The James A. Kushlan Bird Conservation Program was established at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden to provide a unique opportunity in environmental education, citizen science and biodiversity restoration. Dr. James A. Kushlan is an expert on colonial waterbird biology and conservation. He is the founding member of the Waterbird Society and founder of Waterbird Conservation of the Americas, and he serves on numerous conservation-based institutional boards. Dr. Kushlan received his doctorate from the University of Miami, and has published numerous scientific articles, as well as co-authored many important books on waterbirds.
Dr. Kushlan, a long time member of Fairchild, always knew that he wanted to make a lasting gift to Fairchild. He saw Fairchild not only as a world-renowned botanic garden, but also as a respected bird sanctuary. Dr. Kushlan said that he wanted to support a local leader who has had demonstrated success in educating the public on crucial contemporary conservation topics. Dr. Kushlan also was impressed with Fairchild’s past work and leadership in creating synergistic partnerships with other local conservation institutions.
The James A. Kushlan Bird Conservation Program is composed of numerous bird conservation related activities. You will find a brochure that outlines all elements of the Dr. James A. Kushlan Bird Walk at the Visitor Center and information booths. A bird checklist, highlighting some of the birds visitors may encounter at Fairchild is also included with the brochure. Throughout the James A. Kushlan Bird Walk, interpretation and birding hotspots educate visitors from the birding novice to experts alike. Monthly bird tours will be offered allowing visitors to explore the James A. Kushlan Bird Walk and birding hotspots before the garden is open to the public and when birds are more active. While exploring the James A. Kushlan Bird Walk, visitors may choose to take a rest on one of the many tribute benches honoring important ornithologists and conservationists. Bird boxes and feeders will be placed in strategic locations throughout the garden and James A. Kushlan Bird Walk and will help attract more birds to Fairchild. Plans are also underway for waterbird habitat enhancements. In a similar style to Fairchild’s successful Butterfly Days festival, Fairchild holds a Bird Day Festival each year to celebrate birds and their conservation. During this festival, visitors have a chance to join guided tours, children’s activities and attend bird conservation lectures. Conservation-based lectures by well-known and respected conservationists are also be provided during the James A. Kushlan Keynote Lecture Series.
As you can see, the James A. Kushlan Bird Conservation Program is tremendously rich in programs and resources and will add even more importance to Fairchild’s leading conservation work.
Please join us in thanking and congratulating Dr. Kushlan for his generosity and vision for bird conservation in South Florida and beyond for years to come!