Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Midwest Birding Symposium 2011

Bald Eagle... I took this picture of a captive eagle that was injured to the extent it will never be returned to the wild. I love how the picture turned out! What a great symbol of our nation!

Lake Erie... the gorgeous shoreline across from Magee Marsh.

Its been a while since I have posted anything here as I have simply not spent much time birding this year. In fact, I haven't had much time to do anything outside of keeping up with the requirements of life. Although I do believe birding to be a requirement in life, the others such as work, family, school, and bills always tend to trump the birds. But, all of the hard work has paid off and finally, I was able to get some time to bird and spend some time with others who enjoy birding as much as I do.

This past weekend I was able to attend the Midwest Birding Symposium - an event sponsored primarily by Birdwatcher Digest. The event is a place for birders across the nation to come together and attend workshops, talks, etc. all to feed our love of birding and to raise money for bird conservation. In addition to a ton of great information, the symposium is loaded with vendors that cater to birders. From birding trips and spotting scopes to t-shirts and field guides, you can buy almost anything you can think of as it related to birding.

Great Egrets... what would a marsh be without egrets? This picture was taken at Ottawa NWR.

The Birders of the IAS... doing what we do!

A major incentive to the event is having a chance to see the famous people in the world of birding. Authors, speakers, field trip leaders, etc. are always present mingling among the crowd sharing their stories and knowledge freely and leaving all of us bird people star struck to have shared their presence. Kenn and Kim Kaufman are the best examples of this. Kenn is one of the most well known birders in world and is the author of an entire series of popular field guides along with other great works of writing. Kim and Kenn both have many regular writing gigs that now also include Birds and Blooms. They are always present and always willing to share their stories! Other great speakers and guests included: Bridget Stutchbury (speaker, author and overall advocate for birds), Al Batt (very funny nature comedian), Julie Zickefoose (author, artist, and nature lover), and Wyatt Miller and Sarah Winnicki (future conservation leaders and members of the Ohio Young Birders Club. In one way or another, all of these presenters fight to conserve the birds we love each and every day!

Speaking of the birds we love, if you haven't been birding to Magee Marsh or Ottawa NWR on the shoreline of Lake Erie, you are missing one of the best birding destination in the Eastern United States. Although fall doesn't remotely compare to spring, the birding is without question, simply phenomenal. Warblers, swans, egrets, and ducks along with a backdrop of pristine wetlands and an ocean-like shoreline - it's hard to beat. Am I painting a picture here?

Trumpeter Swan... we saw a number of while birding Ottawa. We also saw some Mute Swans. Both - very gorgeous!

Me posing with the SUPERSTARS of the birding world - Kenn and Kim Kaufman. Yeap, I was cheesin'!

The fine folks of IAS... tired after a long weekend but always happy for family time!

Just like any event, this one too had to come to a close. I was sad to leave but very happy to have attended not only for the birding or great events but mostly because I was able to spend time with the great people and friends of the Indiana Audubon Society, Inc. They are a small group in an overall small birding circuit where I can always talk about the the things that make me nerdy without the fear of ever feeling like a nerd.

I'm ready to go back in 2013!

Indiana State Bird

Indiana State Bird
Northern Cardinal