At the business meeting of 1 November 2003, the Federation of New
York State Bird Clubs, Inc. voted to change its name to the New
York State Ornithological Association, Inc. The new
name will become official as soon as a few legal requirements get taken
Discussion of the name change began at a Board of Directors
meeting in February 2002. The Board considered the idea, agreed
in principle, and proposed a number
of possible names. A presentation on the possible change was made at the
general business meeting in September 2002, and comments, as well as potential
names were solicited at that time. After considering a number of options,
and rejecting the first proposed name, the board passed a motion to change the
at the April 2003 Board meeting. The issue was brought to a vote at the
meeting of the members in November.
Several reasons were responsible for this move. First
and foremost was the feeling that the original name did not adequately
organization. It did not
indicate that this was the main ornithological organization for the state, responsible
for maintaining the Checklist Of The Birds Of New York State and for publishing
The Kingbird, the state bird journal. While serious consideration
using the word “birding” in the new name, it was decided the “ornithology” or “ornithological” would
be more reflective of what the organization does, that is, that it gathers, organizes,
and records ornithological data from birders.
In addition to the fact that our name was not really descriptive,
it did not signify to many people that individual memberships were available,
or in fact
that they were necessary for the operation of the organization. Many people
believed that because their local club was a member, there would be no benefit
as individuals. Many did not even know they could be individual members.
Although the organization was created to be a federation of
bird clubs, it quickly became apparent that it could survive only with
the member clubs provide only 1/10 as much revenue as do individual members.
Individual members are essential to our activities, especially the publication
of the journal. It was believed by the Board that the name hindered the
promotion of individual memberships, disguising the fact that individuals could
The term “ornithological” means, “relating
to birds.” Thus
it embodies the one common passion that unites us. We appreciate the support
and participation of every member and promise, as the New
York State Ornithological
Association, to continue all our efforts to meet the objectives that
many years ago.