Sep 23
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I recently attended my first Midwest Birding Symposium. What a tremendous experience to be with about 1000 people that all love watching and talking about birds. I highly recommend visiting a birding festival or symposium in your area. Here are some things I learned.

Know what kind of birder you are. It can be kicking back with a drink watching birds in your backyard or traveling 1000’s of miles to see one bird. Either way it is fun watching birds and sharing experiences with one another.

According to recent geotagging research in Pennsylvania, Purple Martin wintering grounds are a world away from their nesting grounds. Purple Martins winter on the Amazon River and in deep rain forest habitat. This is a far cry from their suburban and rural nesting grounds where they prefer wide open spaces.

Most birds migrate on consistent paths each spring and fall. Migration for the Wood Thrush is all about flexibility. One geotagged Wood Thrush has taken three different routes in three different years. Not only that, it has shown a wide variety of timing on the departure and return causing all sorts of questions; like, do we really know as much about migration as we thought?

Identifying night-time migrating birds by their flight calls seems to be gaining interest. Yes, this is in the dark when you can’t see them. So many of us were fascinated to learn about it but were so overwhelmed with the thought of not being able to do it. We went out one night and learned it is not as scary as it seems. Its just like learning bird songs; you learn them one at a time. Before you know it, you know quite a few. I bet you already know the Canada Goose flight call.

What bird presentations have you attended lately?

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