There are two birding events I'm really looking forward to this fall.
The first is next week's Midwest Birding Symposium held in Lakeside, Ohio. Bird Watcher's Digest is one of the hosts (with the Ohio Ornithological Society and the Lakeside Association) for the event and we're expecting 800+ bird watchers there for a weekend of fun, birding, and bird-brain enhancement.
In a single 24-hour period it is feasible, at the Midwest Birding Symposium, to take a sunset boat cruise, watch a birding movie, catch fall warbler migration, hold an newly banded songbird, donate your old optics to a good cause, buy yourself some new binoculars, ride a Segway, book a tour to a world birding hotspot, enjoy an array of world-class speakers, get your favorite bird book signed by the author, learn about blogging, go digiscoping with a pro, enter a birding raffle, sponsor a bird on the conservation checklist, and meet several hundred new birding friends.
It's not too late to register, but you should not tarry. Get thee here for more details.
You can also call the MBS registration hotline: 800-879-2473. Or you can register at the MBS, which will be held September 17 to 20, at the Lakeside, Ohio that is on Lake Erie, near Port Clinton, Ohio.
Exactly one month from tonight I will be climbing the stairs of my birding tower to start the 2009 Big Sit. It goes from midnight to midnight on Sunday, October 11, 2009. The Big Sit has been called many things: Birding's most sedentary event; a tailgate part for bird watchers. What it really is is fun, exciting, and challenging. Basically the Big Sit involves staying put inside a 17-foot diameter circle in some birdy locale, and counting the species you can see or hear in a 24-hour period on the second Sunday in October. You can do your own Big Sit anywhere you like.
The concept has been around a long time, but was formalized (and trade-marked: it's officially called The Big Sit!) by the New Haven Bird Club in Connecticut. Bird Watcher's Digest hosts the Big Sit on our website and you can find details, including how to register your own Big Sit circle, by following this link.
I will be sitting again this year, the ninth Big Sit in our birding tower, along with 30 or so of my friends, birding and "normal," who will stop by throughout the day.
If you've never been to a birding festival, the Midwest Birding Symposium is a wonderful place to start.
If you like challenging your observation skills, and you like to sit around with your birding friends, try The Big Sit! You'll be glad you did!