Birder's Guide

MAY 2014

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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Page 15 of 51

14 Birder's Guide to Conservation & Community | May 2014 Conservation Milestones side, begging loudly. The neighbor was smitten: He quit complaining about the snag, put up some bird feeders in his own yard, and now enjoys chatting about the birds he sees. "That moment with the Red-bellies reminds me that those small moments can make a huge difference," Mertz says. Her latest publication, The Green Book for the Bay, gives advice on backyard landscaping around Chesapeake Bay. Elijah Martineau: Ultimate Bird Station –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Partly inspired by his older brother, who did a conservation project for the ABA's Young Birder of the Year contest in 2012, then-12-year-old Elijah Martineau took on the task of designing a bird-feeding station for his local nature center (near Lansing, Michigan) in 2013. Martineau quickly realized that at- tracting birds is no small enterprise; the eventual plan included native plants, a trellis, a heated water feature, a variety of bird feeders, a roost box, a window- attached butterfy nesting box for view- ing inside the center, nesting spots for native bees, a turkey and deer feeder, a brush pile, a compost bin, and a walk- way—all of which would cost roughly $1,200 just for materials. Undaunted, he campaigned on Indiegogo (a crowd- funding website like Kickstarter), offer- ing handwritten thank-yous and bird postcards as perks, and raised the nec- essary funds from 45 individual donors. With help from his parents and other volunteers, Martineau built everything from the ground up, stripping out lawn and fagstones to make way for the lush wildlife attraction. By the time it was done, he had put 90 hours into the proj- ect. The bird setup will take some main- tenance, especially over the next year as the plants grow, but visitors to Lansing's Fenner Nature Center—be they feath- ered, furred, or human—will be able to enjoy the wildlife-friendly grounds for years to come. Mel Goff: Field Trips and Citizen Science –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Mountains, prairies, lakes, state and na- tional parks, urban settings—Mel Goff covers them all with an eye on birds and their environment. As the feld trip coordinator for the Aiken Audubon Society in Colorado Springs, Goff serves both conservation efforts and the community. The Colo- rado Springs area has access to a large variety of habitats, ranging from open prairie and riparian corridors to moun- tain landscapes and pine forests, and Goff arranges trips to coincide with the ideal times of the year to see birds and the habitats at their best. Goff often follows monthly programs with feld trips that carry on the pro- Elijah Martineau, with help from investors, parents, and other volunteers, created a new bird feeding station at the Fenner Nature Center in Lansing, Michigan. Photo © Elijah Martineau Elijah Martineau proudly poses in front of the Fenner Nature Center in Lansing, Michigan. Photo © Cindi Martineau 2-Conservation Milestones.indd 14 5/22/14 7:33 PM

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