Spread the magic of Birding
What is it about birding that makes it so great? Perhaps it’s the challenge of finding and identifying birds, marveling at their beauty, chasing them to improve our lists, the opportunity to escape reality, to travel the world or perhaps just the chance to connect with nature. Have you really thought about why you love birding? We would probably all give different answers. Yet, I see us all as the same.
The truth is that each one of us can do something extremely important and, yet, incredibly simple for the birds. We can share our appreciation and knowledge of birds with the people in our everyday lives. This is the purpose of Pledge to Fledge (P2F)
Pledge to Fledge
Back in August 2012, a diverse coalition of birders representing 5 continents launched this international grassroots birding movement. The shared goal is to unite birders around the world in birding outreach events twice a year.
Pledge to Fledge is now mobilizing birders worldwide to proactively share their interest for birding with the people in their lives. Pledge to Fledge aims to both popularize birding worldwide and generate more awareness of bird conservation issues. The best way to do this is to ask passionate birders to introduce non-birders to birds and the sport of birding.
Pledge to Fledge dedicates two weekends a year to encourage birders to take a neighbor, a friend, their Uncle Joe, or any other “non-birders” out birding to truly see and enjoy birds for the first time. Both mentors and participants are encouraged to post photos, videos, and stories of their birding trips via Pledge to Fledge social media interfaces.
Both organizations and individuals can participate in P2F efforts globally. Birding organizations are in a particularly unique position to join the Pledge to Fledge campaign. By promoting the P2F movement to existing membership, members are enabled to become birding leaders in their own community and effect real changes for bird conservation. As members ‘fledge’ new birders in their area, organizations will gain new members and program participants. In the US, groups like Cornell, ABA, WildBirds Unlimited and others are already supporting the campaign.
During 2012, 44 countries as diverse as Bhutan, China, Ghana and Mongolia have joined the Pledge to Fledge effort, bringing the magic of birding to their residents. Some events have included walks and classroom presentations in India, while others are as simple as showing Nepalese monks a telescope for the first time!
The P2F site and Facebook page share the global community of birders’ photos, videos, and stories relating to their adventures as they actively share their passion for birding with new people. The site also includes resources to support birders in their efforts to get others involved with birding, in April, August and beyond every year.
Why a Pledge to Fledge?
So why should you be part of Pledge to Fledge movement. The P2F provides profound benefits for all involved. Some examples include:
- New birders will welcome the healthier lifestyle of birding and outdoor recreation.
- Heightened public awareness for birds is critical for increasing citizen support for bird conservation at the local, regional, national and global levels.
- More people birding = more birds being seen. This means a better understanding of bird populations AND more rarities being found for other birders to enjoy.
We warmly invite you to join the international Pledge to Fledge. It’s good for the birders-to-be. It’s good for families and kids. It’s good for the birding community at large. It’s good for conservation organizations. And, most importantly, it’s good for the birds themselves!
The next Pledge to Fledge starts tomorrow and runs over the weekend April 25th to April 29th, 2013. The truth is that you can take someone birding any day, but at least this weekend make that little extra effort to introduce someone to birdwatching.
What you are doing this weekend to introduce birdwatching to someone? Let us know in the comment section below.
Photo credits: www.crossleybooks.com
Some comments from Gunnar Engblom:
Richard Crossley has produced some highly recommended books giving bird identification a new dimension by inserting several different plumages and postures into a habitat photo. By buying any of these books via these links you will also support this website and the Birding 101 free ebook project. Drag the cursor over the link to see a preview of the book. Thanks.
- The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors (Crossley Id Guides) This is the newest of Richard Crossley’s book. Download this free pdf preview to get a feel for how useful this approach is.
- The Crossley ID Guide: Eastern Birds (The Crossley ID Guides) The first book in the ID series. A must for both beginners and more advanced birders. I use this book a lot. Here is a pdf sample of the 25 most common garden birds in Eastern North America for you to download.
- The Shorebird Guide. A very useful guide for anyone wanting to master shorebird identification. By Michael O’Brian, Richard Crossley and Kevin Karlson.
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