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International Migratory Bird Day, Bird Trek and eBird
Alex Steffen, 13 May 06

Today is International Migratory Bird Day, which this year attempts to draw attention to the critical role northern boreal forests play in providing habitat for migratory birds which winter in Central and South America.

On May 25th, students will be able to explore the hemisphere's migratory birds in the online Americas' Bird Trek. The goal is to use the Net to bring home to people the experience of living embedded in ecosystems that, through bird migrations, connect throughout the Americas:

The concept that the health of our own bird community is reliant upon the health of ecosystems thousands of miles away can be difficult for anyone to fully grasp. Americas' Bird Trek brings this concept to life in a new way. For the first time, people from across the Americas will see and hear and experience the fact that our birds are your birds – that my backyard is connected to backyards from South America to Canada.

But these campaigns aren't just for kids. Adults can use the online boreal bird guide to identify species and find out what species will be passing through their towns. And there are of course, flocks of other birding resources online.

We've discussed before how, through sites like eBird, birders fill one vital role in our efforts to understand the planet, and how tools are spreading to make that much more the case. We've also discussed how habitat loss and climate change threaten biodiversity, better understanding the planet is vital tool for saving it, even the value and importance of the boreal forests to which the birds migrate. It's great to see a project using collaboration and available technologies to find a new way of talking with kids about these issues. With any luck, the youngsters may come away with not only more understanding of the world around them, but a desire to get involved in saving it.

(Thanks, Genevieve!)

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It seems that WorldChanging is good again! No crap about participatory panopticons on the main page today!
Congrats on the good articles.

Posted by: Ben Wendt on 13 May 06



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