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 Bird Conservation Through Education TM

December 19, 2012 

In This Issue
A Fun Christmas Tweet for the Family and Community
Focus on Diversity: Changing the Face of American Birding Conference
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
A Fun Christmas Tweet for the Family and Community
Established in Sonoma, California, by Tom Rusert and Darran Peterie in 2005, the Christmas Bird Count for Kids (CBC4Kids) is a community based nature event that continues to grow and attract diverse partnerships with schools, birding, and nature organization across North America.

The Spanish and French speaking birding communities are also expanding and encouraging youngsters 8-16 along with a parent or an adult to step out and celebrate winter birding during the bustling holiday season from December through January. For more details on the creative CBC4Kids, visit the website.  
Focus on Diversity: Changing the Face of American Birding Conference
On October 13th, bird educators and conservationists convened for the second Focus on Diversity: Changing the Face of American Birding Conference at Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge in Bloomington, MN. Conference participants from almost 50 organizations shared in an honest dialogue about the American birding community and its future.  
Focus on Diversity Panel Members 
 Panel topics inspired a lively and introspective conversation with conference participants, which highlighted various perspectives including ethnicity, religion, age,socioeconomics, and the LGBT community. Workshops focused on engaging new audiences with birding activities where presenters shared general considerations for diversity outreach and specific effective strategies such as Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge's Rail to Refuge program, Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Celebrate Urban Birds, the Pledge to Fledge Campaign, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service's Urban Refuge Initiative. Conference participants were challenged to set goals and create action plans for new bird outreach programs. 

The conference closed with a surprise announcement from the Fledging Birders Institute and McAllen Convention and Visitors Bureau. The 2013 Focus on Diversity Conference will be held in McAllen, Texas!  Many panel discussions and presentations were recorded and can be viewed at the conference website.
Submissions from Tom Rusert, Darren Peterie and Dave Magpiong    

BEN sends warm birding wishes your way for a happy, healthy year and man
y additions to your Life Lists in 2013! 
BEN: Connecting Bird Educators TM
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Newsletter maintained by: The Council for Environmental Education, Flying WILD and the BEN Committee.