Hi Tim, Denise & All,
Thanks for the kind words Tim, and thanks Denise
for feeling deprived.
These series are not at all scientific, and not all
that educational in the way we tend to think of "educational"
The philosophy behind the series (mine) is that
there are not enough birders in this country, probably never will be, to have
much political clout, or to be able to have very much effect on what happens to
native birds ~ with the exception of local or temporarily funded projects that
focus on a spot of habitat or an already endangered species. Meanwhile, in the
rest of the country the rest of the birds struggle on, becoming less in number
and reduced in range ... and who knows? And who cares?
So I aim to make birds interesting and fun to the
wider community, helping people generally to understand that birds ARE wonderful
critters, and that the everyday decisions made by ordinary Australians can have
an effect for better, or for worse on the chances of many bird species being
around for their grandkids to enjoy hearing and seeing. Where possible I bring
in the ecological services carried out for free by birds, but it's never a hard
sell, never judgemental or rabidly Green.
I get some fantastic feedback, indicating that
people are genuinely interested in learning more about birds, and that, given
the opportunity, people will do what they can to help prevent local extinctions
by such things as better pet management and to "bring back the birds" by
choosing garden design and plants with bird welfare in mind.
I am grateful to the ABC for making this possible
by keeping the series going for the Western Region of NSW, and by expanding
the broadcast area from regional to state-wide this summer.
I'm grateful too to the "hard core birders" who've
taken time to let me know that they too enjoyed the series. I'm conscious that
much of it is just "fun" stuff, designed to have general appeal ~ and I
sometimes cringe inside, wondering what listeners with real knowledge about
birds will think of it.
(The only thing certain about birdwatching is that