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From the editor

A lasting legacy


Eldon and me.

ABOUT 10 YEARS ago, I went to my first Biggest Week in American Birding festival in Ohio, where I had a booth to give away copies of the magazine and sign up new subscribers. Several groups of Amish birders attend Biggest Week each year, and that year was no different. At one point, a young Amish girl and her family came to the booth, and she looked closely at some of our past issues. I motioned for her to take whichever ones she wanted, and as she walked away with some new reading material, I got the feeling that she was quite grateful.

I thought of her recently after the passing of our founding publisher and editor, Eldon Greij. He was a teacher at heart, and by starting this magazine despite having no publishing experience, he took a leap of faith that the publication he envisioned would find an audience and teach people about birds. That girl probably has had different opportunities than most of us take for granted, and yet she shared an interest in birds that is quite universal.

Many things have changed in the 35 years since Eldon launched this magazine (including its name). But our commitment to sharing stories, news, and other information about birds, birding, and the birder’s world remains as strong as ever.

Near the end of the musical Hamilton, Alexander Hamilton sings: “Legacy. What is a legacy? It’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see.” Eldon wasn’t at the booth when the young girl collected a handful of magazines, but because he planted seeds, that moment happened, and so many more besides.

Rest in peace, old friend. And thanks for teaching us about those amazing birds.

Matt Mendenhall, editor

See the contents of our January/February issue


Originally Published

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