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 9 of 35

8 Birder's Guide to Conservation & Community | May 2015 Conservation Milestones encouraged to learn the club's original ditty praising the value of a dead tree. You can listen to the song here: thisoldtree. With funding from Fund for Wild Na- ture, Edison International, and Pasadena Audubon, the club has created a science- based curriculum for grades 3–7. Titled The Wonderful Life of a Dying Tree, it is offered in classrooms by volunteers or is taught by teachers who can borrow a free kit loaned through the club's partner, Sea and Sage Audubon in Irvine, California. To date, the program has been delivered to 1,349 students and over 2,500 adults. "We want like-minded citizen activists to carry the torch in other regions of the country," Martin says, "particularly in ur- ban areas where dead and dying trees are so sorely needed." Get involved at Jack Beltz: A Preserve Project ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– During his four years of high school at Germantown Academy in Fort Washing- ton, Pennsylvania, Jack Beltz took on a signifcant independent project: He cre- ated a bird guide to the school's six-acre nature preserve, an area of reclaimed wet- lands and wet meadows. The Preserve, as it is known, was plotted by a thoughtful architect and frst established in 2011, with the aim of restoring school property to a more environmentally friendly state. Within months, its marshes were attract- ing ducks, shorebirds, swallows, and oth- er birds to the academy's campus—and Beltz took note. He spent countless hours counting birds at The Preserve in all seasons, at all times of day, and from every possible van- tage point, to quantify how many birds were using the new habitat. When Beltz tallied up his sightings, he had recorded at least 50 species of birds that would not have been present before The Preserve was created. That's not a bad "yard" list for a high school! The Preserve is now regis- This partial snag had many nesting cavities. Photo © Gillian Martin As a student project at Germantown Academy, Jack Beltz created a Bird Guide to The GA Preserve to describe the Pennsylva- nia school's six-acre nature preserve and list its com- mon bird species, such as the Bobolinks (left) that rest in the grasses next to the school's baseball feld. Photo © Jack Beltz Germantown Academy's marshes attract ducks, shorebirds, swallows, and other birds, includ- ing this Song Sparrow (right) in the cattails. Photo © Jack Beltz

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