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VTBIRD Home

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VTBIRD  December 2007

VTBIRD December 2007

Subject:

Birder's Conservation Handbook and BEEKS

From:

Matthew Medler <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Vermont Birds <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 4 Dec 2007 19:09:27 -0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (49 lines)

At the risk of stealing Bridget Butler's thunder, I wanted to mention
that Dr. Jeff Wells, senior scientist at the Boreal Songbird Initiative
and author of the new book "Birder's Conservation Handbook:  100 North
American Birds at Risk," will be the next guest on Audubon Vermont's
BEEKS Bird Radio Show.  A native Mainer, Jeff has been actively involved
in the bird conservation community for more than a decade, working at
the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Audubon New York, National Audubon
Society, and most recently, the Boreal Songbird Initiative.  I'm sure
that Jeff and Bridget will discuss his new book in the BEEKS show, and I
strongly encourage you to listen to the show to hear Jeff's unique
insights into bird conservation and other bird topics, but I thought I'd
also provide a brief summary here of Birder's Conservation Handbook:

The heart of the book contains species accounts of 100 birds that have
been identified as conservation concerns in North America.  From a
Vermont perspective, the list of 100 birds contains some familiar names,
but perhaps also some unexpected ones.  Due to the work of VCE
biologists and others, we are all aware of the status of Bicknell's
Thrush, Canada Warbler, and Rusty Blackbird as conservation concerns,
but how many of us would name American Black Duck and American Woodcock
(two species profiled in the book) as birds at risk?  Each species
account discusses a bird's status, distribution, and ecology; explains
threats facing the species; and details conservation actions that have
benefitted the species.  In an introductory chapter, Wells outlines the
major threats facing bird populations across North America, establishing
a background against which a reader can understand declines in the
book's 100 birds, as well as other declining species.

The amount of quality information packed into the Birder's Conservation
Handbook is impressive, but arguably the most important part of the book
is a section that suggests how we, as average citizens, can help
contribute to bird conservation.  Despite the sometimes discouraging
details of the species accounts, the overriding theme of this book is
one of hope--that as individuals, we can make a difference and help
conserve the birds we love.  If you are interested at all in bird
conservation, I encourage you to read this book.  

In the interest of full disclosure, I will note that I helped Jeff with
some preliminary research for this book, and that I currently work with
Jeff at the Boreal Songbird Initiative.  However, I have no financial
interest in the book--I simply think it is an excellent and important
book that birders should be aware of.  If you would like to read an
independent review of Birder's Conservation Handbook, I encourage you to
visit the BirdCapeMay.org web site:
http://www.birdcapemay.org/tigrina/reviews.shtml

Good birding,
Matt Medler 

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