Birder's Guide

MAY 2017

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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14 Birder's Guide to Conservation & Community | May 2017 grants on their winter territory. " The group also attended nightly lectures by local ornithologists and researchers about Costa Rican efforts to create bio- logical corridors and protect bird species in decline. Matthews organized Tropical Teen Week with support from the National Audubon Society and Holbrook Travel. A highlight of the trip was an afternoon spent working on a reforestation proj- ect through the Sarapiquí Conservation Learning Center. "The teen birders planted more than 50 trees that will one day become the habitat of Great Green Macaws and Scarlet Ma- caws, which are experiencing a success- ful conservation comeback to the region," Matthews says. She says Tropical Teen Week will become an annual tradition for Hog Island Audubon Camp as part of its aim to provide conservation education to young birders, families, and adults. Learn more at hogisland.audubon.org/programs/ teen-week-costa-rica Claire Wayner: Bird-Friendly Stream ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Stony Run is an urban stream that runs through Baltimore, Maryland. It's a trea- sured green corridor that connects neigh- borhoods, city parks, and school cam- puses—and it was the perfect place for 16-year-old Claire Wayner to help raise awareness about urban birds. Wayner took on two projects at Stony Run—a bird box trail and an urban fes- tival—as her entry in the Conservation/ Community Leadership module of the 2017 ABA Young Birder of the Year Contest. Wayner won second place in this module in the 14- to 18-year-old age group. Both of Wayner's projects were success- ful and are likely to become permanent fixtures. In spring 2016, Wayner enlisted the help of students at her high school, Bal- timore Polytechnic Institute, and Boy Scout Troop 1000 to build nest boxes for House Wrens, Carolina Chickadees, White-breasted Nuthatches, Eastern Blue - birds, and Tree Swallows. The students used NestWatch blueprints, and the proj - ect was financed by the Baltimore Bird Club. After nine boxes were mounted on poles, fences, and trees along the Stony Run trail, male House Wrens started nests in every box; females chose to lay eggs in some of them, and an estimated 15–20 chicks fledged successfully. The Friends of Stony Run group liked the project so much that they incorporated bird boxes into the new strategic plan for the Stony Run watershed. In September 2016, more than 150 par- ticipants—including more than 50 chil- dren—took part in the first Urban Bird Fest at Linkwood Park along Stony Run, which Wayner organized to attract visitors to the Stony Run stream, parkland, and footpath and to educate people about the importance of urban birds and habitat. "Everyone had a fantastic time enjoy- ing birds in nature," Wayner says. "It in- creased awareness of urban birds and other wildlife in Stony Run and recruited more members for Friends of Stony Run." Friends of Stony Run (stonyrun.org) in- tends to make the festival an annual event, and Wayner plans to continue her bird conservation activities. Augusta–Aiken Audubon Society: School Wildlife Garden ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– A new wildlife garden at Aiken Elementa- ry School in South Carolina is giving stu - dents a place to see and learn about birds and nature up close. "Bird feeders are starting to attract visi - tors, and the toad house has an occasional resident," reports Alice Walker, Augus- ta–Aiken Audubon Conservation Chair. "After benches are built, we hope to start using the garden as an outdoor classroom this spring." The idea of building a permanent wild- life garden at Aiken Elementary grew out Conservation Milestones As part of the Urban Bird Fest she organized at Linkwood Park in Baltimore, Maryland, in 2016, Claire Wayner (right) prepares for a bird walk. Photo © Courtney McKeldin It took time to teach volunteers to make bird boxes properly, but Claire Wayner believed it was important to involve students. Here, Asia Moore (left) drills starter holes for screws while Tori Legaspi looks on. Photo © Claire Wayner

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