birding-aus Promoting birding and tourism

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Subject: birding-aus Promoting birding and tourism
From: "crandrews" <>
Date: Thu, 20 Jan 2000 19:26:27 -0800
            Having noted the comments from  Denise, Chris, Roy. David ,Richard and everyone else on how to promote birding and tourism I thought I would throw in my two bobs worth. 
                Being a recent convert to birding but having been involved in many other outdoor activities my observations are that birders as a group tend to be rather inward looking rather than reaching out to include others. Sure once you are in  " the loop"  birders are the friendliest and most helpful people you could meet however how do you find out about  " the loop"  in the first place. 
                 I stand to be corrected on this but it appears to me that our birding organisations and individual birders spend much time  and energy on research and  conservation, which is terrific and of course essential, but far less on sharing the joys of birding with the uninitiated. 
             What are these birding organisations and individuals doing to promote birding in schools, national parks and to the community at large? Sure some individuals are doing wonderful work but I would suggest many more are needed. We are then shocked and horrified when nobody gives birds the recognition we feel they deserve. We then blame  the park rangers, the tourist bureaus, the schools, the politicians and the teachers and say it's up to them to do something about it.
         We' re the bird lovers if we don't share our enthusiasm with others and " spread the gospel " ourselves why should we expect others to be enthusiastic on our behalf. Let's take the inititive get out there and approach all these organisations and volunteer to show them birds, let's share our enthusiasm and our knowledge. After all most of the public only  sees birds at a distance.  If they are delighted by crimson rosellas at places like Wilson's Prom. then imagine how much more interested they would be in seeing other birds with the aid of magnification. They won't all become birdos but they will be far more likely to support their conservation.
        I agree with Richard Jordan when he says that we should start moving birding more into the mainstream.  If we can't get enough volunteers to do the above ( and volunteers generally are harder to find these days ) then we should start paying someone to do it.
        Perhaps  we might have some suggestions on how to fund such a project?
                                                                                        Charlie  Andrews
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