101 Ways to Help Birds

101 Ways to Help Birds

27 Apr
6:30 PM

Barton Community College Auditorium, 245 NE 30 Rd, Great Bend, KS

Since 2002, the Wings N Wetlands (WnW) Birding Festival has become a familiar event that visitors to the Great Bend area look forward to in the Spring. Plans have been in the works for the 2013 Festival in April. However, due to the exceptional drought conditions that the region is experiencing, WnW committee members have decided to suspend the 2013 Festival. “So much of the planning and advertising for the Festival must be done so early. With the current conditions of the wetlands and the bleak winter forecast, it is hard to justify the time and resources that we would need to spend to plan the 2013 Festival,” explained Curtis Wolf, site manager of the Kansas Wetlands Education Center. “We are at the mercy of Mother Nature. With such limited water, we fear that we will not be able to offer the quality birding experience festival-goers have come to expect at past WnW Festivals.”

 The WnW Festival is 3-day birding extravaganza. Guides lead participants on multiple birding field trips to Cheyenne Bottoms, Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, and other area birding hotspots. Workshops, meals, and other social events also round out the fun weekend. After back-to-back WnW Festivals in 2002 and 2003, the event has been held biennially since. In typical Festival years, approximately 200 participants from all over the U.S. come to the area and typically document around 180 species of birds during the WnW Festival weekend.

 All is not lost. Although we cannot replace the Wings N Wetlands Festival, we are planning a night out for the birds.  Make plans on Saturday, April 27 to learn more about how you can help birds by attending a lecture by Laura Erickson based on her book 101 Ways to Help Birds.    Laura Erickson is an author, public radio show For the Birds producer, and general bird enthusiast. 

101 Ways to Help Birds covers a wide variety of issues, from the importance of buying federal Duck Stamps and minimizing pesticide use to how consumers can make decisions with bird conservation in mind when choosing food items (shade-grown coffee, grass-fed over grain-fed beef, Alaskan over Atlantic salmon) and consumer products (did you know that automatic shut-off irons have mercury in their switches? I didn’t!). There are several effective suggestions for making windows safer for birds, and discussions of how exactly conservation of energy, water, paper, and other resources helps birds. In addition to large topics, I have sections about what to do when individual birds need help, how to figure out the safest ways to solve bird problems (herons in a backyard goldfish pond, woodpeckers attacking wood siding, cardinals and robins attacking their reflection in a window), and a lot of other issues. Birding ethics are discussed, promoting mindfulness with regard to using laser pointers and bird recording playback in the field as well as topics covered in the code of birding ethics promoted by the American Birding Association. This is truly the most comprehensive book about how we can help birds ever written. So far, at least.

The presentation will be held at the Barton Community Collge Auditorium (245 NE 30 Rd., Great Bend, KS) at 6:30pm.  Cost of the program is $5 at the door, and will include light refreshments.