I was thinking of all the resolutions made...and usually not kept...by everyone on New Year's Day. Losing weight and giving up smoking to name a couple of admirable ones. Then I really thought about being a birder and what's important to that.
Think about the hunters. They buy a new license yearly for the privilege of enjoying their sport AND to preserve the land that is so important to that sport. The Duck Stamp program is ( http://www.fws.gov/duckstamps/4media.htm ) one of the key ingredients to preserving breeding areas for wildlife. How many birders do you know have a Duck Stamp?
We all talk about the loss of habitat and some speak of hunting as being bad for the environment. I think it's time that birders put their "money where their mouth is". We spend more time and money on keeping lists than preserving habitat. There is more money spent on birding in the United States than any other sport. Football, baseball, Nascar and hunting COMBINED. I realize not everyone can afford much in this economy, but a little bit every year would go a long way compared to giving nothing at all.
Laurie and I became aware of the Duck Stamps two years ago at a birding event. We didn't realize the impact of Duck Stamps until then. We also donated and acre of land to the Las Gralarias Foundation in Ecuador ( http://lasgralariasfoundation.org/ ) and have helped with different events for the Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society ( http://www.wcasohio.org/ ) and the Black Swamp Bird Observatory ( http://www.bsbobird.org/ ). It doesn't take much, maybe a little time on a weekend, or a donation of photos, crafts or a little money. Maybe there should be a 'License to Bird' made available with the money going to habitat preservation. Just a thought...
This New Year's, make a resolution to help the birds that we all love.
Fledgling Plate-billed Mountain Toucan