While living in Augusta, and convalescing following a surgery, a friend loaned him a copy of Song and Garden Birds of North America. Although Cummings considered himself aware of the natural world and the outdoors, he was amazed at the number of bird species to which he was “oblivious.” The same friend also introduced him to the concept of “Life Listing,” which is part and parcel of the hobby of birdwatching. This idea appealed to his competitive nature; it didn’t take long for him to become a self-taught “birder.”
Through the ensuing years and into retirement, Cummings has pursued his hobby far and wide, looking for birds wherever his travels have taken him. He has influenced many among his family and friends to join the huge number of people in this country interested in and dedicated to the pursuit of new birds for their life lists.
Cummings has been an active member of a number of birding-related organizations, including the Louisiana Ornithological Society, where he served as a member of the Board of Directors for several years. He now resides in Huntsville, TX, with his wife Dorothy.