After 21 years and tens of thousands of visitors, the Alaska Bird Observatory in Fairbanks is set to close its doors permanently. A press release from the non-profit organization cites ongoing financial difficulties from the past few years as the reason for the closure.
Many bird rescue organizations, wildlife centers and nature preserves operate largely on grants and donations, and those revenue sources do not always meet the needs of the facility's programs, property upkeep and other expenses. Birders can help fulfill wish lists for different organizations to defray costs, and joining birding organizations with a conservation focus can also help support local facilities. A donation of any size is always welcome, so when you're planning your gift lists in the next few weeks, don't forget to give a gift to your favorite birding facility!
Willow Ptarmigan, State Bird of Alaska
Photo © Don Henise