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.

Issue link: http://bg.aba.org/i/330390

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Birder's Guide to Conservation & Community | May 2014 6 Jeffrey A. Gordon Colorado Springs, Colorado jgordon@aba.org "...of the many birders I know, only a handful do anything for conservation!" he above is a comment on a Facebook post I saw a year or so ago. It's typical of a charge that is often leveled at birders: we only care about our lists, we're watchers but not doers, we enjoy the fruits of the contributions to habitat made by hunters and anglers but don't give back ourselves. I will be the frst to admit that birders as a community have a long way to go in making our voices heard and highlighting our contributions as effectively as we should. And there are certain areas where we haven't yet found our own ways of giving back—visibly, as birders—to habitat conservation and improvement. Yet. But just as much as it doesn't help to ignore valid criticisms and areas where improvements and innovations can and should be made, neither does it help to underplay what is already a very strong hand, or to allow others inside and outside our com- munity to do so unchallenged. Standing up for and celebrating what we already do and innovating the things we ought to do better is what Birder's Guide to Conservation & Community is all about. Here, you'll fnd success stories of how birders have made and are making a difference for birds and for birding. I hope you'll fnd much to cheer and much to be inspired by. And I hope you'll agree that giving back to our community and to the resources we all use is not some kind of penance; rather, it can and should be as fun and fulflling as any other aspect of birding. Finally, I hope that the next time you hear someone say that birders don't care or don't contribute, you'll feel prepared to confdently refute that charge as the nonsense it is. Good birding, Jeffrey A. Gordon President, American Birding Association elcome to the frst issue of Birder's Guide to Conservation & Community! Our goal with this issue is to highlight the efforts being made by birders in the realms of habitat conservation and envi- ronmental education, which both lead to healthier bird populations. We're particularly proud to debut "Conservation Milestones" (see p. 12), which highlights the real accomplishments of birders like you. As always, please be sure to let us know what you did and didn't like in this issue, so that we may start planning future issues that better suit your needs. If there's a topic you see missing that you feel deserves cov- erage, please let us know. Even better, consider writing about it yourself for the next issue! And if someone ever tells you birders don't care about consevation, be sure to send them this link, where they may see this entire issue online, and for free: Good birding, Michael L. P. Retter Editor, Birder's Guide From the President From the Editor T W Michael L. P. Retter West Lafayette, Indiana mretter@aba.org 0-Letters.indd 6 5/22/14 6:54 PM

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