The Birdfreak Team just arrived at the Midwest Birding Symposium (MBS) in Moline, Illinois (part of the Quad Cities). We aren’t paid to go to birding events (yet) and this is our first under the Birdfreak name. The main reason we wanted to go to this event was to meet and bird with Kenn Kaufman. Plus, the Quad Cities are relatively close by and this trip fit nicely into our work/school schedules.
History of the Midwest Birding Symposium
The event is held every other year, an oddity among birding festivals that are usually held annually. Also, after the MBS is held twice in one state it must move to a new one. In 2005 the MBS was held in Davenport, Iowa, part of the Quad Cities, yet they counted it as part of Illinois. So in 2009 it will move to a new state.
The first symposium began in 1989 and was held in the Chicago area suburbs of Illinois. Hal Cohen, Professor of Ornithology at the College of DuPage, brought up the idea for the symposium.
The symposiums since:
- southwestern Michigan 1993 and 1995
- northwestern Ohio 1997 and 1999
- Greenbay, Wisconsin 2001 and 2003
- Quad Cities, Illinois 2005 and 2007
Each year the MBS donates a portion of registration proceeds to an environmental/birding-related cause. This year’s donations will go to future management planning at the Milan Bottoms in Illinois. This area is a rich flood plain along the upper Mississippi River which harbors a large rookery and night roost for Wintering Bald Eagles. Although Great Blue Herons are the dominant species, the 3500 acre area provides habitat for two Illinois endangered species – The Black-crowned and Yellow-crowned Night Herons.
For more information visit the Quad City Audubon Society.