A reoccurring theme from speakers at the Midwest Birding Symposium was the interaction of other natural wonders in addittion to birds. The insects birds eat, plants they use, habitats – it’s all interconnected.
Jim McCormac‘s talk, Birding Going Beyond Birds, was a wonderful example of how all of nature meshes together. The relationships with birds and other natural elements is very exciting and he did a good job of discussing that. One of the main benefits of an event like the Midwest Birding Symposium is that it brings all kinds of experts and bird brains together in one place to grow and learn.
Birders ultimately want to see the birds – but we realize how important it is to observe and study everything else around us as well. Before our young birders could find birds with their binoculars, they would occupy their time looking at insects and flowers.
Mainly though, I love bugs because they are bird food! One of our best bird/insect experiences was the 17-year Brood XIII Cicadas that came around in 2007. We counted 18 different species chowing down the hoards and swear there were many more Yellow-billed Cuckoos to be found the following year.
There may have been something wrong with a little mouse (below) that showed up right outside of Hoover Auditorium after the welcome talk. Or maybe he just thought no one would see him if he froze?
Walking around on the Ohio Young Birder field trip we saw that the birds were finding food, shelter and rest as they got ready to continue south.
Catalpa Tree that we think is a Southern Catalpa (Catalpa bignonioides)