ABA Salutes Fanter Lane, Supports Patrick Sullivan Young Birder’s Fund
by Liz Deluna Gordon
Birding is about so many things beyond simply watching and enjoying birds. It’s also about inspiring the next generation of birders, passing on the legacy of birding and building an ethic of conservation and community. The American Birding Association’s Young Birder programs help not only produce highly skilled birders but also birders that are motivated to give back to their communities, something we got to enjoy firsthand when Washington’s Fanter Lane helped guide our ABA Olympic Peninsula Rally last Fall.
Fanter is a graduate of the ABA’s Young Birder programs, and exactly the sort of birder we hope to help mentor. He attended several of our summer camps and competed in the Young Birder of the Year contest. Throughout those experiences, he got to learn from some of North America’s most talented and respected birding professionals.
So maybe it shouldn’t have been a surprise that he WOWED the crowd at our Olympic Peninsula Rally. But even if it wasn’t exactly a surprise, it was still wonderfully gratifying. There was not enough good the participants could say about his skills as a birder and leader, and as a fine young gentleman.
Of course, Fanter’s achievements and accomplishments are his alone and something he has worked hard for. But it is thrilling to have been part of his path thus far and to imagine the good he will do in the future.
At each of our rallies, the ABA makes a donation to a local conservation cause. We were delighted to make a donation this time to the WOS Patrick Sullivan Young Birder’s Fund. The ancient African proverb “It takes a village to raise a child,” applies here. Fanter is a credit to his parents, his local bird club, to WOS, and the ABA. Together we have helped raise a fine steward of birds, birding, birders, and the environment. To me, as the first lady of the ABA, there is no greater reward and that is the magic that is birding!