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The Kaufman Challenge: Redux

Kenn Kaufman was asked in a Birding interview, “If you could have one wish to improve our world, what would it be?”

His answer: “My wish is that every person might learn to recognize fifty species of plants and animals native to his or her own region. That may not sound like much, but I’m convinced that it would profoundly change each person’s sense of values, each person’s sense of responsibility to the ecosystems that support all of our fellow creatures. That basic level of natural history could revolutionize our view of humanity’s place in the world. Maybe I’m just a dreamer, but I’m going to go on trying to communicate that basic appreciation of nature to everyone.”

Good stuff. Serious stuff. Important stuff. In so many of my interactions with normal people in the real world, I try to apply the Kaufman challenge.

Now I hope the following isn’t flippant, but have you ever thought of applying the Kaufman challenge to birder identification? That’s right, birder ID. Check out this image, adapted from the April 2015 issue of Birding:

Click on the image to enlarge. Answers appear in the print and online versions of the April 2015 issue of Birding magazine.

Click on the image to enlarge. The answers to this “quiz” appear in the print and online versions of the April 2015 issue of Birding magazine.

The answers to this “quiz” appear in the April 2015 issue of Birding. Just open up to p. 24, and there they are. But wait a minute! You’re online right now. The print version of the April issue may or may not be at your fingertips. If it is not, you can still get the whole issue online. Here’s a direct link to the page with the answers to the birder ID quiz:

http://birdingmagazine.aba.org/i/509920-april-2015/26

But how does one know to go to that link? It’s a fair question. Let’s back up a step. Two steps actually. Just go straight to the “landing page” for all the online content in Birding:

http://www2.aba.org/birding

That’s the page to bookmark. That’s the one that will get you started in any online issue of Birding. Find the cover you like, then start reading.  You can just flip through the magazine, or you can go to the Table of Contents and find the entry–and live link–to the article or feature you want. This crude schematic shows how:

This is a static image. It isn't live. Don't really click here where it says "click here." But when you get to that page at image at www2.aba.org/birding, just go through the steps shown on the image.

This is a static image. It isn’t live. Don’t really click here where it says “click here.” But when you get to that page at image at www2.aba.org/birding, just go through the steps shown on the image.

If you’re having any trouble getting Birding online, please contact me directly. I’m tfloyd “at” aba “dot” org.

Shifting gears a bit, I’m pleased to report that we’re almost there with the June 2015 Birding. If I’m doing the math right, this will be “my” 65th issue of Birding. And I have to say, this issue, possibly more than any other in my tenure, stands out for truly reflecting the needs and wants, the delights and dilemmas, the voice and vision, of the ABA membership. A sampling of content:

cover

This is a low-resolution mockup of the cover of the June 2015 Birding.

  • Hooded Crane in the ABA Area. Was the bird (or birds) in the ABA Area a few years ago a wild vagrant or an escape from captivity? And what are the consequences for listing?
  • Heard-only birds. They count! They’ve counted for a long time. But many ABA members elect not to count heard-only birds. Why is that?
  • Eye strain, double vision, migraines, and more. Anybody who’s birded long enough has experienced some of this stuff. Is it the fault of your optics? Or is it your eyes? An article provides some tips that might great greatly improve your birding experience–and protect your eyesight.
  • Also, your listing milestones, an intriguing problem with field ID of Pomarine Jaegers, a possible redpoll lump, the surprising discovery of two populations of Island Scrub-Jays, and a Birding Interview with one of the ABA’s great heroes. (She’s a heroine, I suppose.)
  • Oh, and a Bird of the Year Photo Salon that will knock your socks off.

To join the ABA and get Birding, Birder’s Guide, and a lot more, click here:

https://www.aba.org/join/

Hooded Crane. Watercolor on paper by © Rachel Rothberg. Young birder Rachel Rothberg has participated in ABA camps, contributed to ABA publications, and is active online with the ABA. ABA members' photos and art are extensively featured in the June 2015 Birding.

Hooded Crane. Watercolor on paper by © Rachel Rothberg. Young birder Rachel Rothberg has participated in ABA camps, contributed to ABA publications, and is active online with the ABA. ABA members’ photos and art are extensively featured in the June 2015 Birding.

 

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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.
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