The earth is really putting forth the vibes of spring right now. It's great to walk out early in the morning, and hear a symphony of American Robins, Mourning Doves, Northern Cardinals, and Song Sparrows in full song. The longer days are stimulating these early birds to fire up the old vocal tracks, and begin the melodies of spring. From here on out, it'll be an ever-increasing cascade of birds and song, peaking in May, when both migrant and resident birds are at their peak in Ohio.
Bill's talk is titled No Child Left Inside, about his efforts to encourage youth participation in birding and outdoor pursuits. As anyone who has heard Bill speaks knows, this'll be a great program.
We are very excited to have Dudley Edmondson as our Saturday evening keynote speaker, all the way from Duluth, Minnesota. It'll be like a homecoming for Dudley, as he used to live in Columbus, Ohio. Dudley is an outstanding wildlife photographer who travels the country far and wide in search of subjects for his lens. His talk will focus on a recent visit to the tundra around Nome, Alaska, where the birds are nothing short of outrageous during the Arctic summer.
Dudley is also very active in encouraging minority particpation in outdoor activities like birding, and like Bill, puts his thoughts into action. The Black & Brown Faces in America's Wild Places is the culmination of four years of travel and interviews with African American people around the country, who are actively involved in outdoor pursuits. In Dudley's own words: "The combined subjects of the outdoors and people of color is rare but I am very passionate about both so I found it necessary to write and photograph this book in the hopes of making nature a topic of dicussion among African Americans".
If only there were more voices like Bill and Dudley, I think bird conservation would be much further along, and birding would be far more popular than it is. I hope you can make our conference, and hear and meet Bill, Dudley, and Dana. For all of the info and registration material, click right here.