Last Saturday marked the 7th annual Amish Bird Symposium, held in Adams County, one of Ohio's most special places. And what is an "Amish Bird", anyway? Well, there is a sizable Amish community in the area where the conference is held, and that led to the name.
I've been to all but one of these, and can vouch for what a great event it is. This year, we broke in the brand new community center, filling it with some 300 bird enthusiasts. The organizers - The Nature Conservancy, Cincinnati Museum, Roman Mast, and Tom Cross of the county visitor's bureau - do a wonderful job. The main focus is speakers, and there's always a good lineup.
Ed Schlabach led off with a great talk about rare birds, especially in his native Holmes County, which is becoming the rarity capital of Ohio. Thane Maynard of the Cincinnati Zoo gave a nice talk about formerly rare birds on the road to recovery, and legendary photographer Ron Austing shared many of his incredible bird images. Closing us out was Chuck Jakubchak, who gave an informative program on bird nests.
Be sure and put this event on your calendar for next year. You won't be disappointed.
I stayed overnight, and the next day some of us went on a much more adventurous field trip. We found some really interesting stuff, and I'll be posting about those discoveries soon.