By David F. Rooney
There’s a new, birding-specific publication flying along the Internet, The Birding Wire.
“Late last year, birding enthusiasts approached us after one birding magazine announced they had published their final edition,” says Jim Shepherd, publisher of The Outdoor Wire Digital Network, which publishes the Birding Wire. “Unhappy readers told us, ‘We need a service for timely information that still has the ability to share tips, sightings and photographs with other birders.'”
In an introduction to the new publication he said he added the service to his network “since we aren’t concerned with the costs of printing supplies, postage or the myriad of costs faced by traditional media services.”
“Late last year, we decided birding definitely was worth considering,” Shepherd said. In fact, it’s one of the fastest-growing segments of the outdoors. But it lacks a reader-driven news service for timely news, helpful features and other information. Our format also allows us to provide that platform and allow birders to communicate through it.
“So here we are.”
Shepherd told The Current that The Birding Wire will “at this point… be a weekly service.”
“It may increase in frequency depending on the volume of information, reader input and advertiser support,” he said. “We use advertising and a corporate membership program to pay the bills.
“And speaking as the publisher — and editor of The Outdoor Wire — I’d certainly be interested in news from Canada. I don’t think I’d be speaking out of turn to say J.R. wouldn’t have a problem with that either. We want The Birding Wire to be a service that’s useful beyond the borders of the US — if the birds travel there (and English is spoken or read there) we want our service to be available. Having already heard from new readers in Mexico, Costa Rica and Canada, I’d say we’re on the way to making that happen.”
Edited by American journalist and photographer J.R. Absher, The Birding Wire’s first issue offers stories about a new Youth Birding Network launched by the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology and Ohio’s Black Swamp Bird Observatory, the struggle for survival by marbled murrelets in old growth forests in the Pacific Northwest, Christmas Bird Counts in Alaska, a live webcam focused on a bald eagle nest in Florida and more.
“Many of you will probably be familiar with his work in some of the country’s most-respected outdoor magazines,” Shepherd said in his introduction to The Birding Wire.
“JR’s also a solid photographer and we share a special fondness for hummingbirds. Our entire staff’s been in photography for decades. Some of that photography will be included from time-to-time, along with work from our pros. We’ve begun a friendly competition between editors to see who can come up with the most useful and instructive birding photos this spring.”