Pursuing the Pitohui

It has been a long time, to long, since we last visited the NPR Radio Expeditions site. I used to head over there quite often to listen to the numerous audio bios they’ve got posted of various well-known (and a few rather obscure) explorers and scientists. But I more or less heard them all, so I kind of went on to other things. But they are always producing new stuff, so it behooves us to check in every once in a while. To wit: I offer you today this excellent piece on a conservationist named Bruce Beehler who is wandering the mysterious cannibal-inhabited jungles of Papua New Guinea in search of a mysterious and poisonous bird native to the region called the pitohui. In typical NPR fashion, you really get a feel for the heat and the exoticness of the location, and as you follow Beehler and the local shaman that he befriends, you can’t help wonder, how did I end up in a damn office?