Birder's Guide

MAY 2015

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 21 of 35

Mountain Bird Festival 20 Birder's Guide to Conservation & Community | May 2015 son. Local wineries, brewpubs, and restau- rants cater to a sophisticated clientele. Also, hiking, kayaking, river rafting, rock climb- ing, and other mountain-based sports are widely enjoyed by visitors and locals alike. Importantly, the festival is demonstrating that birding means business: In 2014, at- tendees spent an estimated $70,000 on lodging, travel, food, entertainment, and other incidentals during their festival visit, offering economic benefts for the local communities in and around Ashland. The Mountain Bird Festival is a fun and ambitious event aimed at further mobiliz- ing birdwatchers, who collectively possess the power to overturn decades-long popu - lation declines in many species. Conser- vation-minded birdwatchers are gathering in late May in southern Oregon to en- joy—and protect—nature's full avian pal- ette, from black and white to gray, purple, lazuli, blue, yellow, golden, orange, ruby, red, green, and olive. The goal is nothing short of success with fying colors. ist Gary Bloomfeld. Proceeds from these sales support Klamath Bird Observatory's science and education programs. The ob- servatory oversees one of the densest net- works of long-term bird-monitoring sta- tions in the world and delivers environ- mental data and expertise to regional land managers who produce on-the-ground results that beneft birds. Third, the Mountain Bird Festival el- evates conservation by ensuring all bird sightings made during its feld trips will be entered into eBird, a real-time, online checklist program created by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society. eBird is one of the fastest-growing biological databases in the world. The bird abundance and distribution data entered into eBird contribute to an unprecedented understanding of the dynamic health of the natural world and allow scientists to better identify conservation priorities. The Mountain Bird Festival is notable for a few reasons beyond its conservation sig- nifcance. The festival is a true community event that draws upon and showcases the talent and products of the region, including birding guides, musicians, artists, and lo- cal foods and beverages. Visitors to Ashland will soon learn that the town is home to the nine-month-long Oregon Shakespeare Fes- tival, which runs three professional theatres and several plays through its lengthy sea- Sandhill Cranes breed east of Ashland in the Cascade Range. Photo © Peter J. Thiemann Wrentit. Photo © Jim Livaudais Adult male Lazuli Bunting. Photo © Jim Livaudais Prairie Falcon. Photo © Peter J. Thiemann

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