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“In January 2002 an unprecedented major media event unfolded in a Louisiana swamp. A team of top ornithologists set out to find the ivory-billed woodpecker, a bird last seen in the United States in 1943 and, until a recent credible citing by a turkey hunter, considered extinct in the U.S. The expedition, funded by a corporate sponsor, received worldwide media attention including coverage by the New York Times, USA Today, and National Public Radio. This high-profile search for the ivory-billed woodpecker is just one indicator of the growing popularization of birds and birding. Other evidence abounds. A field guide, Sibley’s Guide to Birds, became a New York Times bestseller. And a quick search of the internet yields numerous birding sites, some of which list hundreds of birding festivals held around the country each year.” To continue reading the Economics of Birding, UPDATED IN 2016 please click here.

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