Friday, October 18, 2013

Midwest Birding Symposium 2013 Recap: Part 2

Friday, October 18, 2013
This is the second half of my 2013 Midwest Birding Symposium recap.

Some additional images and memories from the four days of birding, symposiating, and socializing at the 2013 Midwest Birding Symposium. There were welcoming signs everywhere for attendees. 

The main entrance to the Lakeside Chautauqua.

Many of the Lakeside businesses, like the Ohh La La Cafe, stayed open just for the MBS.

It was great to see old friends and to meet new ones. The MBS is a great gathering point for that.

Carlos Bethancourt from Canopy Tower Panama and Elsa Thompson, founding publisher of Bird Watcher's Digest.

Greg (left) and Tim outside the Birder's Marketplace.
Greg Miller of "The Big Year" fame, meeting Tim Appleton, co-founder of The British BirdFair, the world's largest birding event. The MBS is one of those events where you have an opportunity to meet people you know from social media or from their affiliations and accomplishments. In that way it's a lot like a birding family reunion.

The speakers during the MBS were talented, engaging, and fascinating. Twenty different presenters spoke on things as varied as gull ID, moth watching, pelagic trips, nature journaling, birding in the digital age, and phone-scoping!

MBS attendees during a morning keynote program in Hoover Auditorium.

We had an army of volunteers helping us with the MBS. More than 100 Lakesiders volunteered to help and about another 50 kind souls from the birding community stepped in to do everything from stuffing attendee bags to guiding bird walks to driving golf-cart shuttles and helping to direct lost attendees to their proper destination.

Lakeside volunteers at our pre-MBS luncheon.
Four of the gals on the Bird Watcher's Digest staff, from left: Michelle, Laura, Wendy, and Ann at the MBS closing ceremonies.

In 2011, the MBS attendees in Hoover Auditorium on Saturday night set a world record (recognized by The Guinness Book of World Records) for the most people doing a simultaneous bird call. We hooted out the call of a barred owl. This year we participated in The International Day of Peace by having a giant group Peace Hug.

Everybody enjoying a #peacehug and flashing the peace sign for The International Day of Peace.

The American Birding Association, Lake Erie WingWatch, Columbus Audubon, and The Ohio Young Birders Club helped us make Young Birders' Day at MBS eventful and enjoyable. Despite the icky weather, the birding was really good. So was the pizza.

Five designated birding locales were selected as "official" MBS birding sites and volunteer guides were there at each site just after dawn to lead small groups of birders. Lots of great birds were found, including two species of phalarope, red knot, merlin, and golden-winged warbler.

On Sunday morning we held the Roadrunner 3K Fun Run and about 20 brave souls did not let the cold temperatures and howling Lake Erie wind deter their desire to run. We even had the Blue Goose from Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge in the run. He (she? it?) finished surprising well despite never once taking to the air.

A very special thank you to our Ohio birding pal Ernie Cornelius for taking many of the images you've enjoyed here and on the MBS site. Ernie also coordinated getting images from a half-dozen other photographers and the he prepared a slide show which we projected on the giant screens each night in Hoover Auditorium. Thanks Ernie!

MBS Official Photographer Ernie Cornelius
And then it was Sunday afternoon and time for everyone to head home. It was another successful Midwest Birding Symposium and we owe that to all the support from our sponsors, co-hosts, volunteers, speakers, vendors, staff, and friends.

The next Midwest Birding Symposium will be held in Bay City, Michigan, on September 10–13, 2015. If you'd like to get your name and contact info on the pre-registration list, you can do so at

Bird Watcher's Digest is starting an exciting new series of birding events.

In February of 2014 we'll be hosting our first-ever Reader Rendezvous in Minnesota where we'll go birding with funnyman Al Batt. Follow this link for details.

And in early April we'll be back at the Grange Insurance Audubon Center in Columbus, Ohio for the second annual Birding Optics & Gear Expo. This sales-oriented event gives you a chance to "try-before-you-buy" choosing from among hundreds of optics and gear products for birders. 
Don't miss it!
We'll see you out there with the birds!