This information courtesy of the Bird Education Network.
International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) is upon us! IMBD Bird festivals, counts, hikes, and other celebrations bring attention to the migration of nearly 350 species of migratory birds making the journey between nesting habitats in North America and non-breeding grounds in Latin America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. While traditionally celebrated in the United States and Canada on the second Saturday of May each year, IMBD events can be found throughout the entire spring migratory season.
While previously under both U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, IMBD has been coordinated by Environment For The Americas (EFTA) since 2007. EFTA, a non-profit organization that works throughout the Western Hemisphere to share information about birds and their conservation, has selected “Life Cycles of Migratory Birds; Conservation Across the Americas” as the 2013 IMBD theme. Visit http://www.birdday.org/ for IMBD resources, local event information or to advertise your upcoming event today.
We also encourage you to celebrate by hosting a Flying WILD educator training or festival using activities that correlate directly with this year’s theme such as “Celebrate Migration Day,” “Bird Hurdles,” or “Migratory Mapping.” To find a local Flying WILD training partner near you or to order the guide, visit http://flyingwild.org/.
What’s New: National Geographic Bird Watcher’s Bible
Article submitted by Dave Magpiong
Successful educators depend on a variety tools to convey their messages to their audiences. National Geographic Bird Watcher’s Bible, edited by Jonathan Alderfer with major contributors Kimball L. Garrett, Catherine Herbert Howell, and Scott Weidensaul, can be a valuable addition to our bird education toolbox.
The book features an attractive layout highlighted by hundreds of images ranging from centuries-old art and spectacular in flight photography. Beyond aesthetics, the various chapters deliver a wealth of bird information including anatomy, migration, life history, and even the humans that enjoy watching them. “Birds Through the Ages” examines the cultural significance of birds throughout history. “Bringing the Birds Back Home” guides readers in making their yards more hospitable to our avian neighbors, from specific menu choices to providing nest sites to using native landscaping.
An appealing and insightful volume, the National Geographic Bird Watcher’s Bible will prove to be a helpful resource for bird educators and a delightful addition to any birder’s library.
Rich Stallcup (1944-2012):
A Model Field-Teacher
Rich Stallcup passed away on December 15, 2012, just a few days short of his 68th birthday. He was a dynamic force for California bird education, bird protection, and serious bird study.
In the early 1960s, when Rich was a teenager, he envisioned the first bird observatory for the U.S., a reality which became the Point Reyes Bird Observatory in 1965. One of the founders of that institution (today called Point Blue Conservation Science), he served on its board and remained a vital part of PRBO for the rest of his life, including serving as official Naturalist at his passing.
A dedicated volunteer and worker for many other causes, Rich was a consistent and inspired promoter of birds and the environment. He was, among other things, president of the Western Field Ornithologists for four years, Regional Editor for American Birds for 11 seasons, and member of the California Rare Bird Records Committee for eight years. He wrote and published scores of articles and four books about birds and nature, including Birds for Real and Ocean Birds of the Nearshore Pacific.
For countless people, Rich Stallcup was a friend, a teacher, a mentor, an inspiration, and a hero in conservation. It is said that he led more than 1,000 PRBO trips, bird walks, and open ocean nature tours over the decades.
“Rich was a champion for nature and all things wild,” said Ellie Cohen, Point Blue Conservation Science’s president and CEO. “He had a unique fire that inspired everyone else to be a better human being. I imagine Rich’s message to us today would be – spend time outside, watch the birds, and replenish your souls with nature.”
Happy Earth Day from BEN!
Commit to sharing your appreciation and knowledge of birds by volunteering at a school, adult master naturalist group, or other outreach organization this Earth Day season. Your passion for birds is contagious and makes huge strides in cultivating the next generation of bird conservationists.
Photo courtesy of Gene Nieminen, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service