Bird Conservation Through Education TM

May 1, 2015 

In This Issue
"Into the Nest" Review
Find a Funky Nest!
Quail "Operation Transfusion"
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."

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Contact Sarah Livesay ( for more information.

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Into the Nest ... 

Book Review by Dave Magpiong


As birders, we find joy and excitement in rare birds. When a Whiskered Tern showed up in Cape May last September, adrenalized birders from surrounding states scurried to catch a glimpse of the very special visitor. We often assume that others will also savor the rush of such rarities.


Yet, many more people find "their" birds more compelling. They see Blue Jays, Northern Cardinal, Red-tailed Hawks, and chickadees almost every day and want to know more about their lives. Where do they nest? How do they raise their babies? How do they "do it"?!


For those itching to learn the secrets of their local birds, Laura Erickson and Marie Read have provided the perfectly satisfying scratch with their new book Into the Nest: Intimate Views of the Courting, Parenting, and Family Lives of Familiar Birds (Storey Books, 2015). Throughout its 207 pages, Into the Nest provides the nitty-gritty details of how birds pair up, get down to the business of making a family, raise their little ones, and even the development of fledglings for over 30 of our more common and widespread species. With minimal jargon, the concise text will help readers of various ages and skill levels significantly increase their own awareness of breeding ecology for these birds.


For bird educators and enthusiasts alike, the informative and accessible writing alone makes Into the Nest a valuable resource to have on your shelves, coffee tables, or infused into your outreach programs but the book's attractive layout and nearly voyeuristic photography makes it difficult to put it down. From the aerial rituals of Peregrine Falcons to money shots of copulating birds to adorably ugly featherless chicks, the photos significantly enhance the readers' understanding of all the effort that goes into each new generation, much of which happens in our own backyards!   


To truly understand the beauty and endearing nature of Into the Nest, you will need to get it into your hands. More importantly, you should share this book with your family, friends, students, and program participants to help them witness, up close and personal, the beauty and endearing nature of birds! 

Find a Funky Nest!  

by Pat Leonard, Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Photo Credit:
Kathy West, Celebrate Urban Birds


Many birds are busily scouting sites and building their nests-and some are quite willing to think "outside the nest box." With that in mind, the annual "Funky Nests in Funky Places" contest hosted by the Celebrate Urban Birds project at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology is calling for entries. Celebrate Urban Birds is a free, year-round citizen-science project focused on birds in neighborhood settings.

This is the seventh year for the contest which always results in an entertaining collection of entries showing nests in old boots, barbecue grills, motorcycle helmets, traffic signals, rakes, old tires and who-knows-what.  

Entries may be a photo, video, story, poem, or even some form of dance or artwork. Prizes will be awarded in categories such as "cutest," "funniest," "funkiest," or "most inconvenient."


"Even in urban areas, we're a lot closer to birds than you might think," says project leader Karen Purcell. "This contest is a lot of fun but it's also about really being aware of what's around you and taking the time to appreciate birds and all of nature."

The deadline for entries is June 15. Visit the Funky Nests in Funky Places website for further information and application details.


Bird Education in Action


Students from Paducah High School release radio collared scaled quail on the Matador Wildlife Management Area near Paducah, Texas. The release is part of an ongoing research effort called "Operation Transfusion" spearheaded by the Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch. 
Submitted by Russell A. Graves, Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch

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