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Birding Business

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This month’s bird

The Hairy Woodpecker

Birding Business - April 2014

Birding Business  - April 2014

BY RAY DAVID | Editor/Publisher

Extinct Means Forever

I’ve been going over some of the content planned for our summer issue that deals with the extinction of the passenger pigeon, and have brought it up in conversations with friends.

The reactions have been clearly defined in two camps – those who are familiar with the species, and recall Martha, the last known of her race – and those who never heard of a passenger pigeon. The first group reacted as expected when the subject was introduced, commenting on the reasons and results surrounding it and bringing up hazy details recalled from reading various stories in the past. The second group, though, were completely ignorant of the bird’s existence or its extinction.

This makes me wonder why so many have no knowledge of the subject. Those of us who grew up connected with nature have been aware since childhood, but those without that connection seem never to have absorbed anything about it. These are not uneducated people, but their exposure to nature has been either quite limited or of no interest to them. That’s sad. But at the same time it illustrates the lack of exposure that, to us, should be the clarion call to get the message out there. Granted, there are plenty of folks who simply have no interest and wouldn’t care to be enlightened. But many of them have children who, if taught with passion and conviction, could become the next Audubon or Peterson.

A talk or bird walk for a group of school kids is a logical place to start. All you need do is contact your local elementary school and present the idea to the principal. It’s very unlikely you’d be turned down. But remember, this is an opportunity to introduce children to nature, not a sales pitch for your store or product. Done right this will encourage kids to want to learn more, and where better to learn than in a store devoted to the concept. They may not be able to influence their parents’ thinking, but one day they will be parents themselves and will at least have the grounding to become the adults this world needs more of. If their folks had that exposure during childhood we’d be a generation ahead by now.

The re-introduction of wolves to Yellowstone for example, which has had an amazing influence over the entire ecosystem within the park’s boundaries, makes me wonder what we might have achieved if we’d been able to do something similar with the pigeon before it became irretrievably extinct.

Table of Contents

by Mike Anderson
20 years of customer service keeps 
this Indiana store hopping.

Fairy Gardening
by Mike Anderson
The next big thing in niche markets

A House is Not a Home

by Hank Weber
Bird houses are for nest building

Good, Clean Water
by Ray David
Algae season is coming

Are Neonicitinoids the New DDT?
by Ray David
Genetically modified seed products

You Asked, They Answered
Birding experts answer your questions

Optics Update
by Ray David
The major optics manufacturers have been busy

Industry News

New Products

Book Reviews