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Desert Diary
Birds/e Bird


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Some people think amateurs are necessarily inferior to professionals. While often true in terms of knowledge of a specialized field, in other cases that may be a slander. After all, in the early days of science, everyone was an amateur! Ever since, amateurs have made valuable contributions to biology. This is especially notable for the more flamboyant groups of organisms: the molluscs, the butterflies, and the birds.

Today, the tradition continues. Take the birds as an example. There are an estimated 15 million serious birders in this country alone. The Audubon Bird Counts, participated in primarily by John and Jill Q. Citizen, supply results that help scientists keep track of the distribution and health of bird populations.

Now you, and all other birders, can make your contributions to bird science and at the same time, keep track of your sightings—all through the web. Or curious as to what bird's been reported locally (or anywhere else in the states)? It's all there, at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society's website at www.ebird.org. Check it out!
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Listen to the Audio (mp3 format) as recorded by KTEP, Public Radio for the Southwest.


Contributor: Arthur H. Harris, Laboratory for Environmental Biology, Centennial Museum, University of Texas at El Paso.

Desert Diary is a joint production of the Centennial Museum and KTEP National Public Radio at the University of Texas at El Paso.