Thursday, March 22, 2012

ABA Announces Bird of the Year for 2012

Newsflash! Officials at the American Birding Association (ABA) have revealed its choice for the ABA Bird of the Year: the Evening Grosbeak!

The ABA, beloved to birders and birdwatchers, provides a forum, community, and resources for all who treasure birds. Each year, a bird species is chosen to serve as an emblem of the ABA. The Evening Grosbeak won the hearts of the judges this year for many reasons, according to President Jeff Gordon: “This species is an excellent choice for the ABA to spotlight for many reasons: its disconcerting decline in various regions; its beauty; its embodiment of both the exotic and the familiar; and its great appeal to both neophyte and veteran birders. But I was drawn most to the Evening Grosbeak because of its ability to generate excitement and spark new birders.”

The Evening Grosbeak’s likeness, painted by Ohio artist Julie Zickfoose, appears on the ABA’s Bird of the Year logo, pictured above. That same image will adorn special 1” stickers sent to ABA members! So, don’t be surprised to see these stickers adorning members’ binoculars, scopes, cell phones and noses (kidding about the noses) in the months to come.

Why have a Bird of the Year, you might ask? Jeff Gordon explains: “The ABA Bird of the Year program is all about birders being more conspicuous, and drawing attention to the excitement of birding and the fellowship of birders. Many of you enjoy acting as leaders of the flock, sounding the cries that bring our community together, making it bigger, stronger, and more effective.” Plus, it can create awareness for a species, like the Evening Grosbeak, whose numbers are in decline in some regions. Find out how you can help here.

If you’re lucky enough to see Evening Grosbeaks where you live, you know how special they are. Here are some tips to identify them. If you’re a photographer or digiscoper, you can enter ABA’s photo contest! And, watch for May’s issue of Birding for an Evening Grosbeak Photo Salon (see all the ABA  Bird of the Year Events here).

Not yet an ABA member?  Click here if you'd like to join.  In doing so, you'll become part of a community enjoying benefits the ABA folks work so hard to bring us.  If you're thinking about buying a new binocular, Eagle Optics will include a 1-year ABA Membership for $15 (regularly $45) when you shop from a select list of binoculars.

Let's all celebrate and support the ABA and the Evening Grosbeak in 2012!

Nina Cheney
Eagle Optics Staff
Binoculars: Bring them. See what they bring you.

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