By Amy K. Hooper
Amy K. Hooper, WildBird Editor
This year’s World Series of Birding in New Jersey marks the 25th anniversary of the competitive conservation event. During a 24-hour period in May, teams of birders scour the Garden State for the sights and sounds of as many species as possible. Many teams raise money — via pledges per identified species — directly for local and national conservation organizations.
According to event founder Pete Dunne of New Jersey Audubon Society, the first World Series in 1984 included one young birder. “Now the youth division is the fastest-growing segment of the event,” he said.
That division offers schoolchildren in grades 1 to 12 the chance to learn about birds and to have a lot of fun during an incredible scavenger hunt. This year, teams in division C (grades 9 to 12) can compete for the Pete Dunne-Carl Zeiss Future Leaders in Birding Award.
As an ongoing sponsor of young-birder teams in competitive events like the World Series of Birding and the Great Texas Birding Classic, WildBird looks forward to seeing more kids in the events’ youth divisions. No doubt folks like teacher Dave Magpiong, whose story appears on page 6, will pull more students into the events.
With the Fledging Birders program, Magpiong pollinates schoolchildren with the wonders of nature and birding. While many of us don’t enjoy Magpiong’s access to those receptive young minds, we can participate in different means of pollination.
The second annual National Pollinator Week, June 22-28, gives everyone added incentive to help bees, butterflies, birds — such as hummingbirds — and other pollinators remain healthy. According to the Pollinator Partnership (www.pollinator.org), we need pollinators to move pollen within flowers or from a flower to another, so that fertilization leads to seeds and fruits – many of which we use. You can find information and many resources at the website above and at www.nappc.org by North American Pollinators Protection Campaign.
You can participate in this helpful collaboration by creating a hummingbird garden with the steps described in “Birdscaping for Buzzers” on page 32. Your efforts could aid those gutsy and valuable little gems. Good gardening!