BEN Banner #49
 Bird Conservation Through Education TM

May 24, 2012 

In This Issue
Junior Duck Stamp Contest Winner
New Duck Stamp Coming Soon
Review: An Expanded Young Birder's Guide
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
Junior Duck Stamp Contest Winner
-connecting children to nature through the arts


Late last month, 17-year-old Christine Clayton of Sidney, Ohio, won the Junior Duck Stamp contest with her flying male Northern Pintail. Matthew Messina of Avon, Connecticut, came in second place with his painting of a male Wood Duck.  In third place was Hyun Wang of California for his pair of Hooded Mergansers.

The funds from the sale of the Junior Duck Stamps - which the Fish and Wildlife Service sell for $5 each - go to support the promotion and expansion of this arts-based educational program for youth.  This new Junior Duck Stamp will be released for sale on June 29th - along with the federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation [Duck] Stamp.

You can also view all the 53 entries for the contest here.

New Duck Stamp Coming Soon


Duck Stamp poster 2012The first day of sale for the 2012-2013 Migratory Bird Hunting & Conservation Stamp (Stamp) is Friday, June 29th

Waterfowl hunters must buy this conservation stamp, but other hunters, birders, photographers, anglers, environmental educators, or any other individuals passionate about the natural world are encouraged to support the Stamp. Below are links to two posters created by Kevin Lowry of USFWS to help promote the sale of the Stamp.


One way you can help support this effort is by downloading a free poster to share on Facebook and with your own networks.
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Federal Duck Stamps may be purchased from the following vendors: 


United States Postal Service
Phone: 1-800 STAMP-24 (1-800-782-6724)
Online at
Note: Once at the website enter search text "Duck Stamps" in upper right hand corner. 

Amplex Corporation (the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service distributor)
Phone: 1-800-852-4897 

Duck Stamps may also be purchased at most major sporting goods stores that sell hunting and fishing licenses. You may also purchase them online at




An Expanded Young Birder's Guide
- Dave Magpiong

The only disappointing thing with Bill Thompson's Young Birder's Guide to Bird of Eastern North America (2008, Houghton Mifflin Co.) was the fact that youngsters and teachers in the center of the continent and especially in the West found it less than totally useful. Still, it was very user-friendly: the introduction was very helpful and welcoming; the photos and illustrations excellent; the maps instructive; the cues and curious facts charming. It was the limited geographic coverage of the book, not the limited species coverage of the book, that held it back. It was Eastern-focused, great for Easterners but not others.
Now with Bill Thompson's new guide, Young Birder's Guide to Birds of North America (2012, Houghton Mifflin Co.), young users and teacher alike will be able to use the book with confidence virtually anywhere in the lower-48 and most of southern Canada. The new book has all the clever features of the Eastern book, with a lot more in the way of geographic range. The Eastern book was 256 pages and covered 200 species. The new book is 364 pages and covers more than 300 species.  Both, of course, are easy to carry into the field.

Bird books for kids often have one of two problems - either they talk down to youngsters or they overwhelm kids who are new to birds. This book was created with help from youngsters. Thompson's own son and daughter - and their elementary school classes - helped select the actual content. The book is kid-tested and virtually kid approved. 
Now, here's a secret. This book, like its predecessor, is really not "just for young birders."  Any new bird watcher would benefit using this book, and every field instructor would do well to read this book cover to cover. It's a great way to get basic - and interesting - information on over 300 bird species, information helpful for any field trip or for any classroom.
BEN: Connecting Bird Educators TM
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Newsletter maintained by: The Council for Environmental Education, Flying WILD and the BEN Committee.