by John Shenot
Iím drafting this monthís article on a plane flying from Johannesburg, South Africa, to Walvis Bay, Namibia, and Iím wondering what the heck Iím doing here. Iíve been on planes and in airports for almost 40 hours now on my way to—get this—a two day conference. Crazy, right? And when you add to this absurdity the fact that my job is essentially to help governments fight climate change, it just seems crazier still.
So what keeps me sane? Well, for starters the birds that I hope to see this week in Namibia and South Africa. And I guess the hope that what Iím doing makes a difference. But what really saves me from the insanity of business trips like this one is knowing that when I get home to Fort Collins I can do almost anything I want on my feet or on my bicycle, with no carbon footprint left behind, which brings me to the FCAS connection.
Like many of you, Iím looking forward to participating in this monthís Birdathon (details on Page 5). But Iíve decided to form a team that do a carbon-free Birdathon on bikes, and do it entirely within the Poudre River corridor that FCAS is working to get designated by National Audubon as an Important Bird Area (IBAósee Page 4 of this month's Ptarmigan). Itís my way of having fun, supporting our fundraiser, promoting the IBA, and recover-ing from the business travel craziness. Wish me luck!
Bird-a-thon Coming in May
By Bill Miller
Itís getting closer: The Challenge Bird-a-thon! We havenít conducted a Bird-a-thon since 2012. This year, with a few changes, we hope members will help their chapter meet its financial needs through their tax-deductible contributions.
Some things remain the same: (1) Teams consist of two to four members, (2) pledges will be solicited in support of our conservation efforts, and (3) teams are limited to counting species in a 24-hour period. Some things have changed: (1) The Bird-a-thon Count Period (BCP) has been extended from two days to 10 days, Friday, May 13 through Sunday, May 22; and (2) there will be two sets of prizes. One set will go to the team with the highest species count; the other to the team that has the most unique species. Unique, in this case, means species not counted by any other team. As of April 17, the prizes had not been determined.
Pledges are of two types: (1) an amount per species AND/OR, (2) a fixed amount. Pledges made to a team will be calculated using that teamís species count. Pledges made to the chapter will be calculated using the highest species count by the teams. We encourage team members to solicit pledges from others in addition to making their own. This year, FCAS board members are asked to solicit at least five pledges other than their own, and it would be great if every FCAS member would gather two pledges in addition to their own. Successful pledge solicitors should collect and turn in pledge funds to me (Bill Miller) or our Treasurer, John Waddell.
The Bird-a-thon is a good time for camaraderie and an excellent way for less experienced birders to learn more from more experienced birders. Please consider volunteering to serve on a team. If you donít know a team leader, let me know and weíll assign you to a team. This is a fun event and more eyes spot more birds! And a successful Bird-a-thon brings us much closer to achieving more of our conservation goals.
You can sign up online on our special bird-a-thon page, or if you prefer, here are links to printable forms: