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WildBird Editor's Note: Mentor Talk

By Amy K. Hooper

Amy K. Hooper
Amy K. Hooper, WildBird Editor 

For many of us, the spring season brings to mind migration and new life. We observe the birds’ migration, and we might travel a bit ourselves to get a closer look at the avian spectacle. We also might observe birds that breed and raise young locally during these months.

I’m looking forward to moving about the country this spring. The American Birding Association Convention in late April offers the chance to explore Louisiana’s avian offerings, while the World Series of Birding in Cape May, N.J., provides another opportunity to sample the Garden State’s sites during spring migration. WildBird has sponsored a team for many years, and the fellows — known as Zen Zugunruhe — hope to recapture the Cape Island Cup this year.

Although this year hasn’t brought any nesting birds into my back yard for close observation, I’ve had a chance to work closely with a young journalist at the WildBird office. All that talk about mentoring has come home to roost, so to speak, and I’ve been supervising an editorial intern, Ashley Handlan.

You’ll find Ashley in the masthead on the upper-left side of this page. She’s contributed immeasurably to the production of the annual hummingbird issue: fact-checking, editing, generating text for departments, proofreading and making corrections to Quark XPress layouts.

It’s a rewarding experience to explain and guide and share enthusiasm with a younger person who shares my interest in words, pictures and magazine publishing. I hope that you’ll consider sharing your interest in birds, explaining the creatures’ behavior, guiding a younger birder to local sites and sharing your enthusiasm for the natural world.

Sharing your passion for birding doesn’t necessarily have to involve traveling out of state with a group of teenagers, as Jeff and Liz Gordon will do with the ABA/Leica Tropicbirds (see page 62). Guiding younger birders could be as easy as inviting them to your back yard, pointing out the native plants that lure birds to your home and discussing the birds’ behavior and identifying features as they visit plants and feeders.

We all have opportunities to mentor other individuals. Let’s use those opportunities as often as possible.


Posted: April 17, 2007, 5 a.m. EST

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