We are For the Birds!

The Beckham Bird Club, Inc., in existence since 1935, is a nonprofit organization of men, women, and children who are interested in birds, ecology, and nature. It is named for Charles Wickliffe Beckham, the first native Kentuckian to achieve a national reputation as an ornithologist.

Wood Thrush

Beckham Bird Club members are people who like birds, enjoy watching them, and want to keep in touch with others who also enjoy the sport. Birding can be as relaxing or strenuous as desired. Some prefer backyard birding – others prefer field trips. Either way, birding provides the enthusiast with excitement, the chance to learn, and fun. The Beckham Bird Club welcomes both individuals and families as members.

What to do with a baby bird?

What to do if you find a baby bird? It's not unusual to find newly hatched birds in your yard this time of the year.
Young birds often leave their nests before they're able to fly. While the birds are spread along the branch, it's not uncommon for a strong wind to blow the birds off the branch and for people to find them on the ground.

If you find a baby bird on the ground, what should you do with it?

Does it have feathers or just fluff? If it has feathers, it's probably a flegling and should be left alone. If just fluff, it needs its parents.

The best thing to do is get the bird out of the reach of house cats and dogs by placing it on a safe branch. The baby will squawk and the parents will find it. Most birds do not have a good sense of smell, so picking the bird up and placing it on a branch won't harm it. Keep your dogs and cats inside while there are babies nearby.

Don't feed the bird. Each species requires a specific diet. It's difficult to identify a fluffy chick, let alone have the right kind of food on hand. Most birds do NOT eat worms!

What if I find an entire nest? The best thing to do is leave the nest where it is. But if you can't, then relocate it in a nearby tree or another safe place. The parents will find it.

Duck Stamps

Do you know about the Duck Stamp?  It used to be called the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp.  The stamp is sold for $15 beginning in July each year.  Funds support the National Wildlife Refuge System and 98 cents of every dollar goes directly to purchasing bird habitat. 

Many birders are understandably hesitant to buy a Duck Stamp because they don't want to be seen as supporting waterfowl hunting and because there has been no way to separate contributions by birders from those of hunters  -- UNTIL NOW. The American Birding Association (ABA) just started selling Duck Stamps on their website.  By purchasing a Duck Stamp through the ABA you will be counted as a birder, not a hunter AND you will be supporting the most effective conservation initiative in the U.S.

OK it's a little more trouble to buy your Duck Stamp through the ABA and it's a little more expensive because you have to pay to have it mailed to you, but isn't it worth it to be counted as a birder and to help the ABA demonstrate birders' support for habitat and bird conservation? 

This is not a fund-raiser for the ABA; they are not seeking to make any money doing this. What they want from this effort is an accounting of birders, not just in numbers but in dollars and cents.

Please consider purchasing a Duck Stamp this year, and doing via the ABA's website here.

Availability: June 27, 2014 through January 31, 2015

Meeting Time and Place

Meetings are held the second Tuesday of each month (except March and June) at 7:00 p.m. at the Clifton Center, 2117 Payne Street off of Frankfort Avenue, in Louisville, KY. (click the link for a Google map) Occasionally our meetings are held at other locations, the newsletter indicates any such changes. Programs are varied and include lectures, discussions, panels, slides, movies and the many phases of ornithological study.

Join us for our meeting at the Clifton Center, 2117 Payne Street, in the Community Room on Tuesday, August 12, 2014.

The August meeting will feature Andrew Berry, Forest Manager at Bernheim Forest and Arboretum, where he works to preserve the natural integrity of Bernheim Forest through stewardship, monitoring, research, and land protection efforts. Andrew is a native of central Kentucky, residing in Anderson County with his wife Tara Littlefield (KSNPC botanist) and daughter Estella.

He will talk about Bernheim's efforts to re-introduce quail at the Forest,  but will also talk about habitat protection, eagles, past efforts for restoration at Bernheim.