25/09/2015
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American Birding Expo ready to open for business - and birds

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The largest birding event of its kind ever to be held in North America is getting ready to open its doors next week. American Birding Expo, taking place in Columbus, Ohio, from 2-4 October, expects to welcome thousands of birders from across the continent, and with exhibitors attending from 42 countries in six continents worldwide there will also be a significant international element.

Hosted by Bird Watcher's Digest in association with the American Birding Association and Grange Insurance Audubon Center, American Birding Expo will offer a wide range of activities and stands, with optics, cameras, books, tours and destinations, art, gifts and much more all available during the three days of the show.

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Just like the Birdfair on this side of the Atlantic, the expo also aims to be much more than be a retail showcase for companies, products and services in the birding sector. Bill Thompson III, editor of Bird Watcher's Digest, explained: "While this is a commercial event where birders can shop and browse among exhibitors, we're also raising money for three very important conservation projects." American Birding Expo wants to generate tens of thousands of dollars for conservation causes in the US and overseas, focusing on three initiatives in its first year:

  • Supporting BirdLife International's Preventing Extinctions programme as a Species Champion for the Hooded Grebe, which is now classified as Critically Endangered and restricted to south-west Patagonia.
  • Working with the American Birding Association to help Red Knot, the rufa subspecies of which has declined by 85 per cent due to overharvesting of Horseshoe Crab eggs, a key prey item. Three-quarters of funds raised for this cause during the event will be used to purchase and protect habitat in Delaware Bay, with matched funding from federal and state grants greatly increasing the value of donations.
  • Assisting Grange Insurance Audubon Center in its work as an oasis for birds and wildlife in a major population centre, connecting urban residents with nature and hosting tens of thousands of visitors annually.

American Birding Expo begins on Friday 2 October at 1 pm and is open all day on Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th, closing daily at 5 pm. Admission is free and the event is open to the public. For details of location, how to get there and much, visit the event website.


The Nearctic rufa subspecies of Red Knot has declined by 85 per cent, but is set to benefit from the American Birding Expo (Photo: American Birding Expo)


Found only in Patagonia, Hooded Grebe is declining rapidly and is classified as Critically Endangered Photo: American Birding Expo

Written by: Birdwatch