publicity/appeal to young birders (longish)

To: Jim Davis <>
Subject: publicity/appeal to young birders (longish)
From: Lawrie Conole <>
Date: Fri, 17 Nov 2000 09:57:57 +1100
> I have several questions that seem to have obvious answers, but I suspect that
> there are some interesting responses waiting to be drawn out of the
> Birding-Aus members.  Why is there a need to recruit young people into birding
> clubs?

I don't think this is what I suggested; rather I'm suggesting that
birding/naturalisting as a hobby is in decline.  Young people who get interested
almost inevitably gravitate to groups of people with similar interests - though
they may only be peripherally involved if the club culture doesn't suit them.

My prediction is that in a few decades time we'll have legions of people
interested in conservation and nature in a general fuzzy way, but that the
amateur naturalist tradition (of observation, investigation, detailed local
knowledge of the biota) will have waned away to almost nothing.  This will be a
great loss.  We are already well aware that the state will never employ enough
biologists/ecologists to cover all the issues.  Without the expert naturalists
sprinkled across the landscape we will lose the abilitity to monitor changes in
wildlife, discover new things, etc.

Then again, the level of interest shown in birding in the USA/UK may cross over
to Australia as many of their trends eventually do, and then we may be in a very
different and no less challenging situation!

> As many of you know, I have my own opinions on this topic ... it seems
> obvious, that chasing birds around the country isn't the answer, else we
> wouldn't be having this discussion.  On the other hand, perhaps I am wrong

Spit it out.  What are you trying to say here?  This seems to be the inevitable
backhander to the perceived EVIL of twitching again.  Twitching is such a tiny
proportion of the birding spectrum - why do people see the need to fire so many
barbs at it!!!  Personally I don't know any Australian 'twitchers' who ONLY
undertake activities which might be called twitching.  Rather they are able to
locate many different species in a given time as a consequence of the knowledge
and insights gained during their other survey/study activities.  If a birder
undertakes a range of birding activities, and wishes 'twitching' to be one of
them, why does that trouble so many people?

L A W R I E   C O N O L E
3 Gezireh Street, Pascoe Vale South, Victoria 3044 AUSTRALIA.
Phone (03) 9354 2484; Mobile (0419) 588 993
E-mail: <>

Vic Twitchathon results:'thon.htm

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