Friday, March 20, 2015

Episode 49 of This Birding Life Podcast

Friday, March 20, 2015
This Birding Life podcast episode #49 "A Visit to the British Bird Fair, Part 2" is now available for your ear-filling pleasure over at Podcast Central and in the iTunes Podcasts section.*

This episode is, as the title suggests, part 2 of my visit last August to the British Bird Fair held annually at Rutland Water Reserve in central England.
David Lindo, The Urban Birder, is interviewed in the new episode of This Birding Life.

This event is amazing for a birder to attend—so many vendors offering everything even remotely associated with birds and nature. A few years ago I can back with the following: two plastic animal masks for the kids, seven bird art books for Julie, an equal number of nature books for me, two new bird feeders, a collection of bird sound CDs, a new squall jacket, several sets of bird-themed notecards, a handful of hats, more birdy stickers for the birdmobile, a bucket list of a dozen world birding hotspots I hope to visit, and about 75 new birding friends. Needless to say I did not bring back much of the money that I went over with.

The Bird Fair was started by my friends Tim Appleton and Martin Davies more than two decades ago. Since then it's grown into the single largest annual generator of conservation funding for birds. So it's not only an amazing event, it has also raised incredible amounts of money for conservation and contributed to some critically important conservation efforts, especially in concert with BirdLife International. Visit the Bird Fair website to learn more about this wonderful event.
The Falkland Islands stand (or booth) at BirdFair.

Back to this podcast episode: It contains interview with several Bird Fair vendors from around the world, including England, Australia, Malaysia, Israel, and the Falkland Islands. It also includes a bit of traditional English country music recorded at the Saturday night barn dance at Bird Fair.

In our own modest way, we're trying to emulate the Bird Fair with our inaugural American Birding Expo, which will be held October 2 to 4, 2015 in Columbus, Ohio. The Expo is free and open to the public to attend. It's a commercial, retail event for birding and nature consumers to meet and engage with companies, organizations, destinations, manufacturers, retailers, publishers, and artists all of whom wish to market themselves to birders. There are currently more than 70 confirmed vendors representing more than 25 countries worldwide. So it's going to be a very interesting gathering of bird and nature people from around the globe.

In the days just prior to the Expo, the American Birding Association will host its first-ever Members' Summit right on the Expo grounds. This gathering is also free to ABA members and will feature seminars, panel discussions, and field workshops in addition to some fun birding field trips. Details on the ABA Summit can be found here.

And speaking of bird clubs, there are several special reasons for bird clubs to consider attending the Expo en masse. Those reasons can be found on this page on the Expo website.

You'll certainly be hearing more about the American Birding Expo in the months to come. And I hope you'll make plans to be there, too. If so, I'll see you there. If not I'm sure I'll see your somewhere out there with the birds.

Special thanks to Bird Watcher's Digest and Carl Zeiss Sports Optics for their sponsorship support of This Birding Life.

*[Sidebar: My podcast episodes are also apparently shared on a substantial number of podcast aggregators on the Web, which may help explain the rather staggering number of downloads it receives annually: more than 750,000!]