It cannot be denied that the Duck Stamp, formally called the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, is a wonderfully effective conservation program. It also cannot be denied that many birders have been hesitant to go all-in on this conservation tool for understandable reasons. Some birders find waterfowl hunting distasteful and don’t want to feel as though they’re supporting it. But mostly, it is the concern that the numbers of non-consumptive users of National Wildlife Refuges are not tallied, and the true support of birders for habitat and bird conservation is not accurately assessed.
We use refuges, too. We are proud to support them. We want a seat at the table, too, alongside our friends in the hunting community because in the end, our common goals of habitat protection and healthy bird populations far outweigh the little that divides us.
The ABA is hoping to begin solving that problem by offering the Duck Stamp through our own shop. By purchasing your Duck Stamp through the ABA you are making a statement that you want to be counted. We all know that birders have, first and foremost, the interests of all species of birds in mind. The total number of Duck Stamps purchased through the ABA should offer a more complete assessment of the total impact birders have on conservation initiatives. It’s a bonus that the Duck Stamp offers the best bang for your buck of any conservation initiative in North America.
This is not a fund-raiser for the ABA. We are not seeking to make any money doing this. What we want from this effort is an accounting of birders, not just in numbers but in dollars and cents. And we know from countless members and friends that this is what birders want, too.
Duck Stamps officially go on sale on June 27th, but you can purchase them ahead of time at our shop and it will be sent to you that day. Don’t just feel like you need to stop at one, either. Duck stamps make fantastic gifts for birders, young and old. You can use them as birthday or holiday gifts or bird clubs can sell them during their monthly meetings. Consider them for end-of-year appreciation gifts for bird club field trip leaders or awards for birders who go above and beyond. The possibilities are nearly endless.
Note that the images show the 2013 stamp. The 2014 version, that birders will receive, is embargoed until the release on 6/27.
We hope that you will help us. In doing so, you will not only help the birds that use National Wildlife Refuges, but we birders who care to have a voice about them.
So purchase a Duck Stamp through the ABA. Be counted.