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 29 of 51

28 Birder's Guide to Conservation & Community | May 2014 irders come from all walks of life. Our diverse backgrounds and motives vary as widely as the birds that inspire us, but we're united by our shared interest in the world of birds. Whether birding is a casual pastime or an all- consuming pursuit for you, done with peers or mostly privately, you've probably had the expe- rience of trying to explain the allure, and indeed the value, of birding. Some of us not only live to bird, but also bird for a living. And for those of us who have chosen to pursue our passion full time, communicating the importance of bird re- search, monitoring, and conservation is critical as we strive to raise broader public awareness and support. In many ways, these concerns are at the heart of what we do at Bird Studies Canada (BSC). We're a heavily scientifc organization, and many of our staff spend much of their time dealing with data—collecting and/or analyzing data, and reporting fndings—or coordinating programs that provide larger-scale and longer- term information about regional, national, and international bird population trends. This is es- sential knowledge for the conservationists and government departments responsible for spe- cies status assessments and recovery planning. Just as important, and as you're likely already aware, changes in bird populations can indicate changes in the health of the ecosystems and en- vironment on which we all rely. Our focus at BSC is on sound science to in- form conservation decision making. It's worth noting that "citizen science" programs are an increasingly crucial part of how we achieve our mission. These programs provide us with valuable crowd-sourced data, while offering participants engaging hands-on learn- ing opportunities and creating meaning- ful connections with the natural world. Each year, roughly 30,000 volunteer citizen scientists across Canada contribute to BSC's research and monitoring programs. Public education and en- gagement are necessary to make these kinds of Bird Studies Canada Advancing Bird Science, Conservation, and Education Volunteers count hawks at Long Point Bird Observatory's "Tip" research station. Photo © Hilde Johansen B 4-Canada2.indd 28 5/22/14 7:50 PM

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