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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49 May 2016 | Birder's Guide to Conservation & Community out having to disguise pronouns), as well as an extended friendship network. GBNA lives primarily as an email list (and Facebook page), but we have come to so enjoy each other's company that GBNA has organized biennial meetings/ trips, beginning informally with a meet- up in Minnesota during the epic 2005 owl invasion year. Formal meetings fol - lowed, with Vermont (2007); the Black Hills of South Dakota and Wyoming (2009); Beaumont, Texas (2011); Half Moon Bay, California (2013); and Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, Mexico (2015). Our 2017 plans call for a February visit to Albuquerque, New Mexico. From the beginning, GBNA has wel- comed supportive straight allies (who make up a substantial percentage of meeting attendees), been supportive of gay birders with non-birding part- ners, and created a place for discus- sion of issues affecting LGBT folk—as, for instance, in spirited debates about whether to visit countries with rich avi - faunae but poor human rights records. As the climate for LGBT civil rights has expanded in the U.S., our connections within GBNA refect that. For instance, this February my wife and I attended the marriage of a fellow GBNAer to his husband, and birded with two other GBNAers in southeast Arizona in the days before the nuptials. This network of birders—a kind of LGBT-friendly Birding Pal—was a necessary lifeline in 2002, when it provided a haven and a connection that would have been dif- fcult to imagine otherwise. Now, in 2016, as tolerance, acceptance, and coexistence become the civilized norm around the world, groups like GBNA can help bridge the generations within LGBT communities, encourage interest in nature viewing, and use our contin - ued existence as a lever against preju - dice in our travels. For more information on GBNA, visit our Facebook page and Yahoo! email group: • facebook.com/groups/80840538462/ • groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/ gaybirding/info n Top: Meetings have given at- tendees opportunities to comfort- ably travel to places (and see birds) they might otherwise not have. This Orange-breasted Bunting was seen during the 2015 GBNA meeting in Chiapas, Mexico. Photo © Rich Hoyer n Bottom: GBNA's second formal meeting was in the Black Hills of South Dakota in June of 2009. Here, meeting organizer Douglas Chapman (front right), leads a feld trip to look for American Three-toed Woodpecker, White-winged Crossbill, and Pacifc Wren. Photo © Paul Pisano

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