From Our Treasurer: Birding, Technology, and the Ways We Give

Like birders everywhere, members of Lane County Audubon Society are a varied lot, especially when it comes to technology use. The proliferation of technologies that make bird-watching easier, more rewarding, and more satisfying corresponds directly to the introduction of new technologies into every aspect of our lives. Depending on how quickly we accept and use these new advances, each of us fits into one of the standard categories for technology adoption—innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, or laggards.

Despite being surrounded by technology both at home and at work, I often feel like I fall into the laggard category. Take optical technology, or binoculars, for example. In an entertaining chapter called “Bins and Scopes” in Birders: Tales of a Tribe, Mark Cocker recounts his own personal history of owning binoculars and describes the extremes to which some birders go to make sure they are never without a pair in close proximity. Many birders, Cocker writes, “have the equivalent of an optical harem: pairs for the car, for work, a pair downstairs and maybe one in the bedroom, a little pocketable set for non-birding situations, and several others just in case.” I’m guilty of owning multiple pairs of bins, but technologically I’m still living in the past—none of mine have the state-of-the-art optics that early adopters make a point of owning.

Smartphones and the many handy apps that now exist for identifying birds in the field offer another example. Those of us who don’t yet own smartphones are left paging through our printed field guides or, if we’re a little more advanced, looking up our sightings after the fact using online tools such as Cornell Ornithology Lab’s All About Birds website (www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/search).

But regardless of the technologies we use or don’t use, all LCAS members are united in one way: our love of birds. We have in common the desire to learn more about them and to protect their habitats so that they can thrive. This has been the mission of LCAS since its inception, and each year at this time we ask for your help and support in achieving our goals through membership renewal and a tax-deductible donation.

The LCAS board recognizes that many of our members routinely use online systems to carry out their transactions. We have created a page on our website where you can renew your membership (or join LCAS) and make your payment online. The web page is at http://laneaudubon.org/support/join. For donations, a separate page is at http://laneaudubon.org/support/donate.

For those who wish to continue using the mail-in process, a pre-addressed envelope is included in this issue of The Quail for your convenience.

Whatever method you choose, your membership and donation will help us continue our work in raising awareness about birds and the value of preserving their habitat. We thank you in advance for your support.