If you’ve been following my I and the Bird introductions for any length of time, you know that I often use this space to extol the virtues of birders. In fact, that’s probably why you read it, right? And yet, as impressive, some might even say awe-inspiring, birders often are individually, they don’t always increase in incandescence proportional to their numbers. Why is it that a group of birders, particularly a large one, isn’t always equal to the sum of its parts?
Obviously there are abundant exceptions to this rule. At the same time, I warrant every person reading this can think of at least one time they ditched a large mob of birdwatchers in order to move faster/farther/funner (that last word is clearly not grammatically correct but accurate nonetheless!) Despite all the evident benefits of pooling talent, an assemblage of avian enthusiasts doesn’t always accomplish more than one or two could achieve. Blogging is a perfect example. We solo and small group nature bloggers rarely have to contend with competition from amateur birding organizations. Yet, when I think about how the birding brainpower, passion, and experience gathered under one roof at any given bird club chapter meeting, the potential content such group could produce in aggregate is incredible. If you’re not convinced, just look at the Bird Ecology Study Group.
The Bird Ecology Study Group has been an acting bird club extension of the Nature Society (Singapore) since September 2005. Since that time, they’ve produced the finest group birding blog on the planet, bar none. Much of that credit must go to Y C Wee, BESGroup Founder, Coordinator, and Administrator. He has forged a truly remarkable website from the raw material every bird club has in abundance yet takes for granted. Thanks to his commitment, the BESGroup blog has published the sightings, observations, photos, and comments of over 150 ornithologists, twitchers, and casual birders from Southeast Asia and beyond. And it’s all sensational! This week, Y C further establishes this site as the undisputed king of all bird club blogs on Earth by hosting a special Singapore symposium edition of I and the Bird #89.
Whether you blog about wild birds or birding with others or by yourself, you are not alone. I and the Bird brings together an international alliance of amazing nature writers and photographers, one that always has room for another of our ilk. And if you take advantage of this special opportunity, we’ll waive all dues and membership fees! Just submit a link to your best recent bird post to me or our next extraordinary host, the one and only Jeffery A. Gordon (jeffgyr AT mac DOT com) by December 8 for the last I and the Bird of 2008.