In the Fall issue of the magazine published by the conservation organization “Pheasants Forever” is an ad encouraging readers to buy a duck stamp. The magazine is subtitled “A Journal of Upland Conservation,” which it is. It promotes hunting, to be sure, but it’s understood that without habitat there will be no birds to hunt.

 

Duck hunters must buy a stamp; it’s the law. Pheasant hunters need not do so. Many of them buy the stamp anyway because they understand that stamp money is spent on habitat acquisition. This is habitat used by songbirds as well as game birds, many times more songbirds.

 

Which is why birders also should buy duck stamps. Duck hunters have carried the weight of this program for decades. Gradually, non-hunters are realizing that they too have a horse in this race. Habitat is habitat. It’s good for songbirds no matter the source of the money. There is no better conservation investment of $25 than for purchase of a stamp.

 

Stamps are available at post offices and some major sporting-goods stores.

 

Game-bird hunters generally are decreasing in numbers; age is thinning them out. Birders are increasing in numbers. We have a job to do.