Saturday, June 20, 2015

Midwest Birding Symposium 2015

Saturday, June 20, 2015
Even if you're not a birder from the Midwest, you've probably heard of the Midwest Birding Symposium. It's a biennial (every other year) birding event held somewhere in the middle of the United States. Its origins are in DuPage County, Illinois, about an hour west of Chicago, but the states of Iowa, Michigan, and Ohio have also hosted the Midwest Birding Symposium (MBS).

Bird Watcher's Digest has been the host of five different Ohio-based MBSs—in 1997, 1999, 2009, 2011, and 2013. We have a special fondness for this event. The symposium is like no other birding event. While some events are built around rare birds, or a spectacular conglomeration of birds, the MBS is more about connecting bird watchers to one another, about the experience of birding and learning together, and about offering exceptionally entertaining and edifying content to attendees. In that way, BWD and the MBS are almost twins. We both aspire to be purveyors of wonderful, content- and context-rich experiences for birders.

We've become the de facto keeper of the MBS and, in the interest of keeping things new and fresh, we found a new location and set of partners for the 2015 MBS, taking it back to Michigan. We'll be in Bay City, Michigan, this September 10 to 13, working with Michigan Audubon, the Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy, and the Great Lakes Bay Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau to put on the 2015 MBS.


A quick visit to the MBS website will give you all you need to know about the 2015 event, so I won't recapitulate that here. But I will say that the event's slogan is true: it's "The World's Friendliest Birding Event." 

If you don't believe me, ask around, among your birding friends, about the Midwest Birding Symposium. Or ask the question online on one of the social media channels. I'm fairly sure you'll hear from some folks out there with first-hand MBS experience. If you can make it to Bay City (a charming town on the Saginaw River, near Lake Huron) this fall, please join us. We'll make sure you have a great time.

The early-bird deadline for registering is June 30. After that it'll cost you another $25 to register for the entire MBS.
Northern harrier, the logo bird for the 2015 MBS.

I hope to see you there. It's going to be a hoot.