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HOW MANY BIRDERS ARE THERE? (YOU NEED TO JOIN GVAS!)

By Nic.Korte

Later this month the Colorado Field Ornithologists (cfobirds.org) will be holding their annual convention. I'm bummed. Because of other commitments, I won't be able to attend this year. What do you think happens at a convention of birders? The same thing that happens at other conventions. Beers are drunk. Toasts are made. Friendships and contacts are formed. And, at this one, there are many field trips. This convention is being held in Sterling because there are many wetlands, prairies and lakes and the timing coincides with the peak of shorebird migration--those birds that we see only in the spring and fall--many of which nest in the Arctic and winter in South America.

 (Marbled Godwit--a shorebird that might be seen at this year's CFO convention.)

This convention, which moves about the state annually, attracts approximately 150 attendees. In recent years, it has been held in Cortez, Trinidad, and before that, even in Grand Junction. While, it doesn't compare with JUCO, there's a significant economic impact of 150 conferees and their families--especially when the convention is held in smaller cities such as Alamosa, another conference town of a few years ago.

So, how many of your friends and neighbors are birders? CFO has more than 500 members. Besides their convention, their great website is the best online source for deciding where to go birding in our state. They also have a quarterly journal, maintain a state rare bird list, and manage all state records to determine which birds are really found in Colorado.
 (Many American Avocets will be seen at this year's convention.)

Locally, Grand Valley Audubon Society (GVAS) also boasts approximately 500 members. If you aren't a member, you should be. Although GVAS activities are open to everyone, members receive AUDUBON, the award-winning magazine. You can also receive the CHUKAR CHATTER, our local newsletter. You can subscribe to our list serve, Members and Friends of Audubon, and receive frequent examples of beautiful bird photography as well as notice of upcoming events such as field trips and monthly programs.


Perhaps most important is that as a member of GVAS, you will be supporting our education programs such as the upcoming (September 18 through October 10) month-long banding/education program for 4th graders. Students from all over the Western Slope travel to Connected Lakes State Park where GVAS volunteers help with capturing birds in mist nests.  A licensed bander, measures and bands the birds—both for the scientific information, and for the viewing and education of the students.
 (Students learning from the bander and educator at the GVAS banding station at Connected Lakes.)

Nothing is more important than giving our youth an appreciation for the natural world. More than 1200 students participated last year. Join GVAS and be part of these great programs (audubongv.org).

This post provided by Nic Korte, Grand Valley Audubon Society. Send questions/comments to audubongv@gmail.com. [To learn more and to participate in the activities of Grand Valley Audubon, please see our website at audubongv.org and “like” us on Facebook!]
 

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