feathered creatures.

The last two paragraphs say it all: “There is still so much we don’t know about birds around here,” Tom said to Jo. “But I’ll never forget the most beautiful bird I’ve ever seen. I was 16 at the time. She was 14.” That’s when the Heindels met and started to gaze skyward at the birds.

Check out the story in the Times newspaper or on line at

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