Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Biggest Week in American Birding!

Once again, for my 5th year in a row, I will be blogging and leading field trips at The Biggest Week in American Birding! The biggest birding festival in the country! Based at Maumee Bay State Park just east of Toledo, OH, this is THE festival for seeing spring migrants, especially warblers!  

Most of my blogging will be live updates during the festival, but I'm posting this to get you set for that.

If you haven't attended this fantastic festival yet, I highly recommend that you come on down and see what we're about!  The Boardwalk at Magee Marsh is fantastic for viewing migrating warblers on their last stopover before they cross Lake Erie. Not just that, but all the places the field trips visit are amazing in their own right!

Now, most of the trips have filled up already, but there are still some that have space available! I've annotated some of them with some background on just why you should sign up for them.
Here they are:

May 8
Van #10 Catawba/Marblehead Birding Hotspots (an excellent field trip that is not to be missed!) 
12:30 pm workshop: Owls of the North Woods, by Erik Bruhnke (Self-explanatory. Owls are just awesome and this presentation is given by my good friend and fellow guide, so you have to go see it. Seriously, it's worth the mid-day break in birding. :D )
7 pm - R Bruce concert (This will be a fantastic concert and a must-see event!

May 9

12:30 pm – My Junior Big Year, by Gabriel Mapel ("In 2011, 11 year-old Gabriel Mapel from Virginia embarked on birding's first ever "Junior Big Year".  His quest was to enjoy a child's version of a "Big Year", with a goal in this case of seeing at least 400 species of birds within the United and Canada in a single calendar year.  His travels took him to Florida, Texas, Alaska, Arizona, Ontario, and to right here at the Biggest Week.  Along the way he encountered many amazing birds including the Brown Shrike, Gyrfalcon, Horned Puffin and Black-vented Oriole.  The question is--did he reach his goal of 400 species?  Come and find out as Gabriel, who is now 16, takes us on a journey through some of the most memorable moments of his Junior Big Year adventure.  His informative talk mixes a sense of humor with the sheer delight and wonder of a pre-teen discovering the world of birding in the adventure of a lifetime.")

2:00 pm – History and Projects of the American Bird Conservancy

May 12
2pm – Birds to Words: Nature Writing to Inspire, Inform and Conserve (Drew Lanham) (Dr. Drew Lanham is one of the most eloquent speakers I've ever had the pleasure of listening to. This is not a program to miss!) 

May 13
7 am – Composing Images of the Natural World (photography workshop, Steve Gettle)

May 15
12:30 pm – Bird Song Ear Training Techniques (Lisa Rainsong) (There are many ways to learn bird songs. Dr Lisa Rainsong teaches you some of the best and easiest ways to go about learning them)
2 pm – What We’ve Learned and What We Still Don’t Know About Birds (Chuck Hagner) (Editor of Birdwatching Magazine, Chuck Hagner is an excellent speaker and this presentation is one of his more interesting topics. There is still a lot we don't know about even common birds and Chuck will explore what it is that we don't know)
7 pm – Movie: From Billions to None (passenger pigeon) (If you haven't seen this yet, you HAVE to. It's a fantastic film and Dr Joel Greenberg is just a cool guy all around anyway. :D ) 

May 16
9 am – Poetry of Nature: Expressing a Love of Nature Through Creative Writing (Nicole Robinson) (Expressing your love of nature can be done through many media and means. Poetry is one of the finest ways to do so and Nicole Robinson is an expert at it. I highly recommend this presentation if you have the chance to attend!) 

If you want to register, visit:

And hey, even if you haven't registered for anything, come on down anyway! It's always tons of fun!
Hope to see you there!