Laura Erickson's For the Birds

Monday, September 28, 2009


Did you ever wonder how parents can possibly forget one of their children at an Interstate rest stop? That's how horrifyingly negligent I feel! I got my spanking new copy of The Bird Watching Answer Book, which is supposed to be "Everything You Need to Know to Enjoy Birds in Your Backyard and Beyond." I've been writing a lot about genuinely bird-friendly coffee lately, and how the Smithsonian's seal is the ONLY way, unless you yourself have checked out the coffee plantations where your coffee came from or absolutely trust your supplier, that you can be 100 percent certain that every one of your coffee beans was grown on an organic shade coffee plantation with enough structure to the canopy and understory plants to ensure that the plantation is supporting a good assortment of birds. This is an issue I care so much about that I made it the very first in my 101 Ways to Help Birds.

Anyway, I opened the index in my new book to refresh my memory about what I wrote about it, and OH NO!!! It isn't in there! I FORGOT to include one of the easiest ways we individuals can make a huge difference for birds!!! I have no idea how it got overlooked in this book, except that maybe my files about questions from people really don't include a question about shade-grown coffee. Oh, dear. Anyway, this instantly goes on my list of things to include in a second edition if it sells well enough to have a second edition.

But now my brain couldn't stop thinking OH MY GOSH--WHAT ELSE DID I FORGET????? And I instantly came to the other shockingly easy and inexpensive way that we should ALL be helping birds--by buying a Duck Stamp. Oh, my God. Paul Baicich will never forgive me. This was inexcusable. Again, I honestly thought I'd written about both things, and have no idea how they didn't make it into the book when they should have been the first two questions in the conservation chapter.

So--now I'm worried. What other beloved children of mine have I forgotten? If anyone notices any other egregious omissions, please let me know! I'll be keeping a running tab so the next edition can be more complete.