I'm considering joining the American Birding Association, but there are a couple of things holding me back.
1. Price: while $45 a year doesn't seem like much, I'm already shelling out big bucks for my professional memberships as well, not to mention my dues to Audubon and the Ohio Ornithological Society.
2. The ABA area - For some reason, the ABA doesn't include any Mexican territory within its area, but does include Canada. The Birdfreak blog post for may 22, 2007 addressed this better than I could, so I'll link to it: http://birdfreak.com/should-mexico-be-part-of-the-aba/#comment-2260
However, one issue that Birdfreak didn't raise that seems glaring to me is that the ABA includes Canada. Why exclude one country but not another? To be frank, in today's political climate, it has a subtle reek of racism. I'm sure (or at least I hope) that's not the case, but still, the benefits to including Mexico seem self-evident, and I don't see any reason to not include it that wouldn't also apply to removing Canada from the ABA area. Unless the ABA just wants to serve the needs of big listers, which seems pretty lame to me, but if that's the case, then they SHOULD remove Canada from the region and make the area only the land and territorial waters of the 49 continental states.
Anyway, I'm mulling it over.