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Carl Bendorf
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Jaimee, if you have the Audubon app I'm guessing you have a smartphone. Most smartphones include a function to make a sound recording which would probably work to capture that elusive song you can't identify at the time. You can then have something to playback for a birding friend or to study later when you can compare it to other recordings.
Michael, I don't think anyone is suggesting that Matt doesn't deserve full credit for finding, identifying, and sharing this amazing bird. If you listen to the interview, I think Jeff does a good job of discovering that Matt had obviously done of lot of preparation and study on his own and he was "ready" to find this bird. Of course, Matt had skills and resourcefulness prior to taking part in an ABA young birder program. "Hone" is the perfect word as it relates to putting a finer edge on what is already functioning as a cutting tool. No one is suggesting that the ABA created or is the sole source of Matt's abilities. Your speculation is like reviewing the career of a successful athlete and suggesting if there is no evidence the training from one particular week ____ years earlier played a role in winning a race today, then that particular week of training should be set aside. Is it theoretically possible? Sure, but what's the point? This IS the ABA Blog and it seems perfectly appropriate for the ABA president to refer to an ABA program, when appropriate. This does nothing to diminish Matt's accomplishment. Does anyone else think it was inappropriate to point the ABA connection?
I look forward to seeing tons of postings on the Marketplace. And it it does become the Craigslist of the birding world, you might add some guidelines that encourage the use of photos for promoting equipment sales, birding spot rentals, etc. The visuals add to both the selling power and the fun of browsing!
Toggle Commented May 10, 2013 on Introducing Birders' Marketplace! at ABA Blog
Hey Matt, with regard to the MACU, when will our long national nightmare be over!!!
Does Eagle Optics also still offer to send a portion of the purchase price as a donation to ABA? If so, I think you just need to mention the ABA at the time of purchase. Another great deal from Eagle Optics!
ABA Board Member Carl Bendorf shares the birds, and the people, that got him hooked on birding. Continue reading
Posted Feb 20, 2013 at ABA Blog
Chad, our current e-newsletter mailing list is comprised of a mixed bag of email addresses from my personal contact list, various local birder emails I've collected basically one at a time, county conservation offices (there are 99 counties in Iowa), sign-ups from our website, and so on. But, nearly all of these are people over 18. We definitely are looking for ways to connect more directly with young birders and also get them engaged in designing their own programming and field trips.
Toggle Commented Feb 18, 2013 on The Rise of Young Birder Clubs at ABA Blog
First, thanks to Ted for starting this conversation. Second, thanks to Kimberly and Kenn and all the other folks (and its a long list) who have been pushing, pulling and just plain working hard to encourage young birders. When we started Iowa Young Birders last year, we initially targeted 12-18 year olds which is an age range adopted by a lot of the young birder groups. At its second meeting, my board of directors encouraged consideration of reaching a younger audience. This was reinforced when our first field trip attracted seven young birders ALL of whom were age 12 or under! Since then, on six additional field trips around the state, MOST of the participants have been on the younger range (we changed our bylaws from 12-18 to ages 8-18 quite quickly.) So, to JB's point above about the need to go where the young birders are, at least at the current time, our "market" here in Iowa is a younger crowd. So we don't seem to have a cadre of teen birders who could assume the leadership and design of their own young birder program as has happened in Ohio. At least we don't have them yet. Hopefully, we'll be "growing" just such as group as our current participants develop and as Iowa Young Birders gets beyond its first couple of years. At this point, I feel like we (Iowa Young Birders) are primarily reaching out to the PARENTS and not so much directly to the young birders. I think that will evolve over time but we are working hard to figure out the best ways to reach our audiences. Right now, we are focusing on our Facebook and web presence as well as a regular email newsletter sent to 900 (nearly all of whom are adults and not themselves young birders.) Regarding the question about how to transmit knowledge and wisdom, we received a grant from the Iowa Resource Enhancement And Protection (REAP) Conservation Education program ( ) to use participant surveys on our 2013 field trips to assess and test whether the field trips are effective in raising conservation awareness and also whether we are successfully tying into the Iowa K-12 core curriculum standards for science inquiry. Our goal is to be testing and refining a field trip model that we can potentially share with other organizations. We will be consulting with leadership at the ABA, the Iowa Ornithologists' Union and Iowa Audubon on the development of this field trip model. Regarding Ted's question, "How do organizations for “grownups”—including, if we’re honest about it, the ABA—interact with and nurture young birder clubs?", we are trying a few things. First, we received a grant from the Iowa Ornithologists' Union to purchase optics for sharing on field trips. Besides enhancing young birder field experiences, this has given us the opportunity to talk about the IOU to our young birders AND communicate with the IOU membership (via newsletter articles, etc.) about Iowa Young Birders. Second, at the upcoming spring meeting of the IOU in Cedar Falls, we are going to offer a dedicated young birder field trip alongside the traditional annual meeting field trips (which rarely seem to attract young birders.) We'll be encouraging the young birder field trip participants to stay for at least part of the afternoon presentations or even to register for the whole weekend. Overall, we have a lot to learn and I hope this will turn into a lively conversation.
Toggle Commented Feb 15, 2013 on The Rise of Young Birder Clubs at ABA Blog
New blogpost idea: Fifty Shades of Yellow!
Toggle Commented Sep 12, 2012 on Long Live Lister! at ABA Blog
Great work, Team ABA!!
Toggle Commented Aug 30, 2012 on Birding News Update: 8-29-12 at ABA Blog
Ted, at first I didn't recognize you in those groovy sunglasses...but the dance move AND the awesome writing and point-making gave you away! Carl
I like Tom's Zeiss shirt combined with the Leitz bins; all that's missing is an ABA Bird of the Year sticker!! Seriously, these look like great additions to the staff. Congratulations to all.
Toggle Commented Aug 17, 2011 on New Blood at Birding at ABA Blog
These are GREAT ideas. I think the card is an especially powerful and easy-to-use tool. If this is launched, I think it would be a good idea to simultaneously spruce up the Membership info on the ABA website to make the navigation a little smoother and the messaging more effective. For someone who is coming to the ABA site after having received a field card from an ABA member, this landing is the first impression of the ABA (actually second since the field card exchange is the first.) The current Membership button leads to a very short paragraph with a vague description of the benefits of belonging. This could be expanded into a more specific list. The Join Now button goes directly to an online membership form where the second item already asks for a decision on whether to subscribe to North American Birds. For most prospective new members, this won't yet have been explained and may cause some to just close the browser and think, well maybe I'll join later. Absolutely we need to prompt more to consider joining (via cards, shirt, etc.) but the fulfillment process needs to be as enjoyable and easy as possible. Think of Amazon's One-Click as the standard for ease of online ordering. I look forward to seeing all the other ideas and suggestions.
Ted, Nice post and right on target. I actually wrote a document for the Iowa Ornithologists' Union 25 years ago that is still being used as an outline for how local Iowa bird clubs could organize and host the statewide meeting. I think every element you described is in there! By the way, I'll be at that Iowa meeting in August so will be among the three or four folks with whom you have an acquaintance. Northeast Iowa is a beautiful area and you should have some fun exploring it. For anyone else reading this interested in hearing Ted speak and exploring NE Iowa, here is a link to the meeting page:
Toggle Commented Jul 5, 2011 on “The Club,” Take 2 at ABA Blog
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Jun 4, 2011