somewhere WIthin each s+a+e? Maybe even at the county level? By protect, I mean
protect from overuse and from our ten million ORV's as well as from more obvious
destruction; and by management, I mean maintain the various successional stages +o
accommoda+e all species. We are finding that unbroken woodlands of a+ least 250 to
1,000 acres are necessary to maintain breeding populations of many of the highly migratory birds such as warblers and vlreos. Narrow fringes of habitat are useful as
corridors, but cannot replace blocks of forest.
"The need for fossil fuels and for transmission lines, highways, sewer lines and so
forth will continue to take a toll of lands we once considered protected, so we must
not underestimate the future needs of the various species of birds and ofher wild
creatures we wish to perpetuate. Already some agencies and Individuals are searching for ways to provide more wildlife habitat through management of reclaimed strip
mines, and by suitable planting along power lines, even planting appropriate shrubs
under power poles in agricultural areas. Others are replacing nesting sites that .
had been lost to modern practices, such as by erecting supports for phoebe nests in
metal culverts, or monitoring bluebird boxes on golf courses or along Interstate
highways. Still others are engaged in arranging for scenic easements to increase
the effective size of small preserves.
'Unfortunately, there Is no such thing as maintaining the status quo. It is unproductive to wait until the brushfire has started and then attempt to extinguish it.
Rather, we should be setting our priorities now on a county-by-county and state-by-
state basis. We should map those areas most likely to be preservable, then initiate
an aggressive program to have them designated as high priority natural areas In perpetuity, with the provision that management to create or maintain all normal succes-
slonal stages be Included in the long-range plan.
"What will be the future of the birding hobby when all birds except those of artificial habitats are secluded in the relatively few choice remaining areas of natural
habitat? The hobby certainly is important. It Is the greatest key for opening the
door to an appreciation of our natural world. I predict that as opportunities become
more limited, more birding will be done In guided tours and less on an individual or
family basis. On the other hand, there will be more emphasis on bird study at home
or in fragments of parkland within walking distance. And don't underestimate the
opportunities for either recreational birding or research in limited areas of suitable habitat. Each year I find 125 to 150 or more species of birds on our three suburban acres, just 17 miles from the nation's Capitol.
^Regarding the future of ornithology, I can speak only for my own particular field,
which is research on bird populations. For the next few decades I expect this to be
an expanding field. In the past decade most states have hired a nongame specialist,
who has initially been assigned to work primarily on endangered species. Nongame
work in several Federal and State agencies has expanded In the past four or five
years, and probably will continue to do so with more nongame money becoming available. I should point out, however, that there Is a long waiting list; it Is not uncommon for us to have 50 to 75 applicants for a single position.
'"There Is definitely a trend toward more precision in da+a ga+herlng. 1+ Is becoming
more Important to detect trends in bird populations and to learn management techr-
nlques that will benefit certain species or reduce others. Use of radios to track
Individual birds will Increase, as will the use of portable radar to relate sight
observations of migrants to the populations they represent. Much greater use will
be made of satellite imagery in mapping or locaflng habitats. Superior optics will
aid both visual and photographic counting, and accuracy of census methods will be
tested by using an array of microphones to record simultaneously the positions of all
singing and calling birds In a study plot. Hawks migrating by day will be plotted
in four dimensions, and nocturnal migrants will be studied simultaneously by radar
and by telescope. Finally, vast stores of data collected over recent decades will
be put on magnetic tape and made available for sophisticated analysis by computer.
The best information from such quantitative sources as the Nest Record Card Program,
the Breeding Bird Survey, Breeding Bird Census, Christmas Bird Counts, Point Counts
(IPA)., banding studies, breeding bird atlas programs, and migration counts can then
be Integrated by means of computer analysis programs to give a dynamic picture of
chang.es in bird populations.
"Have no fear, modern technology will supplement, not replace the field observer.
Just ass Arthur Allen prepared our generation for promoting the conservation ethic,
the continuing work of the Laboratory of Ornithology is training amateurs and professionals alike for the important responsibility of protecting the living bird
through research and education in the critical years to come."