BCR 107: Paul Baicich

Paul J. Baicich has been an active birder since his early teens in New York City.  A former employee of the American Birding Association, he edited 14 of their “ABA Birdfinding Guides,” edited Birding, ABA’s bi-monthly magazine, and served as ABA’s Director of Conservation and Public Policy.

His concerns include an abiding interest in bird conservation and studies in the breeding biology of North American birds.  In this last regard, he co-authored (with the late Colin Harrison) A Guide to the Nests, Eggs, and Nestlings of North American Birds (1997). Paul also has co-led a number of birding tours and workshops to Alaska.  These Alaska destinations include the Aleutians, the Pribilofs, the Seward Peninsula, and St. Lawrence Island. He has also led tours to Cuba.

Among his many other activities, he has worked for the National Wildlife Refuge System on a consultant basis on issues of popular birding and parallel refuge receptiveness. In addition, Paul co-edits (with Wayne Petersen) the popular monthly Birding Community E-bulletin. Paul writes a regular column, “Quick Takes,” for Bird Watcher’s Digest, and he is an officer in the Friends of the Migratory Bird/Duck Stamp. In 2014, Paul received the Ducks Unlimited “Wetland Conservation Achievement Award” in the category of Communications.

Paul is also one of the co-authors (with Margaret Barker and Carrol Henderson) of a book on the historic development of backyard bird feeding, Feeding Wild Birds in America: Culture, Commerce, and Conservation (Texas A&M University Press, 2015). He recently finished work on another co-authored book The Crossley ID Guide: Waterfowl with lead author Richard Crossley and Jessie Barry (Crossley Books, 2017).

Show Notes:

We recently interviewed Richard Crossley about his new Guidebook, “The Crossley ID Guide Waterfowl” that has been recently published. You are listed as a co-author.

  • How did your get involved in the project?
  • What was your role?
  • Please give us a brief summary of those features that you contributed.
  • Why “Waterfowl”? This guide seems focused on a view of birds from the perspective of waterfowl hunters. Why is this shift in perspective different from other guides?
  • How does it compare with Richard’s other books?
  • Who might be attracted to this book? Do you see this as a potential bridge between birders and hunters? Please elaborate.
  • Ducks Unlimited Canada has the distribution rights for Canada. We know that DU is seen as a conservation organization, what have they done? Why are they so effective
  • One important focus of this guide in on the food needed by waterfowl, and that this emphasis on food rather than habitat is a more enlightened perspective. Please help clarify the issue of habitat verse food as conservation concept.
  • How does the book connect enjoyment with conservation?
  • There are elements (sections) in this work that are not typical of field guides such as wing cut outs, how to make a nest box, and guidance on saving waterfowl and wetlands. Why this emphasis?
  • Why do you think the book is important, why did you do it now?
  • What has the response been… at least so far?

Mentioned In Episode:

Crossley ID Guide Series Website

Book Review: Reactions To The Crossley ID Guide Eastern Birds. First book in this series.

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