By Guest Blogger Allison Cheng
variety of music, from classical music to Elvis Presley and Disney medleys, by myself, with friends, or in a quartet. Through my music, I have met families, small children, and listeners of all ages, including fellow birders. This has been a very rewarding experience and I’m so grateful to be able to share my love for music and birds with the rest of the world.
I began to learn about birds by competing on my school Science Olympiad team, in which I studied ornithology. In my preparation for ornithology tests, I learned not only about weird bird behavior and their unique adaptations but also about threats to birds and bird conservation. Habitat loss and invasive species, I’ve learned, remain some of the biggest threats to birds today. Unfortunately, as a high schooler, my options to help save bird populations seem limited—I can’t write laws regarding climate change or easily acquire environmental conservation jobs. I can, however, fundraise and donate, so that’s exactly what I’ve been doing.
Although I only started birding about a year ago, this past year has been the most exciting year of my life. Since picking up birding, I have begun to be completely enraptured by birds, wildlife photography, and ecology. Conservation has been important to me ever since I was a young child and learned about endangered sea otters at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. From fundraising for otter conservation by selling origami in elementary school, selling chocolate chip cookies for Australian wildfire relief in middle school, and now raising money for birds in high school, I’ve found that this is a great way to combine two of my passions—music and wildlife—to do good. I hope to continue “Busking for Birds” and kickstart a more tasty conservation venture: “Baking for Birds.” And who knows? Maybe I can inspire someone else to begin their own adventures.
To join Allison in supporting bird conservation, please make a donation to our 2022 Spring Appeal, or hold your own busking activity for birds!
Allison Cheng is a high school student, musician, wildlife photographer, science olypiad competitor, and birder who raises money for environmental causes, incuding SFBBO. In the photo above she is busking as a violin-viola duo on Castro Street in Mountain View with her friend and fellow SFBBO volunteer Valerie Wong.
Wingbeat is a blog where you can find the most recent stories about our science and outreach work. We'll also share guest posts from volunteers, donors, partners, and others in the avian science and conservation world. To be a guest writer, please fill out our Volunteer Application below.