Laura Erickson's For the Birds

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Thank you to all my supporters!

Baby Blue Jay begging

Thank you to everyone who is donating to support my blog and podcast, via Patreon or sending donations directly to me. On August 5, I received my second payment from Patreon, this time for over $230. 

What I’ve been spending the money on: 

A Zoom Pro account ($163.21 for a year—it would have been more expensive to pay month by month). I needed it to do programs longer than the free Zoom’s 45 minutes. 
A better headphone/microphone system to improve the sound quality of my presentations. 
 
What your contributions have allowed me to do:

It’s never been easy for me to reserve time and get to a local radio station for recording phone interviews. My Zoom Pro account allowed me to do two long interviews already:
o L. Drew Lanham’s reading, for the first time in public, his wonderful poem, “Life in Hand,” and explaining what inspired it. This poem will appear in the second edition of his book, Sparrow Envy, to be published this fall. 
o A nice, long interview with Donald Kroodsma, one of the world authorities on bird song, about his new book, Birdsong for the Curious Naturalist. I broke this interview into topical episodes. Four have already aired as podcast episodes, about Don’s sense of wonder, White-throated Sparrows, Sandhill Cranes, and Connecticut Warblers. Future podcasts/blog entries from this interview will include ones about starlings, Brown Thrashers, how important quiet is, and how Don records birds. 
 
What this monthly support will help me do in the future:

Produce more monthly Zoom programs. If I start getting any more than 100 participants, I'll need to pay Zoom $50 a month more.
Give me the time and resources to produce some live and recorded programs for kids. I’m especially interested in making sure kids with few resources get opportunities to learn about nature.
Before next spring, I want to buy a Swift recorder system from Cornell so I can record my backyard birds every day, rain or shine, programming it to start recording at whatever unearthly hour I choose, to keep more accurate tabs on exactly when each species starts and ends its early morning song bout in relation to dawn. (It will cost about $300). It requires an interface with a PC, and right now I use a Mac, so I’ll need to also buy a tablet or inexpensive laptop to run it. 
When this infernal pandemic is over, I hope to do at least a little more traveling, getting photos, sound recordings, and experience with more birds that need our understanding and help, for my own use in my work and for others who are working to advance the love, understanding, and protection of birds. 
 
Again, my deepest thanks for making all this possible. I'm especially grateful because your contributions are making my unpaid work feel valued. 

My monthly live Zoom presentations are my little thank you to everyone who supports me, from $1 a month up. You are welcome to forward the invitations each month to your own friends and family. It takes several hours to put the programs together, and so far they’ve cost more than the money I’ve taken in, but I didn't go into this to make a profit, and as long as I'm doing the programs anyway, it's nice to make sure everyone who wants to attend can. 

Thank you from the bottom of my heart!  

Baby Blue Jay begging

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