For the Birds

Please support production of "For the Birds"

What you get for a $100 donation
What you will NOT get for a $100 donation

Where your money will go
Why I'm doing this

Black-capped Chickadee fledgling
Photograph of begging chickadee. How appropriate!  

What you will get for a $100 donation to "For the Birds":

  • The knowledge that you're supporting production of the oldest program about birds in America.

  • Your name or your company will be mentioned at the end of the program immediately before my closing. I can maybe add a very brief phrase or sentence to that, within reason and as long as it's not at all commercial or promoting any product, politician, etc.

  • You will be the only supporter named for that program.

  • This credit will be heard when "For the Birds" airs on the radio. (Most stations that carry "For the Birds" don't air it daily, and may not play a particular program.) If your program is rebroadcast at any time in the murky future, the credit will remain.

  • This credit will also be heard by people who download the free .mp3 file from or download the free podcast episode via iTunes.

  • A transcript of the program, with photos of the subject when possible, will appear on my blog ( with the credit line, linked as you wish.

  • Ninety percent of your contribution will keep me afloat financially, and 10 percent will go to Lang Elliott, who for two decades has given me permission to use his amazing natural sound recordings just because he's a nice guy who knew I was doing "For the Birds" entirely for free.

  • Evening Grosbeak

What you will NOT get for your $100:

  • You won't get a tax write-off for a charitable contribution, because I am not a non-profit organization. You may or may not be able to deduct this as a business expense if your underwriting is promoting your company—I don't know how that works, but my guess is that since I'm just a person, not a company or non-profit organization, you won't be able to.

  • You will never get a solicitation from me for additional contributions, and I certainly won't be sending any of your contact information to anyone else.

  • I will not promote or review books or other products or in any other way suggest any commercial tie-ins in any underwritten program.

    "Jenna" the Peregrine Falcon mother

My limitations:

  • I reserve the right, based on my best understanding, to reject underwriting requests from companies or individuals providing services or products unhealthy for birds.

  • I'll do my darndest to put together a good program. Choosing dates is on a first come, first served basis.

Common Loon 


  • If you want to underwrite a program, email me with the subject line "For the Birds donation" at I'll put together a script and email it to you with my address, and you can send a check for $100 via snail mail. If a program airs and the check doesn't arrive—well, in my whole adult life, no one has ever cheated me. It's a matter of honor.

  • Black-capped Chickadee about to feed babies

Where your money will go:

  • For every $100 contribution I receive, I will send $10 to Lang Elliott for the use of his bird recordings. The rest of the money will go to me. I will spend it on computer software, camera equipment, recording equipment, my website server costs, my internet connection, groceries, bird seed, optics, my retirement fund, frozen mice for know—the kind of stuff everyone spends their income on. Oh, and taxes, of course. I'm self-employed, so I have to pay the employer's as well as employee's share of FICA as well as regular income tax, but taxes are the price of living in a civilized society.


Why the heck I'm doing this:

  • Now that I'm about to turn 60 and am taking a look at our family finances, I'm realizing that I really do need some regular and predictable income if I'm going to be able to continue using my time for radio production rather than getting a job in retail.

    I've been producing "For the Birds" since May 12, 1986, as an unpaid volunteer except for one year in the late 1980s, when the Superior Radio Network received a grant and I was paid $300 a month to cover my expenses and some of my time. Since the program went digital in the 90s, I've been producing it at home. Sound recording equipment, computer hardware and software, web space, internet connection for uploading programs to my webpage and iTunes, books and journals, and photography equipment are paid for out of my own and my husband's pockets. Except for one unfortunate experience, I have never carried ads on my blog or webpage, and intend to keep it that way.

    Since the 1990s, Lang Elliott has been generously allowing me to use his bird recordings for the program for free. I'd love to finally be able to afford to give him at least something for his wonderful work.

If you can't afford to donate—$100 is a lot of money!—boy do I understand!

If you are willing and can afford to underwrite a program, I'll be deeply grateful.

Laura Erickson