In the spring of 2013, a friend and I decided to hike the ridge of the Low Tatras, a central Slovakian mountain range. Slovakia is not the end of the world — it lacks the vastness of Siberia or the grandiose vistas of Yosemite. Nor is it a particularly popular tourist destination. What’s worthwhile about Slovakia is not always visible at first sight. Here are some snapshots from a few days in the mountains of Central Europe.
THERE ARE OVER 10,000 bird species in the world. A great many of them are relatively easy to find — you simply have to get to the right habitat in the right part of the world. Some are more challenging and take time, money, and effort. But a handful are so elusive, or occur in such isolated or dangerous places, that most birders will never see them in a lifetime of birding.