The year’s end is a traditional time for looking back and taking stock. But even more exciting is looking forward with the confidence that one has good times ahead: birds to see, people to meet, and places to go.
I’m hearing from a lot of birders who are poring over their sightings and photographs from 2011 and already plotting the trips they’ll be taking in 2012 to birding hot spots near and far, exotic and familiar. There’s one thing that I hear clearly, over and over again in all these voices: birding enriches our lives in a way that nothing else does. And I am so very proud to be part of the only organization in North America that specifically seeks to support and strengthen the birding community. It’s who we are.
For me, 2011 was a hugely exciting and challenging year. What has really kept me going through it all is the energy and support that I’ve felt coming from the entire ABA community. It is truly inspirational to feel just how much passion, commitment, and creativity is out there among us birders. I can’t help but believe that if more people were to feel what we feel as we witness the miraculous lives of birds and the support of a community that truly operates on a code of honor and ethics and caring, well, the world would certainly be a better place.
And it’s within our power to make that happen, day by day and year by year. 2012 is going to be a very exciting year at the ABA, when a lot of the seeds that we’ve been planting and carefully tending start to really take root. So while it’s nice to look back over the many good times and successes that we’ve enjoyed in 2011, it’s even more exciting looking to the future. And that is thanks to all of you.
Please, if you haven’t taken a moment to make a gift to our annual appeal, do so now. It’s easy, and even fun. Just go to aba.org/gift. No amount is too small to help and of course, donations to the ABA are tax deductible. And if you’d like to join or renew, that’s easy, too: aba.org/join.
I wish all the happiest of New Years. And I look forward to seeing you somewhere down the trail, sometime very soon.
Jeffrey A. Gordon
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