We come from a rich tradition of bird education and bird conservation. These twin efforts, from the end of the 19th century to the 21st century, have been most effective when running together.
Today, we propose the development of a National Bird Education Strategy to address the present-day opportunities and problems facing bird education. We have launched a Bird Education Network (BEN), housed in the Council for Environmental Education, to bring some clarity and direction to the mission of bird education and related bird conservation.
Ideally, our bird education strategy will tell bird educators in the U.S. where we have come from and where we want to go, with a specific plan the roadmap that will help us arrive at our desired destination.
While our strategy is national in scope, it is also inter-American in spirit, exploring hemispheric connections based on our counterparts’ particular needs and our own strategic education and conservation priorities.
Fundamentally, we bird educators need to "present a case for birds" - stressing the importance of birds, bird-connections to a broader natural world, and also the connections shared through birds with each other as stewards of our planet.
With this in mind, we have identified five priority bird conservation problems facing us today. Understanding and explaining each of these five problems and recognizing that they are both biological and non-biological are essential to effective modern bird education.
We wish to build an inclusive network for bird educators to promote a shared vision of a future bird-literate society but still can tackle the practical intermediate steps - short-term goals - to get us closer to that possibility. To that end, we espouse broad instruction (at all levels and ages) with specific targeted constituencies and audiences, taking into account what the U.S. will look like in the near future.
We expect that this approach to generate new enthusiasm and direction in bird education, leading to better bird conservation. The building of such a network and vision will overcome seemingly disparate outcomes in bird education and conservation when the efforts are seen as hopeful, creative, and, most importantly, cumulative.
Click here for our full draft strategy.
We welcome and encourage your comments and opinions, sent to