BEN Bulletin header #53
 Bird Conservation Through Education TM

October 10, 2012 

In This Issue
Focus on Diversity II
Changes for the Christmas Bird Count
Thanks to our BEN Bulletin sponsor:
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The Bird Education Network (BEN) was created following the February 2007 National Gathering, hosted by the Council for Environmental Education (CEE). BEN is a CEE initiative that seeks to connect and support a community of bird education professionals.


Over 4,000 individuals representing 300 organizations receive communications and engage in professional dialogue through the BEN-run Bird Education Listserv. 


A BEN Committee has been established to provide advice and guidance for this important initiative, to advance "bird conservation through education."

Quick Links
Focus on Diversity II
Diversity conference logo
This weekend, bird educators from across the country will gather at Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge in Bloomington, Minnesota, for the second Focus on Diversity: Changing the Face of American Birding Conference. Kenn Kaufman, Dudley Edmondson, J. Drew Lanham, Paul Baicich, Sharon "BirdChick" Stiteler, Roy Rodriguez, Mamie Parker, and many others will discuss an issue that is critical to the future of bird conservation in North America - the role of "minorities" in nature study and birding.


YOU are encouraged to be a part of this historic event. You will learn:

- why do we need to Focus on Diversity?

- some barriers to participation for various communities

- general considerations/strategies for reaching new audiences with birding opportunities

- specific examples of bird outreach success with diverse audiences


Can't make the trek to chilly Minnesota on Saturday? No problem.


The Focus on Diversity: Changing the Face of American Birding Conference is scheduled to be LIVE STREAMED from the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge directly to your computer or mobile device. You can view the conference online from the comfort of your living room, your favorite coffee shop, or even your local hawkwatch!


But wait . . .


There's more!


A large part of the Focus on Diversity will be forum discussions between the panels and audience. As a remote participant in the conference, we invite you to submit questions to our panels via social media.


You can tweet a question directly to conference organizers @FledgingBirders or use #FocusOnDiversity to share information about the conference.

Changes for the Christmas Bird Count


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Photo by Jim Williams
The National Audubon Society recently announced two major changes for their popular Christmas Bird Count (CBC) program, starting with the upcoming 113th Count in December.

1) The CBC will now be a free program for counter-participants. The $5 participant fee will be waived and replaced with a voluntary donation and sponsorship model.


2) Starting next year, the annual hardcopy summary of CBC results, American Birds, will no longer be printed and mailed to CBC participants. The summary will appear online and with expanded features.

A survey of recent Christmas Bird Count participants indicated that the fee was an obstacle to the program. It is thought that dropping the fee can help include more participants in the counts, that more counts can be included in the CBC database, and that more accurate effort data can be collected without the fee as an obstacle.

A new interactive web presence - including photos, summaries, and features for the CBC - will also be presented online as CBC data is compiled and submitted.


You can find more information on these changes here.   







BEN: Connecting Bird Educators TM
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Newsletter maintained by: The Council for Environmental Education, Flying WILD and the BEN Committee.