What issues do birders need to address?
At the end of one year and the start of another, we often look at what we've experienced and accomplished personally in the preceding year. If we're in the habit of setting goals for the new year, we might chose to continue working on projects or to create new ones.
As Jan. 1 approaches, are you considering birding goals for the next 12 months? How do you want to focus your time and effort toward this hobby/sport/lifestyle?
As you look at personal goals, do you take a minute to think about the status of the birding community? What have birders experienced and accomplished together in 2006? What can we continue to work on, and what can we begin to address before Dec. 31, 2007?
Should we consider some of the social aspects of the community? For instance, the September/October 2006 issue included "Leaders of the Flock," Kevin T. Karlson's article about 18 birders whom he considers rising stars. The ratio of men to women (17 men, 1 woman) generated some discussion about the seeming lack of young female birders who've made visible contributions to the community and have earned national recognition. (Please see pages 4 and 6 for further discussion.)
Is that an issue that the community needs to address? If it is, how do we do so? Is it already being considered? If so, please share details.
I thought that Karlson's article might prompt discussion about the ethnic makeup of the birding community. The 18 birders in his article, for instance, all appear to be Caucasian. That holds true for my observations at festivals and other events around the country.
Why don't we see more nonwhite birders at these gatherings? Is that an issue that the community needs to address?
Do the individuals in the community--including you and me--need to take more personal responsibility for the future of birding and the birds' future? What will you do this year to increase the number of birders--young, old, male, female, of all ethnicities--and to preserve habitat (beyond paying $15 for a Duck Stamp)?