Bird Conservation Through Education TM

May 1, 2014  

In This Issue
IMBD Month is Here!
A Balanced Nature Diet
Jr. Duck Stamp
80th Anniversary Stamp
Best Wishes Terry Rich
Thanks to our BEN Bulletin sponsors:
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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."

Support BEN
Support the Bird Education Network and your logo will be seen by hundreds of bird education professionals!
Contact Sarah Livesay ( for more information.

Quick Links 
International Migratory Bird Day is Here!
Created in 1993, International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) has grown to become much more than a one day event to recognize birds, migration and avian conservation. Today, the hosting organization, Environment for the Americas (EFTA) works with partners and programs throughout the Western Hemisphere to highlight and celebrate the migration of nearly 350 species of migratory birds between nesting habitats in North America and non-breeding grounds in Latin America, Mexico, and the Caribbean.  While originally celebrated the second Saturday in May, there are now over 450 events hosted from South America to Canada year-round.    


2014 IMBD Theme "Why Birds Matter"


The 2014 IMBD Theme "Why Birds Matter" provides the perfect opportunity to use a variety of Flying WILD activities this month in our IMBD outreach events.  Activities such as the "Food Chain Tag" allows students and teachers to model the intricate role birds play in our ecosystem with far-reaching effects.  Locate a training today or visit the website for information on obtaining a guide to make IMBD a part of your May. 


Presenting a "Balanced Nature Diet"

for Cities 

The "Biophilic Cities Project," led by Tim Beatley at the University of Virginia, proposes a basic and essential core concept. It's that everyone would benefit from consuming a "minimum daily requirement of nature," similar to familiar caloric intake requirements.

Nature scarcity in cities presents a fundamental challenge for that concept. But there are efforts afoot - urban greening efforts - that address this challenge, and they include a biodiversity approach that benefits birds as well as humans.

Here is Beatley's "Nature Pyramid" which presents a "diet" of nature exposure - from the hourly to the yearly - which could serve bird educators well.   


Beatley's "Nature Pyramid"


The approach, which emphasizes the benefits of bringing nature back to cities, is summarized nicely in a piece from Conservation Magazine including a thoughtful and brief video on biophilic design.



Jr. Duck Stamp Contest 2014 
The national Junior Duck Stamp (JDS) contest was held on Friday, 18 April at the National Conservation and Training Center in West Virginia. There, all the winners of the individual state contests were brought together for a final judging, to pick the artwork that will grace the JDS in the coming year.
The winning artwork by 16-year-old Si Youn Kim, of Tenafly, New Jersey, is of a male King Eider, shown here. About three weeks previously, Kim had won the state-based New Jersey JDS competition, besting the artwork of nearly 175 other young artists from across the state. Also, Andrew Kneeland, 16, of Rock Springs, Wyoming, took second place at the national competition with an acrylic painting depicting a Trumpeter Swan with cygnets. Third place went to Jiahe Qu, 15, of Chandler, Arizona, for her rendition of a Hooded Merganser. 
2014-2015 First Place Jr. Duck Stamp by Si Youn Kim
The whole effort has been a great success since it began in the 1990s. Every year, about 30,000 students engage in the program, in a real way to promote conservation through the arts. Two years ago, in 2012, a new JDS educational curriculum was launched which only increases the value of the program.
At the same time. there in increasing concern that given the current spate of budge cuts in the Department of the Interior, and especially in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, that the Junior Duck Stamp Program will continue to be underfunded to the point where its very existence is jeopardy. This would be tragic, since the JDS program is a proven success story and since it signifies the level of interest that the USFWS has in building a foundation for the next generation of potential great wildlife artists and conservationists.
Happy 80th Anniversary Duck Stamp!
The Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp Act was signed into law by Franklin Delano Roosevelt on March 14, 1934, requiring all waterfowl hunters over the age of 16 to purchase an annual stamp.  Since then, more than 6 million acres of wetlands - an area the size of Vermont - have been protected through expenditures of approximately $900 million.
Best Wishes to Terry Rich!
BEN wishes Partners in Flight National Coordinator, Terry Rich, a happy retirement and "Thank You" for decades of work towards avian conservation. Terry provided much encouragement for CEE to create our Flying WILD bird education program and to build more capacity for bird education overall.  We appreciate all the enthusiasm for education that Terry shared and his support to create the Bird Education Network. Thank you Terry for many years of a job well done!   


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