In the weeks to come we plan on talking about various things we learned at this year’s Midwest Birding Symposium in Moline, Illinois. This is a final summary of what we took away from this wonderful event.
If we had to name one favorite moment of the MBS it would have to have been standing side-by-side to Kenn Kaufman, calling out warblers as they danced in the tree tops. But we also met many wonderful people, heard numerous wonderful talks, and saw some amazing birds.
Dakota, as expected, had the most life birds of the trip, estimated at over 20 new birds. Birdfreak and Veery each saw three new birds: American Golden Plover, Franklin’s Gull, and Eurasian Tree Sparrow for Birdfreak and Caspian Tern, the plover and gull for Veery. We both had our first really great looks at a Black-billed Cuckoo too!
Conservation and Birding Talks
We attended six workshops at the MBS and each was enjoyable. It was hard to stay awake in a couple, but that was due to the extreme early mornings and nearly non-stop activities. Here’s what talks we heard:
- Paul Baicich: Three Roads, One Direction: Birders, Bird Conservation, and National Wildlife Refuges
- Kenn Kaufman: Principles and Pitfalls of Bird Identification
- Kim Risen: The Undiscovered Midwest
- Jim Herkert: Grassland Birds in the Upper Midwest
- Doug Harr: Bird Conservation in Iowa – Trying to Prevent a Silent Spring
- Mississippi River Forest Habitat – Always Changing
As you’d expect, many of these talks revolved around the Midwest and conservation, two areas of focus for our blog.
Other Points of Interest
Al Batt, a humorist-birder introduced Kenn Kaufman for the Saturday night dinner talk. He was funny but something he said really surprised the Birdfreak Team. He pointed out in the crowd to Dakota and said (and we paraphrase here) that Kenn started birding at a young age and Dakota, at age 10, is going to be the next Kenn Kaufman!! Now, nobody knows what the future holds, but we were thrilled to hear someone say this and you just never know!
The next Midwest Birding Symposium will be held in 2009 somewhere in Ohio and we are planning on being there!!