Article in: Bird Conservation
May 9, 2011
The Biggest Week in American Birding – GO! Year two is in full swing and the number of birders in attendance = up! The ten-day long birding extravaganza is full of workshops, guided walks, keynote speakers…and BIRDS! Lots and lots of migrating birds.
This event is incredibly encouraging for bird conservation. Because of the Black Swamp Bird Observatory and all the volunteers and sponsors who make this event possible, birders are spending money, gaining knowledge and making birding popular. This is really important!!!
Spending Money for Conservation
This one seems like a no-brainer to us, but the word is still getting out to businesses. We want to make it worthwhile for places to create more habitat and birding/wildlife areas. Tourism is big business and birders should be counted as main contributors in places of wild goodness. If they build it, we WILL come…and spend money! Birders need food and shelter too.
Gaining Knowledge for Conservation
The Black Swamp Bird Observatory has been doing research for many years. Passerine migration monitoring and other bird studies are giving us the tools we need to manage and sustain bird populations. They have been doing research here since before the observatory existed! This knowledge gives us the power to fight battles to ensure our birds get a chance, even if it means stepping on some toes. A great example is the current fight against putting wind turbines in areas where there is heavy bird migratory traffic. Renewable energy is awesome, but there still must be rules and studies to make sure they aren’t causing a new problem. Knowing really is half the battle.
Making Birding Popular!
Birding really is for everyone. The Biggest Week in American Birding has achieved something that seems almost impossible. It connects large numbers of people directly with birds and nature while simultaneously promoting and teaching about conservation. The joy felt while watching a beautiful bird is much intensified when you realize that the money you paid to hear Kenn Kaufman give an amazing shorebird identification workshop goes directly to the BSBO and CONSERVATION. There are so many amazing folks that make this work, from the Tropical Birding volunteers that steer us to the correct identification of a Mourning Warbler to the beautiful BSBO executive director Kim Kaufman who from dawn to dusk works her tail off for the birds.
We only have one small recommendation for next year…
It is our sincere wish that ALL vendors great and small decide to serve SHADE GROWN COFFEE CERTIFIED WITH THE SMITHSONIAN MIGRATORY BIRD CENTER SEAL OF APPROVAL.