The American Birding Expo is returning to the Philadelphia area once more next month. Running from 21-23 September, it is billed as “the world of birding in one place” and with exhibitors from 6 continents that is a pretty fair description. Expo-runners, Bill Thompson III and Ben Lizdas join me to talk about the Expo and what birders can expect in the way of exhibitors, workshops and keynoters. In addition to running the Expo, Bill is the editor of BirdWatcher’s Digest, and Ben runs the new optics retailer Redstart Birding. They are also the co-hosts of the podcast “Out There With the Birds", and we cover it all from the Global Big Year Challenge (tm) to the joys of matching people with the perfect pair of binoculars.
Plus, the feral cat problem and a bright spot thanks to our friends at the American Bird Conservancy.
Thanks to episode sponsor, the Partnership for International Birding, combining 200 scheduled tours to destinations around the world with unmatched support for local bird conservation.
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One of the issues that the birding community has been reckoning with for the last several years is our relative lack of diversity, at least in terms of black and brown faces in the field, and how we can encourage a broader coalition of nature enthusiasts to join us and to share the joy of birding. It's an issue that Dr. Drew Lanham has given a great deal of thought. Lanham is a distinguished professor of wildlife ecology at Clemson University, he sits on the boards of both National Audubon and the American Birding Association, and his memoir, The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair With Nature was published in 2017. Drew was recently profiled in the August/September issue of Garden & Gun magazine and he joins host Nate Swick to talk about his experiences as a black man who loves what he calls one of "the whitest things you can do".
Also, news from the border as birders are given another opportunity to make their voices heard on the proposed border wall that will cut off several great birding locations.
Thanks to our episode sponsor, Land, Sea, and Sky. Since 1940, the optics experts at Land Sea & Sky to purchase just the right pair of binoculars for their birding adventures. This shop has hundreds of binoculars and spotting scopes in stock, an industry-leading 90 day return policy, and experienced staff to lend you a helping hand.