Get Involved!

Posted by ardeidae on April 03, 2006

If you've been following Beakspeak on a regular basis, you know that the news blurbs known as Fledglinks stopped several weeks ago. I haven't mentioned anything about it until now since I wasn't quite sure how long Fledglinks would be on hold. Earlier this year I made the decision to become more active in studying birds and in conservation efforts. As a result, priorities got shifted around and Fledglinks (and some other things) got moved to the back burner. It's time they get brought forward and the heat gets turned up.

Two things that I've been focusing on recently are field trips and photography. I'm trying to get out into the field as much as possible these days to document and photograph birds in their natural habitat. Our environment is experiencing continuous pressure for development and it's important for us to conserve and preserve as much as we can. I want to use photography as a vehicle to create awareness and to generate funds that will be used for conservation efforts, to help defray costs of equipment and travel, and to aid in development of other projects I have planned.

There are a lot of ideas I want to integrate into Beakspeak but it's a little too much for one person to handle, so I'd like to extend an invitation to you or people you know to become involved. The pay isn't very good (nonexistant actually), but I think you'll find that the hours and working conditions are excellent. And besides, the benefits alone are very rewarding. You'll be helping out birds, birders, and the environment in general all around the world.

I'm going to continue to write about various trips, conservation issues, and whatever other musings cross my mind, but I welcome original thoughts and writings from others as well. If you're interested in becoming a regular contributor of original material, please email me. You don't need any experience, just a bird-related thought and a keyboard. Even if you already have a blog and want to contribute here as well, that's definitely encouraged, but please keep in mind that this will be for original material, not for reposting something that already appears elsewhere.

I also want to bring Fledglinks back. I hope you enjoyed them as much as I did. The postings definitely kept me entertained, as well as informed on the latest news, events, rescues/releases, and conservation efforts. They also provided an extra outlet to notify the public that people or wildlife officials needed help locating a lost bird or looking for an environmental vandal. After trying a couple of different things to make postings as efficient as possible, I still wasn't able to dedicate as much time as I wanted. I also realized that Fledglinks would benefit most from a community effort, which allows for a wider diversity of sources and views. If you happen to run across any stories related to birds or environmental issues that you would like to share, please feel free to write up a short summary with a link to the story, and include any other information and links that pertain to it. (You can look at past Fledglinks as an example.) Email it to fledglinks@beakspeak.com and include your name or website URL so I can give you proper credit. With enough community support, I think Fledglinks can come back stronger than it was before.

Finally, I'm looking for a programmer to help in the development of exciting new projects. These require solid knowledge of HTML, javascript, PHP, Perl, MySQL, Google Maps API, and XML. If you have these skills, please send me an email detailing your level of experience, and include samples and URLs of projects you have worked on.

There are a lot of great birding weblogs and resources available on the internet. It's my hope that Beakspeak can help increase awareness of these and bring the overall experience to a higher level for the good of birds, birders, and the environment in general. There is strength in numbers and I have long believed Beakspeak should be a community-based website. I've had a blast so far and feel extremely fortunate to have been able to contribute to Beakspeak. Drop me a line if you want to be a part of it too!

--Jason


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