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    Get Your American Kestrel ABA BoY Badge!

    We’re not going to let the American Kestrel, the first ABA Bird of the Year, pass on without an aggressive and strong finish! Just so you know, we plan to have the American Kestrel carry on its reign as “Bird of the Year” until March. It more than deserves its full twelve months in the spotlight. There is still time for us to rally with some really cool things to do together. Based on your letters and comments, it sounds like you’re anxious to participate and to continue celebrating one of our most awesome birds. Thank you! Let’s get to it!

    Similar to the American Kestrel stickers we are now sporting on our optics and other interesting places, we now have an official American Kestrel ABA Bird of the Year Badge you can place on your individual websites and blogs. Visit the ABA BoY website where you can grab the html code – found in the lower left column. This is one of the most simple and easy ways you can show your support, so we wanted to get it out to you quickly.

    This badge and those stickers you’re wearing will come to mean much more to you over the next few of months. Its symbol strengthens as our combined efforts add layers of meaning and experience, endearing this little falcon deeper into our hearts and actions.

    While our friendly ABA administration approves the ideas already on the table, please join me in a renewed effort to report every American Kestrel sighting to eBird. Even if you’re just driving to work and see a Kestrel on the powerline, please report it. This citizen science data will aid conservation efforts on behalf of this awesome species which is struggling in some parts of North America. It’s fun. It’s free. It’s easy. And it’s important!

    Please stay tuned for more ways you can celebrate the ABA Bird of the Year!

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    Robert Mortensen

    Robert Mortensen

    Robert is most widely known as the host of www.BirdingIsFun.com, a multi-author blog sharing enthusiasm for birds and birding. He is also the ABA's Bird of the Year program coordinator. Robert began birding in the summer of 2004 when his father-in-law handed him a pair of binoculars to go on a Sunday afternoon walk at Deer Flat Wildlife Refuge in Idaho. Birding was an instant addiction. Married to Jessica since 1999, they have four children that keep them hopping. They live in Bountiful, Utah adjacent to spectacular birding at parks and refuges on the eastern shore of the Great Salt Lake. Robert earned his degree in Construction Management from Brigham Young University and somehow fits his construction career around his birding. He is a "well-rounded nerd" who enjoys adventures with his family, serving in his church and Boy Scouts of America, family history, music, and an avid college football fan. Robert plays clarinet and saxophone and enjoys singing too. For question about the Bird of the Year program, you can reach Robert at boy@aba.org.
    Robert Mortensen

    Latest posts by Robert Mortensen (see all)

    • Holly Meyers

      Have you possibly thought of a patch with this wonderful logo on it? I know some of ‘we’birders support with patches…just a thougt, I’m sure you have already gone there… LOVE the stickers!!!
      Avid Kestrel Fan

    • http://profile.typepad.com/6p0162fcb45008970d Robert Mortensen

      Excellent suggestion Holly. Patches are popular and very collectible. Let me check in the the awesome graphic design folks in the ABA and see what would need to happen to make this possible.

    • Luisa

      On the blog this minute, and looks terrific — well done! I have so been waiting for something like this. Now for some really cool ABA badges…

      Thanks –

      Luisa
      http://crowandraven.blogspot.com

    • http://profile.typepad.com/6p0162fcb45008970d Robert Mortensen

      @Luisa – the badge fits your blog’s color scheme perfectly! Thanks for your support.

    • Alan Wormington

      “this awesome species which is struggling in some parts of the country”

      Are you referring to Canada?

    • http://profile.typepad.com/6p0162fcb45008970d Robert Mortensen

      Important question Alan. Thanks for asking it. 

      First, I need to remember that the ABA area is not just the United States, but does include Canada. I need to embrace the continent in my new role.

      Second, recently while browsing the worldwide web, I found articles and studies about Kestrel declines in Florida, and more generally in the southeastern United States. The Hawk Mountain biologists reported that breeding pairs had dropped 50% between 1998 and 2004, but I didn't see any information about the geographic location(s) used in their study. This link to The Peregrine Fund's American Kestrel Partnership also discusses collective data from various studies including USGS and even Christmas bird counts showing declines in specific regions.  

      Certainly more data would help. That's where we as citizen-scientist birders can help! Again, another plug for eBird, and entering gender and breeding information into eBird whenever possible will make it all the more useful.

    • Alan Wormington

      Robert,

      Actually, ABA is not the United States “plus” Canada, but rather ABA is supposed to represent all of North America (U.S./Canada).

      My main beef is with the editors of ABA, who fail miserably in editing material that is submitted for publication to both BIRDING and all ABA Blogs. And to assist in this venue, authors need to remember who they are writing for.

      Thanks for your time.

    • http://birdaz.com Rick Wright

      Alan, “All of North America” is a much larger region than the US and Canada.

    • Alan Wormington

      Rick, one can certainly define North America in more ways than one, but ABA is supposed to represent (and claims to represent) the U.S. and Canada as a single entity. Unfortunately published articles etc., do not regularly reflect this viewpoint.

    • http://birdaz.com Rick Wright

      I’d just hate to see one provincialism replaced by another.

    • http://profile.typepad.com/tedeubanks Ted Lee Eubanks

      Alan’s point is a good one. However, I will make one important correction. The ABA defines NA in a uniquely peculiar way. The ABA NA is the United States MINUS HAWAII plus Canada.

    • Alan Wormington

      Wrong again! The ABA NA is the United States MINUS Hawaii “AND” Canada (not USA “plus” Canada). Let’s switch the phrase and see if it sounds correct: The ABA NA is Canada plus the United States MINUS HAWAII.

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