Kicking off the Biggest Week in American Birding (Friday May 3rd) the Ohio Birdfreaks along with new birder and Ohio Young Birders Club member Jamie attended the opening gathering at the Maumee Bay Conference Center. After introducing some of the key people that make the event so great (including the super hardworking staff at the Black Swamp Bird Observatory) everyone was off to mingle and talk.
We decided to walk the boardwalk just next to the Nature Center in Maumee Bay State Park. Jamie found life birds galore – a stunning view of a Blackburnian Warbler, Palm Warblers, Yellow-rumped Warblers and a very large number of Yellow Warblers. A Swainson’s Thrush, some White-throated and White-crowned Sparrows added to the excitement. We also found an Eastern Screech-Owl hanging out near a nest box (word is that the Mrs. was inside the box).
At 7:30 we headed upstairs in the lodge to see none other than our good friend and awesome Ohio Young Birder Kristina “Catbird” Polk. Kristina writes a blog we enjoy called wild@heart. And did we mention that she is amazing?
(Kristina is the one with the cool hat)
The basics about Kristina:
Kristina Polk is a 17 year old birder from North Ridgeville Ohio, whose passion for birds began as an interest in wildlife photography. She is a long time vegan and is compassionate towards all life, including the birds she’s gotten to know through birding. She also enjoys art in all forms, including sketching and writing, and uses these hobbies to channel her love of wildlife. Additionally, Kristina volunteers in spring and autumn at Black Swamp Bird Observatory’s bird banding station. She is attending the University of Wyoming next fall to pursue an education in wildlife biology. – Biggest Week Bios
What else we know about her? Well…she is a great writer (Here is a link to an example from The Eyrie – ABA’s young birder blog – Worlds Away)
She is compassionate about all animals, a great speaker and an inspiration to all future conservationists. The best thing about her is that she makes others feel what she feels – love for nature. And of course we love her because she LOVES catbirds.
The talk was great and we are always happy to hear one of her talks. All-in-all a great start to our Biggest Week activities!