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The Eubanks Challenge

Ted Eubanks, in a recent post to The ABA Blog, said this:

[M]ost hard-core birders, those who pursue birds as aggressively as collectors once chased Cabbage Patch dolls, appear to care little about the unwashed masses. The crowds are little more than traffic congestion to bypass before reaching the next lifer.

Logo-ABA I agree, that's a problem. It's been a problem for quite some time. But maybe we at the ABA are finally making progress in the area of general outreach to those "unwashed masses"? ABA President Jeff Gordon is promoting the idea of a "New ABA"–an ABA with new programs, new initiatives, and new members, yes, but also an ABA with a new commitment to preaching the gospel of birding far more widely than we at the ABA, or anyone else for that matter, has been accustomed to doing.

In this regard, I'm proud to be involved in two events tomorrow evening, Thursday, September 8th, that I think push the envelope when it comes to our traditional conception of bird walks.

Bare-naked Birders First up is a bilingual, beginner-oriented, commuter-friendly, ADA-compliant, bare-naked birding workshop in downtown Boulder, Colorado. We'll meet in front of the Boulder County library, pretty much smack-dab in the heart of downtown, at 5:15 p.m., and we'll go birding along the paved Boulder Creek Path for about an hour. The outing is suitable for folks with limited mobility; if you're more comfortable learning about birds in Spanish than in English, we'll have a translator on hand; if you don't own binoculars, don't worry about it, 'cause we won't be using our binoculars anyhow; and if you don't own a car, or would rather not use one, that's great, 'cause our meeting place is a very short walk from the Boulder Transit Center. (Photo of bare-naked birders by Diane Porter.)

Bus Birding - Graphic by Brian Collier Right after "Bare-naked Birding" we'll commute, by public transportation, a few miles to one of the branch libraries in the Boulder public library system. Never ridden the bus before? That's excellent, 'cause first-time riders ride for free! Just let EcoArts executive director Marda Kirn, who will be at both events, know that you're a first-time rider, and she'll have a bus pass for you. Anyhow, we'll get down to our next venue, the George Reynolds Branch Library, for a 7:00 p.m. tutorial on eBird, the user-friendly, global (truly, global, like the whole planet, not "global" in programmerspeak) checklist and birding database. ("Bus Birding" logo, right–art and concept by Brian D. Collier.)

Both events–bare-naked birding and the eBird tutorial–are free and open to the public.

A word about our sponsors. They are a wonderfully electic lot. They are EcoArts Connections, the (Denver-based) Regional Transportation District, the Boulder County Nature Association, and, of course, the American Birding Association.

For more information, including directions to both events, check out this post to COBirds from earlier today.

Hope to see you tomorrow!

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