If you read my posts here regularly, you have likely seen this one where I was astonished to find that Sports Illustrated had a birding issue featuring a gorgeous cover illustration with dozens of familiar species: http://ctaudubon.blogspot.com/2012/03/sports-illustrated-bird-what.html
The immense sports fan in me was blown away that birding, a beloved passion often dismissed as nothing more than a children's activity or something silly for nerdy people, had attained a status nearly on par with baseball, basketball, football, and so forth decades ago. In my mind, birding is only more popular now, especially since technology has allowed us all to communicate and share our sightings much more, to better learn about birds and their behaviors, and find friends and birding patches that much more easily. This is precisely the exposure that birds and birding should be getting on a regular basis in the mainstream media while emphasizing the importance of conservation and our environment for this and many other sports. Capturing the attention of those outside of the inner circle of nature lovers is of the utmost importance.
However, I was unsure of who the cover artist was - at least until recently thanks to our friend Twan Leenders, who has moved on from Connecticut Audubon Society to become the President of the Roger Tory Peterson Institute in Jamestown, New York. Twan and his staff are opening two new big exhibits at their center today, including one by a man named Arthur Singer.
Look at that, absolutely amazing! Thanks to Twan for putting up that photo on the RTPI Facebook page here and for answering that question for us. I reiterate that we should convince Sports Illustrated to make another edition with a bird cover today. The reaction and subsequent discussion of the decision to put birding on the cover would be sensational.
Photo © Twan Leenders and not to be reproduced without explicit permission