I started out as a birder, chasing birds, always looking for rare birds. Birdwatching was not cool. Bird conservation wasn't a priority.
Then I chased the last of the California Condors back in 1985. I saw three of the last nine wild condors soar close overhead, wind whistling through their wings. I was never the same again.
After college I decided birding wasn't enough, I wanted to help birds. I went back to grad school. Got a couple more degrees. Started a nonprofit to study and help birds in Austin. Worked for another one. Spent almost five years working for National Audubon.
Now I'm proud to support a new effort to help birds, the 10,000 Birds Conservation Club set up by my buddies over at the 10,000 Birds blog. For just $25 a year you can support bird conservation causes around the world. With almost no overhead. That's not something you can say about your membership in other organizations that have big fund raising staff budgets and accounting departments.
So by all means support the big NGOs if you want. But support the lean and mean (OK, not so mean, they're really nice guys) 10,000 Birds Conservation Club. And do it for the birds, not just the chance to win some nice prizes!
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