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 42 of 51

41 May 2014 | Bir der's Gui de to Conservation & Community range, the event introduces some "Birding Basics" about wintering birds of the area. A "Binocular Boot Camp" session prior to the actual half-mile hike ensures that each participant is comfortable fnding and fo- cusing on birds using binoculars. Birding teams, which are creatively named by the members (such as The Epic Eagles, Atomic Penguins, and Ravenous Redtails, to name ety for the traditional CBC, sup- ported this initiative and became the Canadian partner for CBC4K- ids in 2010. Though modeled af- ter the traditional Christmas Bird Count, CBC4Kids is designed specifcally to engage young peo- ple in birding, flling a necessary niche in reconnecting kids with nature and birds. Ultimately, these young birders are future CBC participants, birders, naturalists, ornithologists, and conservation- ists. By bringing together youth and their families for a fun winter birding adventure, participants gain useful birdwatching skills, learn about local and migrating birds, and develop im- portant relations with other young natu- ralists. The seed is planted for the lifetime sport of birding. A typical CBC4Kids is a fun, family- friendly birding adventure held in De- cember and January of each year. Gener- ally attracting participants in the 8–16 age a few), consist of several young par- ticipants, each with a parent, and experienced bird leaders. Armed with their binoculars, bird feld guides, and a common bird check- list of the area, teams venture out and explore different survey routes to identify and tally all bird species in the predetermined count area. Bird leaders provide expertise and support, but the event is very much kid-centric, to help young birders build a sense of leadership and confdence in their skills. Keeping in mind that a new experience is "only fun as long as it is fun", the CBC4Kids bird hikes are kept to around 90 minutes in length, compared to the traditional 24-hour CBC. However, hikes are often modifed according to the vari- able weather patterns across the continent, such as the short 20-minute survey by a team in Sudbury, Ontario, whose frst an- Tom Rusert Sonoma, California Darren Peterie Sonoma, California Liza Barney Port Rowan, Ontario Jody Allair Port Rowan, Ontario Volunteer Richard Dale, of the Sonoma Ecology Center, reviews fnal team results for accuracy in preparation for data entry. Photo © Duy Nguyen 6-CBC4K.indd 41 5/22/14 7:57 PM

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