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 41 of 59

ome of my fondest childhood memories were created in my family's residential, double-lot backyard in central Wisconsin. My brothers and I mashed up grass blades to make a green chlorophyll goo, and we boiled black walnut shells over a camp stove to make a natural dye. In knee boots, we splashed around in the ditch behind our house. We discovered burrows of eastern cottontails stuffed with babies and challenged ourselves to catch as many toads as we could in a single day. We released them before sunset, only to repeat the hunt and strive to beat our total the follow- ing day. Nature was a bottomless pit of mysteries to be solved and discoveries to be made. Working for a dozen years as an environmental educa- tor has left me with the stark realization that my genera- tion—and only a segment of it, really—was the last to be locked outdoors all summer long, left with nothing to do but explore nature. Many birders have a unique story about being intro- duced to the avian world. Perhaps one may have been a backyard birder for years until one day when a strange 40 Birder's Guide to Conservation & Community | May 2016 NEST ATTENTIVENESS: Brooding & Fledging Young Birders S

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