Saturday, December 13, 2008

This Birding Life: New Episode!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Episode #18 of my podcast, This Birding Life, is now available for your listening and viewing pleasure. The new episode is titled "Phoebe and the Young Birder's Guide." As with most episodes of TBL, this one comes in both enhanced audio M4a format (with images) and in regular MP3 (audio only) format. You can listen/watch on your computer, on your MP3 player, iPod, iPhone, or anything else that plays digital files. This does not include that new Close N'Play record player that Santa is bringing you in a few days.

In this latest episode, I interview Phoebe Thompson, age 12, my primary co-author (with her 20 or so classmates) on The Young Birder's Guide to Birds of Eastern North America. Phoebe and I talk about how the book came to be, about the perception of bird watchers among her peers, and about her life in a family of birders. I happen to think Phoebe did a great job in the interview, but then again, I might be biased since Phoebe is also my daughter.

Phoebe digs birds.

I'm hoping listeners will forgive this bit of nepotism. And I'm also hoping that all of us bird people will do what we can to "pay it forward" by sharing the world of birds with a young person. I've written before about Nature Deficit Disorder here in Bill of the Birds. It's a very real concern. Why not ask an interested youngster along on your next field trip, Christmas Bird Count, or to a bird club meeting? We all need to contribute to get kids interested in some aspect of the natural world. I happen to think that birds are the very best way to accomplish this.

For young birders surfing the Web, the newly redesigned "Young Birders" section of the Bird Watcher's Digest website has some great content, a bird quiz, tips for better bird watching, and more. The section also includes information about the new booklet we've just created Bird Watching For Kids! I'll write more about this booklet in a future post here at BOTB.

Special thanks to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company for their sponsorship of This Birding Life.


On December 13, 2008 at 1:28 PM Janet Creamer Martin said...

Hi Bill,

Teaching about nature is my passion and I so love turning a young person on to birding and nature. I am so glad you took on this project, the book and the lectures about children and getting them outdoors.

Recently, I borrowed one of your descriptions for the Red-bellied Woodpecker-that it was a rocker, with its zebra-striped outfit and red mohawk doo. One of the kids in my group remembered that description and was really excited about seeing the bird. He had heard that description from me about six months earlier and it stuck. It was a neat moment.

I look forward to listening to your podcast when I get home this evening.

On December 13, 2008 at 8:26 PM Dawn Fine said...

Love your podcasts...congrats on having a birding daughter...

On December 15, 2008 at 10:56 AM Anonymous said...

What a great interview! Phoebe is a star!

On December 18, 2008 at 11:21 AM RuthieJ said...

I finally got a chance to listen to the entire podcast last night and burst out laughing when Phoebe agreeed that you were a nerd! It must have been great fun to work with her and her classmates on the Young Birder's Guide.