Speaking With One Voice to Protect Ohio's Birds
There is a rich tradition of ornithological societies around the world. Ohio itself has a venerable history of local organizations devoted at least in part to to birds: the Cincinnati Bird Club, the Kirtland Bird Club, Columbus' Wheaton Club, the Toledo Naturalists' Association, and others, including many active local Audubon chapters. But what Ohio lacked, until 2004, was a wider-reaching, statewide organization—one that would will bring local groups together, muster many important resources, provide a larger perspective, seek wide appeal amongst many constituencies, and represent the cause of bird protection for all. It was this general set of goals that was the genesis of The Ohio Ornithological Society, which was founded by a dedicated group of Ohio birders in the winter of 2004. The OOS is a 501 c.3 organization chartered in Ohio.
Three dozen other states benefit from state-level ornithological societies. Until now, Ohio has been the largest state without one. Like other societies in other states, the OOS aims to:
- organize and promote fellowship among enthusiasts in the study and enjoyment of wild birds
- recruit new members among young and beginning birders
- encourage new and established local affiliated organizations devoted to wild birds
- bridge gaps between professionals and amateurs, private and public agencies, and between lovers of birds and those who are, for the moment at least, indifferent to them.
- promote ethical interactions with birds. OOS has adopted the American Birding Association (ABA) Principles of Birding Ethics. The preamble to this Code states, “Everyone who enjoys birds and birding must always respect wildlife, its environment, and the rights of others. In any conflict of interest between birds and birders, the welfare of the birds and their environment comes first.” The Code lists commonsense guidelines which allow maximum birding with minimum negative impact on the birds and other birders. The full document is available at ABA: Code of Ethics. OOS event guides will adhere to the Code and we urge our members, indeed all birders, to do so as well.
Our society, composed of backyard bird watchers, researchers in the field, and certifiable "bird-heads," meets across the state to watch birds, to share our sightings and insights, and to advance our collective knowledge about Ohio's birdlife. (Read more about what we do.) By uniting as a Society, the OOS will all speak with one voice to protect Ohio's birds and bird habitats.