Monday, October 1, 2012

OOS Conference 2012

Birders and Lakeside- a match made in heaven.  The 2012 Annual Conference of OOS was held in Lakeside, Ohio this weekend and just one of the popular events was a breakfast with the birds.

Sunrise greets the birders at Lakeside, Ohio.  This fabulous breakfast was a joint effort of  Birding Ohio  Facebook group and OOS. It is good to mingle with fellow birders and share with friends.

Lukas Padegimas and Greg Miller- entertaining birders!
Lukas Padegimas  lead off the Friday evening program with a mind-blowing account of his summer surveying birds near the arctic. He is a young birder you'll want to watch, as he could be our next "Greg Miller!"  

Greg gave some fun commentary during the movie The Big Year. He has been a wonderful ambassador for the birding world and we are very proud he is one of Ohio Ornithological Society's founding board members.

Birding!  Of course, there was birding.  Saturday morning, birders thrilled to the opportunity to bird with Kenn and Kim Kaufman  (foreground-in gray) at Meadowbrook Marsh- a wetland recently conserved by the joint efforts of OOS, Carbon Offset, and Mid-West Birding Symposium.  Black Swamp Land Conservancy is doing the actual land conservation.  Kudos to Danbury Township for its foresight to set aside land for bird (and fish) conservation.

 The Ohio Young Birders will be doing their Big Sit!on this platform at Meadowbrook, and you can go here to donate to that cause.

Kevin Karlson, author of -"Visions: a Photographic Celebration of Birds and Nature"
 Kevin Karlson of Cape May birding fame is a reknown photographer and shorebird expert.  He gave two presentations.

The first,  Saturday mid-morning, was a review of "impressions" of shorebirds.  Forget plumage- Kevin says to look at the body structure of shorebirds to make your ID.  He has us all eager to join him on a beach at Cape May!

His evening keynote address "Visions: a Photographic Celebration of Birds and Nature" was both relaxing and inspiring at the same time.  His book is going on the top of my Christmas list!  (Did you read that, family?)

Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, the location of our well-attended shore bird trip.
We are fortunate to have the largest area of wetlands in the entire state of Ohio as an active partner.  
Jason Lewis, Director at Ottawa is a powerful ally for birds (and butterflies!)  He has made the refuge more accessible and allowed great folks like Rebecca Hinkle, Sherrie Duris, Tom Bartlett  and others to lead educational trips into otherwise unavailable areas.  We appreciate this generous cooperation.

Native botany at Ottawa
Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge has a beautiful native garden filled with butterflies and pollinators! The birds "flocked" to this area while the birders enjoyed it during our lunch.  It is an excellent example of native plants in the landscape providing a function along with their form. 

Botany tip of the day:  Did anyone else smell the fragrance of Butterscotch? Those white Heath Aster Symphyotrichum pilosum have a unique fragrance you can use to identify them. Unfortunately, they have so many common names: Heath Aster, Frost Aster, Hairy White Oldfield Aster-you need the scientific name for the sure thing. 

Oh Asters, you just have to be confusing!


  1. I did not know that about the Aster, I am going out to sniff some now.

  2. I did not know that about the Aster, I am going out to sniff some now. It was a great weekend and always good to see everyone. Great blog post!

  3. Rebecca-
    That little tid-bit comes directly from Steve McKee's Aster key. Works every time!