The recent Cayugabirds’ thread on the birding at Montezuma NWR brought out many ideas. Of course, ideas are the easy part; finding the resources is the tough part. As I have been exposed to the staff’s work at the refuge this year, I’ve seen a multitude of often complex responsibilities that they meet with limited resources. There are population surveys, bird banding, water management, invasive plant surveys and control, habitat restoration, water control structure maintenance and miles of dikes(and roads) to maintain. That is a limited list. Our ideas require new resources. So, making something of these ideas all comes down to resources.
If you appreciate Montezuma NWR as I do, and if you want it to be even better, then you personally need to consider what you can do to support these ideas. With the 18th Annual Montezuma Muckrace only a day away, now is a perfect time to step up and consider four key types of support. First, support the Muckrace by sponsoring a team. Last year it brought in $10,600. Could it be more with your support? If you aren’t already involved, go to: http://www.friendsofmontezuma.org/muck_race.html#sthash.oWIR9WMZ.dpbs Select a team. The team names are pretty creative, so surely you can find one that intrigues you. I’ve done this. Won’t you as a birder join me? Secondly, become a member of the Friends of Montezuma. I’ve done this, too. Here’s the link to their membership form: http://www.friendsofmontezuma.org/membership.html Next, once a member, it becomes easy to find a volunteer event to support the refuge staff. I helped with a survey of Black Tern nesting populations this summer, and it was a great way to see some of the refuge that is normally hidden. Seeing the terns was a memorable experience. Just one or two days a year is a great way to pay back the staff for all the birding that we enjoy there. Lastly, buy a duck stamp. The visitor center at Montezuma NWR has them. They are used to acquire further critical wildlife habitat. I have my 2014 duck stamp and I keep a favorite one – A Wood duck-- on my photo pack to show my support for the refuge system. Wouldn’t it be great if all birders did the same? With these four actions, we can move from helpful ideas to an even more enriching refuge. I hope you will join me. Paul Schmitt -- Cayugabirds-L List Info: http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsWELCOME http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsRULES http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsSubscribeConfigurationLeave.htm ARCHIVES: 1) http://email@example.com/maillist.html 2) http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/Cayugabirds 3) http://birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/CAYU.html Please submit your observations to eBird: http://ebird.org/content/ebird/ --