The "old bird watching" or "old birding" has basically involved the valuable skills of bird identification and bird finding. This is all well and good, but it is only part of what is needed in a "new birding," one appropriate for the 21st century. New avenues of the bird-appreciation experience are needed today; new features must blend to make that experience deeper, more meaningful, and longer lasting. New demands impose themselves on the old pastime of birding, overlaying new standards on birding, if not simply pushing those old standards aside.
"New birding" must involve engaged bird education to reach not only the young but also adults as well as communities of diversity. Going beyond old birding means engaging new approaches to avitourism, creative conservation reaching diverse audiences, enriching the birding festival experience, and making bird education an integral part of the new birding. Birding will also have to respond to times of economic stress, climate change, shifting American demographics, and limited access.
Simply revisiting the old birding skills - identification and bird finding - becomes the equivalent of reinventing the same wheel, although sometimes with new hubcaps. It's a start, but it won't be sufficient.
Great Birding Projects does not provide all the answers or all the tools to rebuilding the old birding or constructing a creative and engaged new birding, but GBP has some creative ways to make an old birding relevant and a new birding exciting and promising.
Explore this website and see what we at Great Birding Projests have to offer. If you are interested, contact GBP concerning avitourim interests, site and trail/byway evaluations, birding consultation, group talks, writing and editing, and workshops.
"Birding, after all, is just a game. Going beyond, that is what is important."
- Roger Tory Peterson, 1988