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 7 of 35

6 Birder's Guide to Conservation & Community | May 2015 Cyndi Routledge and Vickie Henderson: Discover Birds ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– In preparation for the 2012 Tennessee Sandhill Crane Festival, Tennessee Orni- thological Society (TOS) member Cyndi Routledge had a good thought: Why not create a coloring book, high- lighting Sandhill Cranes, to give kids something fun to do at the festival? She had no idea how well the idea would take fight. Local artist and writer Vickie Henderson, also a TOS member, volunteered to illustrate the book, and the TOS Board voted to print 1,000 copies. The resulting 12-page coloring book, Discover Birds, was distributed at the fes- tival with great success, sold at a nominal cost of $1 to cover printing expenses. A few months later, realizing an opportunity to educate kids about birds, TOS decided to print another run, expanding it to a 36- page activity book that would ft the state's core curriculum standards. Discover Birds has since been distributed to class- rooms, scouts, and fami- lies all over Tennessee, with teachers constantly requesting more copies. Books also have gone to Alabama, Texas, Louisiana, Indiana, and Ecuador—and are even being used in an after-school English program in Cuba! With the help of a recent grant from the Ten- nessee Crane Fund, TOS printed 12,000 more copies to be given away free of charge, enhanced by a written curriculum guide ( To introduce students to birds, mem- bers of TOS have created a three-part in - teractive program to accompany the free Conservation Milestones are published in Birder's Guide to Conservation & Community to recognize efforts toward building a better future for birds and for birders. If you have a con- servation milestone to share, or know someone who deserves to be lauded for conservation and community activities, please contact Conservation Milestones Editor Noah Strycker . We are especially enthusiastic about stories that include photos and contact information or other resources that inspire others to make their own contributions. Conservation Milestones books: a slide-show presentation about birds, a show-and-tell treasure chest of bird-related items (such as feathers, nests, and owl pellets), and a guided bird walk. After second graders participated in this program at her school, one teacher said, "Our students and teachers can talk about nothing else! We will never be the same." Routledge believes the project is a tribute to generations of birdwatchers in Tennes- see. "It's our hope that, through this proj- ect, we will create yet another generation of folks who love birds and who will strive to protect them and their habitat," she says. Learn more about Discover Birds on a dedicated blog developed by Hen- derson at; view and download the entire book at Rachel Supnick: Boxing Kestrels ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– A fourth grader, Rachel Supnick, and her mother, Stacia, were recently inspired to action when they heard how the Ameri - can Kestrel is declining across their home state of Florida. Rachel received a $1,000 Summer of Service grant from Youth Service America and the American Broadcasting Company to build nest boxes for American Kestrels. She promptly constructed 24 of them with her classmates and then set to work spreading the boxes all over Florida. She donated eight boxes to The Avian Reconditioning Center, a raptor rehabili - tation facility, which helped place them around central Florida. Allison Miller, who received these boxes at the center, said, "I thought it was a fantastic project, and I was honored that we at ARC got to help out!" The boxes are listed with the American Kestrel Partnership, part of The Peregrine Fund, and data on their inhabitants are collected at regular intervals. On a con- The Discover Birds activity book (above) is a tribute to birdwatchers and conservationists. Image courtesy © Tennessee Ornithological Society/Vickie Henderson Second-grade students in Sevier County, Tennessee (left), work in their Discover Birds activity books. Photo © Billie Cantwell

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