The lore associated with all things “birds” has long fascinated bird-watching enthusiasts and naturalists. Such lore includes all the references to birds in art, literature, myth and popular culture, as well as the details of community informal knowledge that different cultural traditions have built over time about bird behavior and symbolism. The hummingbird, for instance, is a classic symbol of love and good omen in our Sonoran desert region. Bird lore also includes superstitions about some species of birds; the meaning of specific bird calls, songs, and bird behavior; and of course, rituals associated with bird-keeping and bird watching (sometimes, even birds as food for humans). The names of birds and bird-related figures of speech and proverbs are all among the rich passed-on knowledge about birds that people share with each other- thus, we refer to such data as “lore” of the “folk.”
TMY is partnering with the Tucson Audubon Society to launch a series of articles in their magazine and community activities in 2013 about the importance and unique “lore” of birds in our region. Did you know that the now named Audubon magazine was originally founded in 1899 under the name “Bird-Lore”?
Tucson Audubon Society Executive Director Paul Green had this to say about the partnership with TMY:
“Tucson Audubon has been promoting the protection and stewardship of southern Arizona’s birds since 1949, and has been inspired by the outreach work of Tucson Meet Yourself. So we are asking Tucsonans to meet their birds! In a series of articles in the organization’s newsletter we will be introducing those new to birds to the great diversity of species that live all around us in our city at different times of year. Tucson Audubon provides more than 150 free birdwatching trips in our region every year and this year will be partnering more closely with Tucson Meet Yourself to introduce us all to our common local birds.”
Stay tuned as TMY announces a series of programs in 2013 that will highlight significant partnerships with like-minded organizations and other partners throughout the year. If you have an idea for a particular project or organization whose work may benefit from a closer focus and knowledge of folkways/folklife/or folk-lore, write to Program Director Maribel Alvarez to discuss your interest: firstname.lastname@example.org.