Date: 6/23/18 11:04 am
From: Alan Contreras <acontrer56...>
Subject: [obol] How should Oregon birders organize?
Brodie, not-yet-elderly birder, this is a very helpful post, thank you.

I think most of the older birders I know would arrange for binoculars for a ten-year-old who was unable to get his or her own, provided we knew of the need. As far as I’m concerned this is, or should be, our cultural norm. I trust that the kid you mention now has binocs via someone in Portland Audubon. If not, please let me know.

I started birding at age 11, son of a recently-divorced mother who was going through bankruptcy at the time. Money for binoculars was not easy to come by. The Eugene birding community made sure that I got connected and could get out birding and nature took its course.

Thank you to those who took me birding in the late 1960s and early 1970s and are still with us including Al Prigge, Larry McQueen, Eva Schultz, Herb Wisner, Pat Patterson, Thelma Greenfield and anyone I forgot. Four of those early supporters are now in their 90s and still enjoying birds when they can. Whether I turned out all right is for y’all to decide. :-)

By the way, my brother John somehow kept my first binoculars, which he ended up with as I got others. He gave them back to me last year - the year he attended his first CBC since the 1970s. Just for fun I’ll include a pic of my 1967 Tascos with my Peterson Guide of the same era (taped back together the first time by Norma Tedd, librarian at Roosevelt Junior High in Eugene). Both were all but magical tools at the time; they are now retired. Me, not quite.




Alan Contreras
<acontrer56...>
Eugene, Oregon

www.alanlcontreras.com


> On Jun 23, 2018, at 10:16 AM, Brodie Cass Talbott <brodiecasstalbott...> wrote:
>
> When I moved back to Portland after six years of mostly living and birding in Asia, I was amazed by the birding community here, particularly on OBOL. There are few places in the world with a community of people as knowledgeable about their local birds as OBOL, and willing to openly and freely share that knowledge to boot.
>
> But when I think about why and how Oregon birders should organize, I immediately think of Julia's email, where she very very diplomatically explains that the old school style of organizing didn't feel overly welcoming to her and her son. I also think of another young woman who, in a recent podcast, described feeling like there was "gatekeeping" among some of the Oregon birding old guard. I disagreed with the idea that any of that was intentional, but can understand the sentiment that the community does not always feel open to all. I also think of a 10 year old African American boy I met recently who was carrying around a copy of the Crossley guide to Raptors. He was really excited about birding, but he didn't have binoculars, or anyone in his immediate circles that was a birder, and much of what he knew, and who he knew, was coming from online (Portland Audubon summer camps, thankfully, were one of the resources he found).
>
> If OBA wants to appeal to the next generation of birders, it needs to be where they are: online. And if OBA wants to do so in a socially responsible way, they need to make extra effort to reach out and be available to communities of color and underserved communities, which have historically been very underrepresented in birding.
>
> I understand the romance of the printed word, but if the New York Times can't keep print alive (they are replacing print readers-and advertisers- with digital subscriptions every day), it is folly to assume that a birding organization can. People want dynamic media, where with the stroke of a key you can share a story, google a person, email the author, and comment on an idea.
>
> Which isn't to say that there isn't a lot of value to what OBA does, or can do. OBA can maintain those state records, but in a way that is dyamic and intuitively available to younger users. If they don't, eBird will increasingly be the List of Record. OBA can continue to organize field trips and provide venues for sightings, but only if it puts that information online and on social platforms that younger eyes are already seeing: facebook, instagram, snapchat (GASP) and Meetup (EGAD!). OBA can also build community by systematically creating regional birding portals on online platforms like facebook so that, if a birder wants to know what is going on in a region they live in or are soon to visit, they need only visit that portal.
>
> And yes, hopefully OBA can also help some of the older generation who aren't tech savvy by having tutorials and workshops.
>
> I don't want to seem dismissive of Paul's points, which obviously come from a passion for Oregon birding and knowledge of its history that I can't come close to competing with, but I feel pretty certain that any birding organization is either going to meet young birders where they are, or be left in the dust.
>
> Good Birding,
>
> Brodie, a not-quite-young and not-quite-old birder.
>
>
>


 
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