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 43 of 59

42 Birder's Guide to Conservation & Community | May 2016 Young Birders sixth grade, and it was bedtime. Precisely a decade later, in a college or- nithology class, I peered through a scope teed up on a Lake Superior mudfat and immediately identifed a dowitcher with- out ever having seen one. I surprised my- self by recalling the photos studied in a feld guide during the summer following my middle school birding trips. I had spent 10 years not birding—from age 12 to age 22—not because I wasn't interested, but because there had been nobody available to show me how. I had fantasized about seeing creatures like Blackburnian Warbler and Red-headed Woodpecker, but I had no idea where to go to fnd them, and neither did my mom. So, birding had gone by the wayside for all of my teenage years. With this sudden rediscovery of my passion, the latter of my college years included surveys for waterfowl, Kirtland's Warblers, nesting raptors, and breeding birds. I was hooked. Following my college graduation in 2010, I began on the hawk watch plat- form in Cape May, New Jersey, helping n No Binoculars Needed: Aidan Griffths and the author soak in the spectacle of thousands of Tree Swallows swarming overhead in Cape May, New Jersey. Photo © Devin Griffths n Sites that offer close-range views can be a great hook to beginning birders. When seen well, even relatively dull birds, such as this Least Sandpiper at the Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center in Port Aransas, Texas, can inspire a young mind. Photo © Tiffany Kersten

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