ernard King was an exceptional birdwatcher. Unbounding enthusiasm, great kindness to others and an intense desire to commit his observations to paper were the hallmarks of this amateur ornithologist. Many young birdwatchers, some of whom have gone on to put their interest to professional advantage, had him to thank for settling them in an engrossing hobby.Bernard was born on 9th August 1907, in Bristol, of Cornish parents, a n d those two areas were eventually to d o m i n a t e his life and his birdwatching. He attended Bristol G r a m m a r School and Kent College, Canterbury, before taking an Honours Diploma in ceramics at Stoke-onTrent. He took u p birdwatching late by today’s standards, in 1937, when in his thirtieth year. By the time war came, he was totally absorbed by the new hobby, and he continued to make observations during this difficult period, when conditions permitted. Indeed, his first contribution to British Birds was during the war, and the idea was suggested by H. F. Witherby when Bernard (kitted out in his Army private’s uniform) called on him at his house. Bernard was always keen to acknowledge Harry Witherby’s help with this note (‘Unusual migrants in Surrey’, Brit. Birds 36: 76) and many subsequent ones. Another early mentor of Bernard’s was Humphrey Tetley of the Bristol City Museum.All activity was interrupted, however, by active service overseas, first in Africa attached to the Royal West Africa Frontier Force and then in Norway
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British Birds – how it works
BB 2000 Ltd, the company that owns and publishes British Birds, is run by a board of directors, all of whom are volunteers. The company employs two full time staff – Roger Riddington is the journal’s editor while Hazel Jenner manages subscriptions and administration – and three part-time design/editorial staff.
The company is wholly owned by The British Birds Charitable Trust (BBCT, registered charity no. 1089422). Neither the company directors nor the trustees are paid for their services, providing their time and enthusiasm because they passionately believe in the value of BB. The Company is managed with a view to making a small profit which can be donated to the Trust to help fund its charitable work.
Over the past six years, this, combined with donations from other sources, has enabled the Trust to give almost £40,000 support to a variety of conservation and educational projects ranging from rat eradication on seabird islands to the study of cuckoo migration, as well as assisting young birders develop their interest.
A full list of projects is given here. The Trust is seeking to expand its charitable endeavours and would welcome donations from like-minded organisations and individuals.