Saturday, May 9, 2015

Biggest Week of American Birding Opens

Spring has finally arrived.  Migration is on, both for birds and birders.

Great Egret strikes a pose for adoring fans.
 The Biggest Week in America Birding is now happening on the shores of Lake Erie, near Oak Harbor, Ohio.  While many believe this event is all about migratory birds, like this stunning Great Egret or the charming neo-tropical wood warblers (which are much harder to photograph), I submit they are wrong.

Day one of the BWIAB, field trip to South Sandusky Bay.
 The Biggest Week in American Birding is actually about people.  We are connecting people to nature and to other people.  Everywhere you look people are helping each other find and identify birds.  Some of us like to discover how birds relate within habitats and more about their life histories.

We learn so much from other birders! Getting to meet people from all walks of life and connecting them with other conservation minded people is my greatest joy.

Ken and Amanda (mostly obscured) Duren and Kenn and Kim Kaufman
 It is rewarding to welcome the new guard like Ken and Amanda Duren, who both have interests and vocations in nature and birding.  It is also a pleasure to spend time with old friends like Kenn and Kim Kaufman and learn of their latest adventures.  FYI: Just published a great book called, Kaufman Field Guide to the Nature of the Midwest.

Kim Kaufman received the prestigious Chan Robinson Award from ABA's Jeff Gordon.
 Part of the opening festivities included American Birding Association's Jeff Gordon awarding Kim Kaufman with the Chandler Robinson Award.  It was an excellent kick off for this event and another reminder- it is all about education and people.  A love of birds just happens to be the medium that pulls us all together!

R. Bruce.  He is not really right, but he is ours.
 Last but not least, a concert by my dear friend R. Bruce.  Bruce has a comedy act which happens to incorporate some pretty catchy music.  He wowed the crowd with favorites like, " A Shark Ate my Baby Brother, " and "Too Much Butt (for One Pair of Jeans)".

Yes, he is not right, but this ADD Cowboy is all ours and a ton of fun to boot.

Raymond Van Buskirk, Jeff Gordon, R. Bruce and Bill Sain
The curtain call (if only there were curtains) brought down the house.  R. Bruce got his fellow "Kilted Birders" to join him on stage for a rousing chorus of "We are the Kilted Birders" and they wore their kilts with pride.

Just when you thought birding events had maxed their holding capacity for fun, R Bruce hits the scene.  The Maumee Bay Lodge may never be the same.

SO, if you're not having enough fun in life, hustle right up to Maumee Bay Lodge and Magee Marsh in Oak Harbor, Ohio.  We have about 6 more days of flat out birding and craziness planned!

1 comment:

  1. ...haha! I wish I could have seen that! I'll be there on Monday...can't wait!
    (P.S. I bought the book you recommended a few years ago, "Among the Ancients," by Joan Maloof, and I love it.)