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February 2022

Vol.50, No. 1

Bird Observer Turns 50: Reflections of the Editors

Bird Observer of Eastern Massachusetts: Not Present at the Creation, But …

Paul M. Roberts, Editor 1978–1981

The origins of Bird Observer in a broad sense might be traced back to World War II. That conflict generated widespread, often unforeseen fundamental changes in society and behavior. Prior to the war, most birdwatching appeared to be done locally, in hometowns and environs, in one’s own patch. After the war, the dramatic increases in automobile and fuel production and reductions in relative costs facilitated an explosive increase in personal mobility via the family automobile. Originally, bird clubs had scheduled railroad trips to Newburyport with long walks to Plum Island. Gradually those were replaced by auto caravans, with the numbers of birdwatchers and birdwatching trips growing exponentially.

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