Birder's Guide

MAY 2016

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 11 of 59

10 Birder's Guide to Conservation & Community | May 2016 Conservation Milestones Craig began tweeting about the spill and, within a week, put up the frst of a series of blog posts about it, which even - tually had 18,000 views. She gave a talk to a group of young U.K. conservation- ists and traveled to Dhaka, Bangladesh's capital city, to give another talk, which resulted in a furry of media coverage in both Bangladesh and the U.K. Craig was interviewed several times, and her blog posts prompted an article in The Indepen - dent, a national British newspaper, with extra coverage of the oil spill. She also wrote a guest post for The ABA Blog, which helped Water Defense—a charity set up by actor Mark Ruffalo—raise $30,000 in one week toward cleanup efforts. The spill damaged a large ecosystem full of birds (including the endangered Masked Finfoot), dolphins, and other creatures. Ini - tially, locals tried to clean up the oil with their bare hands and buckets, risk- ing their health, but their efforts were inadequate, not to mention dangerous. When the word got out, a team of experts was dis - patched from the U.K. to aid the cleanup. Thanks to Craig, news about the Sundarbans oil spill reached a wider audience with that much more ability to help on the ground. She continues to promote conserva - tion, activism, and general birding in the U.K. and abroad. Recent posts from Craig's wide-ranging blog cover a trip to Antarctica (her seventh continent), thoughts on sexism in nature maga - zines, her speech at a rally about climate change, and a visit to the Wildlife Pho - tographer of the Year exhibition. You can follow her at and @BirdgirlUK. Jason Ward: Blazing a Trail ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Jason Ward, a passionate Atlanta birder, wants to make it "cool" to care about wildlife. He remembers the thrill of visiting his local library and reading animal books as a kid growing up in the Bronx, in New York City. "I was always hungry to learn as much as I could," he says. "But being into wild - life as a young minority was a lonely road. It wasn't cool to be into that kind of thing." In 2013, Ward started birding around Atlanta, "just wanting to test the waters". By early 2014, he was leading his own regular bird walk in Atlanta's Piedmont Park on the frst Saturday of each month. He soon became involved with Atlanta Audubon Society, volunteering to help manage its social media accounts and putting up and monitoring nest boxes for Brown-headed Nuthatches. He also start - ed working with Trees Atlanta, a nonproft organization dedicated to promoting ur- ban green spaces, to teach birding basics at a Junior TreeKeepers Summer Camp. "Most kids want to emulate their favor- ite sports athlete or favorite music artist," Ward says. "Kids gravitate toward images Mya-Rose Craig gives her talk at Dhaka for the Bangladesh Bird Club. Photo © Helena Craig Right: Jason Ward holds an immature Barn Swallow that was rehabilitated by Atlanta Wild Animal Rescue Effort. This bird was suc - cessfully released with three of its siblings. Photo © Melanie Furr Left: Jason Ward points out a bird during a Junior TreeKeepers Summer Camp in Atlanta. Photo © Lauren Sandoval Continued on page 12

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