BEN Banner #47
 Bird Conservation Through Education TM

February 15, 2012

In This Issue
IMBD 2012
Great Backyard Bird Count
Bird Sessions at Hog Island
Internship Positions
Jr. Duck Stamp Contest
Thanks to our BEN Bulletin sponsor:
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The Bird Education Network (BEN) was created following the February 2007 National Gathering, hosted by the Council for Environmental Education (CEE). BEN is a CEE initiative that seeks to connect and support a community of bird education professionals.


Over 3,000 individuals representing 300 organizations receive communications and engage in professional dialogue through the BEN-run Bird Education Listserv. 


A BEN Committee has been established to provide advice and guidance for this important initiative, to advance "bird conservation through education."

Quick Links
IMBD Celebrates 20 Years!
IMBD 2012 Theme: Connecting People to Bird Conservation

International Migratory Bird Day will celebrate 20 years.  Created in 1993, the event is now hosted at over 500 sites throughout the Western Hemisphere, reaching hundreds of thousands of youth and adults.  As part of this celebration, the annual bird conservation theme will focus on 20 ways people may help preserve birds every day.  The theme is highlighted in the 2012 art created by Rafael Lopez.  The lively piece reflects the joy, curiosity, and beauty of birds, while sharing the importance of community in bird conservation. 


There are lots of ways to get involved through IMBD in bird conservation, bird education, habitat projects, and birdwatching. IMBD provides the framework for bird festivals and events as well as the opportunity to motivate people of all ages to get outdoors to learn about birds. 
The official date for IMBD in the U.S. and Canada is the second Saturday in May each year, but today, IMBD programs, events, and festivals are held year-round. These are held at schools, parks, libraries, museums, zoos, refuges, nature centers and other locations accessible to the public. 

For more information visit



It's Great Backyard Bird Count Time!

Great Backyard Bird Count
The 15th annual Great Backyard Bird Count will be conducted February 17th through 20th, 2012. You can count birds wherever you are, including your backyard, off your balcony, or at a local park.

The Great Backyard Bird Count is an annual four-day event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are across the continent. Anyone can participate, from beginning bird watchers to experts. It takes as little as 15 minutes on one day, or you can count for as long as you like each day of the event. It's free, fun, and easy-and it helps the birds.  


Bird Sessions at Hog Island


Come to Maine in 2012 for an exciting and memorable experience on Audubon's 330 acre Hog Island.

This historic camp will host 9 different weekly environmental sessions, including six devoted exclusively to birds, one educator's week, and a family session.  Ornithologists such as Pete Dunne, Scott Weidensaul, Steve Kress, Wayne Peterson, Donald Kroodsma, Lang Elliot, and others will be in residence during different weeks, and participants have a wonderful opportunity to share field trips, presentations, and meals with these inspiring teachers.  

Each week, participants visit a variety of habitats, including the restored Atlantic Puffin and Tern colony on nearby Eastern Egg Rock.  The island is home to nesting Blackburnian and Parula Warblers, Merlins, and a variety of northern birds.  The food is great, the scenery fantastic, and the opportunity for networking and making new friendships abounds.  Some scholarships are available.  

Visit for extensive information, photos, prices and dates.    

Paid Internship Positions with the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center

Interns will have the opportunity to be involved in many aspects of the management and implementation of the Bridging the Americas/Unidos por las Aves Program, including but not limited to: crafting, evaluating, translating and/or adapting educational materials, outreach presentations, and web-based tools for teachers and students in the US and Latin America; facilitating communications between partnered classes in the US and Latin America; planning workshops and other professional development opportunities for teachers; and much more. Specific projects will be designed to match the intern's strengths, interests and goals. 


For more information click here 

Jr. Duck Stamp Contest

As many readers of the BEN Bulletin know, the Federal Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Program (JDS) is a creative curriculum-based arts and science program that helps educate students about wetland conservation.  The program incorporates scientific and wildlife management principles into a visual arts curriculum with participants completing a Junior Duck Stamp design as their visual "term papers." Today, all 52 states and territories are involved in the program. Over 28,000 children participate each year.

Public schools, home-schooled children, non-traditional schools, and art schools participate in the appropriate State Junior Duck Stamp Program Contest. Each state's first place winning design is automatically entered into the National Junior Duck Stamp Contest to select the design for the new Junior Duck Stamp. The national winner, one parent or guardian, and the winner's teacher will receive a free trip to Washington DC to participate in the First Day of Sale ceremony in late June/early July. 

The Junior Duck Stamp is sold through U.S. Postal Service, Amplex Corporation, and many National Wildlife Refuges. All the proceeds from the sale of Junior Duck Stamps are used to support the National Junior Duck Stamp Program and help educate K-12 grade students about the importance of habitats and wildlife conservation. The top three national Junior Duck Stamp winners also receive scholarship money.

There's still time to enter the contest in your state or introduce the program to your local schools. All Junior Duck Stamp Program State contests will be held between mid-March and early April, 2012. Most state deadlines are March 15, 2012. 

All information about the contest and materials are available for download at You can find more information, including contact information for your state coordinator at


BEN: Connecting Bird Educators TM
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Newsletter maintained by: The Council for Environmental Education, Flying WILD and the BEN Committee.