The Ohio Ornithological Society's annual conference approaches: October 8 - 10, in Eastlake, Ohio, hard on the shores of Lake Erie. If you are a newer birder, or don't know us well, don't be put off by the O word. Ornithological is synonymous with birding and fun to us, and we have a great time at these affairs. In fact, we want and encourage ALL levels of skills and knowledge to become involved with us.
A fabulous slate of speakers will wow the crowd: Larry Rosche with an overview of the birdlife of northeast Ohio, one of the richest spots for avifauna in the Great Lakes. John Pogacnik on sparrows, one of our most interesting yet underappreciated groups of songbirds. Andy Jones on migration and how birds make the fantastic journeys that they do. Harvey Webster on the dangers of illuminated skyscapers and other structures to migrant birds and what we can do about it.
Finally, Drew Wheelan, point-person for the American Birding Association for the Gulf BP oil gusher, provides the keynote. Drew was - and is - on the front lines and has possibly seen more of this tragedy firsthand than anyone else who has reported on the catastrophe. His program will be a provocative eye-opener. For an interesting read about Drew, visit Ted Eubank's BLOG.
OOS events always feature great field trips, which add tremendously to the logistical headaches for planners but is totally in keeping with our mission of getting people out to see great birds and learn about them. The triangular wedge above is legendary Dike 14, jutting into Lake Erie from the Cleveland shoreline. I took this photo last winter; it'll not be white and cold like this for our conference. Craig Caldwell and I are leading one of the conference field trips here, and we expect scads of sparrows and many other species.
I hope that you can make the conference, and if so, I'll look forward to seeing you there. The complete scoop and registration info is RIGHT HERE.