An Update from the ABA on Watching Birds and Helping Each Other During the COVID-19 Crisis

August 4, 2020

First things first. All of us on the ABA staff have been overwhelmed by the generosity of ABA members and friends who responded to our mini-fundraiser last week. With the sudden drop in revenue from print magazine ads and event cancellations, your donations are having an immediate impact on our ability to continue to keep our doors open. But we still need your help!

With this update, we’re going to let you know what’s been going on at the ABA in the past week (lots!), how you can continue to help (not just financially), and how we can all help each other (we really do mean that).

Was This The Busiest Week in ABA History? If you’ve been online, as so many of us have in recent days, we hope you’ve interacted in one or more ways with the ABA. Did you catch our launch of ABA Live? It was so successful that we had bandwidth problems with the deluge of visitors; don’t worry, we’ve got that fixed for our next show. Also, we hope you’re visiting our website daily, bursting with new content and new interactive functions. Meanwhile, our Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sites continue to be hubs for information and interaction.

April 2020 Birding Magazine. Working on overdrive, the magazine staff and contractors delivered Birding to the printer at the beginning of the week. Although we didn’t foresee “social distancing” back when we conceived the April content, all the feature articles emphasize the sort of birding you can do close to home or even from your laptop. While you’re waiting for Birding to arrive in your mailboxes, we hope you’ll enjoy this link to a powerful and provocative interview, appearing in the April issue, with J. Drew Lanham.

Coming Soon. We are extremely close to the launch of a completely new version of Listing Central. Basically, the idea is that the ABA will be your one-stop destination for managing your life list. Whether you use eBird, listing software, or your own spreadsheet, you’ll be able to upload your content to Listing Central. Changes in taxonomy, discrepancies between authorities, and splits and lumps will all be automatically adjusted for conformity with the ABA Checklist.

Please Help the ABA. In particular, we ask your assistance in the following four ways:

1–Please donate right now. We need another week like last week to continue to provide ABA Live and other new initiatives.

2–Please join or renew today! As part of our BIRDWELL initiative, get $15 off any ABA membership (individual, household, digital). This offer expires Apr. 1, 2020, so join or renew today; use promo code BIRDWELL2020 to qualify.

3–Please respond generously to our Spring Appeal. Full details are given in the April 2020 Birding, which will mail out shortly. We’ll have more on this next time.

4–Please spread the word. Like so many of you, our own families have been hard hit by the major economic disruption at the present time. If you cannot contribute financially to the ABA, your good words about us can be just as valuable! Tell your friends (while observing proper distancing protocol) about the ABA.

We’re All in This Together. Do you get the sense that, ironically, the whole birding community has grown stronger since the COVID-19 crisis hit? We at the ABA are incredibly proud of our role in this suddenly strengthening community; together we’ve even shed a few tears of joy about this. Thank you so much for the texts, emails, cards, and more. Please keep them coming. If we can answer a question or point you to a new birding resource, don’t hesitate to ask any of us on the ABA staff.

Sincerely yours,

Jeff G., Ted F., David H., Liz G., John L., Greg N., LeAnn P., Michael R., Ed R., Kelly S., Nate S.

The ABA Core Staff