The good folks at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology sent me a copy of the book "Birding for Everyone" for participating in the Celebrate Urban Birds event earlier this year. Its an inspirational quick-read that I recommend to all people everywhere, birder or not.
John C. Robinson is a black man and he is a birder. He wrote this book to encourage people of color to become birdwatchers and includes some humorously written personal anecdotes. Part of his argument is that as minorities in the United States continue to grow, their political voices or political apathy will have a direct impact on the ecosystem. The book also includes well written basic tips on how to be a birder. In conclusion, John invites non-birders, especially minorities to give birding a chance. By highlighting personal annecdotes of minority birders, he proves his point of the importance of minorities being involved in birding. He also challenges those of us in the birding community to reach out to minorities and invite them into our world.
I have accepted John's challenge. Being able to speak Spanish fairly well, I am finding ways to invite the Spanish-speaking community to the Avimor Bird Walks (Paseo de Aves). I've already added the invite in Spanish to my blog and I've e-mailed the Idaho Hispanic Chamber of Commerce asking them for some guidance. I've even printed off "Principios en la Observacion de Aves" from the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission to bone up on my Spanish as it relates to birding.
Thanks John for reminding me that birding really is for everyone.