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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Page 9 of 51

As a warden with Bahamas National Trust on the island of Abaco, Marcus Davis is responsible for managing Abaco National Park and securing nesting habitat for the "Bahama Parrot", a locally endemic subspecies of Cuban Parrot. The parrots nest in rock cavities on the ground, so they are susceptible to predation. Through efforts to manage invasive predators, the parrots' population has rebounded. Thanks to Birders' Exchange, Davis now has bino- culars to use and share for field work and educa - tional programs. Migdalia López Segura is from the village of La Maquina, Guatemala. She was one of three women in a class of 20 students to successfully complete Audubon's basic bird guide course given last year in Yaxhá, the second-most- visited archaeological site in the Petén. Although only 18, Segura shows promise for a long career in guiding. Since taking the course, she has pursued her interest in birds and followed in her brother's footsteps as a tour guide. She is currently enrolled in the local tour guide program offered by the na - tional training institute, INTECAP, and will have just received her license as we go to press. On behalf of Birders' Exchange, National Audubon was happy to deliver to her, on April 25, 2016, a new 8x42 Vortex Viper binocular and a copy of Ernest Preston Edwards's Field Guide to the Birds of Mexico and Adjacent Areas. Moises Pérez Díaz, of Jobompiche, Guatemala, has worked more than half of his life as a park guard in the Cultural Triangle Yaxhá-Nakúm-Naranjo National Park, yet he has until recently never owned a pair of binoculars. Over the past eight years, he has served as a community tour guide, and he was recently named a senior park guard. Díaz was an enthusias - tic participant of Audubon's basic bird guide course given last year in Yaxhá, which will allow him to knowledgeably and ably expand into bird guiding, adding to his current repertoire of knowledge in Maya archaeology. On behalf of Birders' Exchange, National Audubon delivered a Swarovski binocular and a copy of Kenn Kaufman's Guía de Campo a las Aves de Norteamérica to Díaz on April 25, 2016. Coincidentally, he mentioned earlier in the day that he wished he had a copy of this book. 8 Birder's Guide to Conservation & Community | May 2017 Ah, the Power of Partnerships –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– hrough our Birders' Exchange program, the ABA aims to provide binoculars, spotting scopes, and tripods—donated by members like you—to programs and organizations in need. These resources help further research, provide educational opportunities, and foster community awareness in Latin America and the Caribbean. The year 2016 was a very successful one for the program. We formed strong partnerships with the National Audubon Society (NAS) and with Holbrook Travel, both of which served as couriers for donated optics to designated recipients. Between these two partnerships alone, the ABA has donated more than 50 pieces of optical equipment, plus educational materials, to such places as The Bahamas, Belize, Guatemala, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, and Paraguay. The NAS has an active program training local residents in bird guiding, ecotourism, nature preserve management, data collec- tion, community education, and citizen science. As John Beavers, NAS Vice President, International Alliances Program, shared, "Having equipment and bird guide materials is essential for a guide's continued education. Audubon is proud to partner with ABA's Birders' Exchange program to deliver equipment to some of the most promising guides who have successfully completed their training." Partnering with bird tour companies has proven to be an ex- tremely effective way to put optics into the hands of the most deserving individuals. Couriers also gain a strong sense of sat- isfaction for their efforts. For instance, during a birding trip to Cartagena, Colombia, tour participants Ken and Linda Burgener hand-delivered a spotting scope to biologist Victoria Aristizabal. For Birders' Exchange to continue its work, the ABA depends on members like you to donate lightly used, fully functional op- tics, tripods, and equipment—or, just as important, funds to cov- er the costs of shipping and processing equipment. If you would like to contribute or have questions about the program, please contact me via the email address above. Please consider joining us for our first-ever Birders' Exchange Rally from 1–7 December 2017 in Honduras. There, you'll en- joy terrific birding with people who are making a difference for tropical and migrant birds. It will be a ton of fun and provide a fantastic window into challenges and opportunities as Birders' Exchange makes its way into the 21st Century. Thank you and good birding, Bill Stewart Director of Conservation and Community American Birding Association Bill Stewart Delaware City, Delaware From the Director of Conservation & Community T

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