Birder's Guide

AUG 2018

Birder's Guide is the American Birding Association's newest publication. Each issue focuses on a key subject, providing tips from experienced birders on a wide variety of topics like Travel, Listing & Taxonomy, Gear, and Conservation & Community.

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24 Birder's Guide to Conservation & Community | August 2018 Black-backed Oriole out of the visit involved an analysis of the economic impact of B.B.'s visit. Corey Callaghan, a doctoral candidate at the University of New South Wales–Sydney, obtained data from the logbook and per- formed an analysis to see how far people had traveled and to gauge economic im- pact. His analysis was published last fall in the journal Human Dimensions of Wildlife (see He concluded that visiting birders spent $223,000 or more. With the help of homeowners and the cooperation of visiting birders, every- one stayed safe, including B.B., who was last seen in the neighborhood on April 10, 2017. All involved seemed to gain something positive from the experience. So, in the end, did we meet the goals? Enthusiastically, yes! There were very few incidents where people wanted to get too close or go into yards without permission. The rules gave me and the other local birders whom I deputized some authority to ask people to comply with the rules, and the vast major- ity of visiting birders did cheerfully. The only rule that wasn't just common cour- tesy or common sense was the visiting hours, but, still, people obeyed this guide- line. There were a few days when we all agreed to "stay open late" for TV crews to arrive and film. And a number of articles, authored by Bill Urich, appeared in the lo- cal newspaper, The Reading Eagle. There was only one complaint from a neighbor that I heard about: Someone ap- parently parked too close to a mailbox, and that house didn't get mail delivery that day. After hearing that, we made sure to keep reminding people not to block drive- ways, mailboxes, or garbage cans. A few people wanted to stand on the Hybkis' side of the street close enough to see and pho- tograph the bird better. The rules we had agreed to with homeowners helped me justify asking people to be courteous and move back across the street. I agreed with them that, "yes, it was a public sidewalk, but we didn't want people complaining to the police, and the bird is shy". Having people stay across the street worked out pretty well: Over the next two months, more than 1,824 visitors saw the bird. One especially interesting thing to come n Super-friendly bird hosts Tom and Linda Binder show off their Black-backed Oriole T-shirts that were a thank you gift from Seabird McKeon of Code 5 Design. Photo © Michael Slater

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