Burien, Washington

 

 

 Mewsings from Millie

Hello and welcome back to my musings!

Some of my people and their friends have traveled far to go birding in interesting places such as Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador and Peru. They were able to see many fascinating and beautiful birds but only due to having good basic equipment like binoculars and spotting scopes. Believe it or not, there are researchers, educators, conservationists and local people in these countries and many others who are striving to protect birds and their habitat and promote ecotourism without the use of the most basic gear like field guides and binoculars.

Enter Birders' Exchange! Founded in 1990 by the Manomet Center for Conservation Science (MCCS), the group works to collect and donate birding equipment and distribute it to colleagues working to conserve birds and their habitats throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. In 1996, MCCS partnered with the American Birding Association (ABA) which now runs the program in its entirety.

Through the cooperation of birders across North America and bird-oriented organizations, conservation groups and corporations, the Birders' Exchange has aided over 350 groups in 30 countries by supplying binoculars, spotting scopes, field guides and laptop computers.

Kenn Kaufman, author of Birds of North America says it all, "Birders' Exchange is an inspired idea and a highly effective reality. It's making a big difference throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. Anyone who cares about the future of birds and wildlife should support this program."

Currently, Birder's Exchange is in need of:

Waterproof or rubber-armoured binoculars

Digital cameras, especially SLRs and telephoto lenses

Spotting scopes

Tripods

Field guides to Neotropical birds

Field guides to North American birds, newer editions

Ornithology texts

Laptop computers not more than three years old

iPods or .mp3 players with microphones

All equipment must be in good working order

Have you updated your tripod, scope or bins lately and have some old ones laying around? Go to bex.aba.org and see how you can help out.

Until next time,

Millie, the Muse of Mews