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A little while ago, I posted to The ABA Blog a three-part, behind-the-scenes look at the three feature articles in the September 2011 Birding. (Check it out here, here, and here.)

The comments—36 thus far—have been highly gratifying: thoughtful, intelligent, and indeed influential. Yes, influential. Based on some of the great feedback, we’ve tweaked a few things for the upcoming vol. 44 (2011) of Birding.

But, folks, I got a problem.

All of a sudden, y’all stopped writing letters to the editor! I totally get the immediacy of the e-medium. I’m all for it, and I’m delighted that Birding enjoys a strong online presence these days.

But come on, people, I haven’t received a single letter to the editor since I posted here about the September 2011 issue.

Does it seem like I’m groveling on my hands and knees? Guilty as charged.

But there’s something else.

Letter to the EditorI’d like to state here that I consider letters to the editor to be one of the high points of each issue of Birding. They’re great fun. And they’re important. We call them “Your Letters.” They’re all about you. Your agenda, your ideas and input, your vision for our American Birding Association.

I keep saying it, and I’ll keep on saying it: Our overarching goal, our “prime directive,” for Birding is that it serve as a mouthpiece for the American birding community.

And “Your Letters” is an especially authentic and compelling venue for achieving that goal.

What to write about? Anything! Many letters are responses to recently published articles. But many others are “occasional” contributions—pretty much whatever’s on a member’s mind. Got a question about listing rules? Want to share an insight about reaching out to young birders? Bring it on! Have something to say about politics? Great. Why, we’ll even run your letter about cats. Seriously.

(Oh. I should note that “Your Letters” do not necessarily reflect the opinions or positions of the American Birding Association. Duh. But it’s worth putting that out there every now and then.)

Again, I’m groveling. But, again, there’s something bigger going on here. “Your Letters” are important. And they’re so fun.

Bring ’em on!

P.S. Please send the letters to me via e-mail: [email protected] Don’t post them here.

P.P.S. In your subject line, please type LETTER TO THE EDITOR, just like that, all caps. Thanks! 

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Ted Floyd

Ted Floyd

Editor, Birding magazine at American Birding Association
Ted Floyd is the Editor of Birding magazine, and he is broadly involved in other programs and initiatives of the ABA. He is the author of more than 100 magazine and journal articles, and has written four recent books, including an ABA title, the ABA Guide to Birds of Colorado. Floyd is a frequent speaker at birding festivals and state ornithological society meetings, and he has served on the boards of several nonprofit organizations. Mainly, he listens to birds at night.
Ted Floyd

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