Conference Overview and Registration
Pay For Your Registration Online!
Fill out the registration form and mail it to the following address: The Ohio Ornithological Society, P.O. Box 14051, Columbus, Ohio 43214. Take note of your registration total on the form, click the button below, and enter your payment in the "item price" field.
Lakeside, Ohio is THE place to be the last weekend in September, for the Ohio Ornithological Society's Eighth Annual Conference and Shorebird Extravaganza, for both birds and birders! Shorebirds migrating south after their arctic breeding season will pass through our area to stop, rest, and feed along their way. Birders venturing to Lakeside will not stop, not rest, but will likely "feed" their souls with birding camaraderie and birds galore! The OOS conference features speakers, field trips, movies, a photography workshop, the official election of officers, a few fall warblers, and fun!
Kevin Karlson, famed photographer and co–author of The Shorebird Guide, is our Saturday keynote speaker. He'll present a shorebird ID class on Saturday at Ottawa NWR, then lead an afternoon group field trip at the refuge. On Sunday, he'll present a small photography workshop (limited space). Karlson's new book, Visions: Earth's Elements in Bird and Nature Photography, is set to be released this summer! Friday evening has a special treat: we'll hear from a superb young birder, Lukas Padegamis, who spent part of last summer volunteering with the Arctic Shorebird Network in Alaska.
Through special arrangements with the powers of the universe, we will be holding an exclusive narrated showing of the movie "The Big Year" on Friday night September 28th in Wesley Lodge during the OOS Shorebird Extravaganza. Ohio's own Greg Miller (portrayed by Jack Black in the film) will offer commentary during the film, sharing anecdotes from his actual Big Year and from his time as a birding consultant on the movie set. This is a don't miss chance at seeing how the worlds of Birding and Hollywood converged for this feature-length film. Keeping with the "shorebird" theme, OOS will have a Saturday night screening of the movie "Epic Journeys: Tracking the Migrations of Shorebirds in the Western Hemisphere" by Shawn Carey and Jim Grady. The monumental migration challenges faced by Red Knot, Piping Plover, and Semipalmated Sandpiper are highlighted in this inspirational film.
Plus, Lakeside has a generous offer for OOS members attending the conference! Reserve a hotel room at the Fountain Inn or Hotel Lakeside for $10 off the current rate per night for the weekend of September 28–30. This is an "online only" reservation rate. Book your online reservation on Lakeside's website.
Please enter the event code "shorebirds" in the field provided.
After filling out the registration form, please mail it to the following address: The Ohio Ornithological Society, P.O. Box 14051, Columbus, Ohio 43214.
FRIDAY NIGHT KEYNOTE WITH LUKAS PADEGIMAS
Lukas Padegimas will relate his experience volunteering in Alaska, last summer, with the Arctic Shorebird Network studying the breeding ecology of declining species. Padegamis, a member of the Ohio Young Birders Club, currently attends Cleveland State University.
FRIDAY NIGHT FILM
An exclusive narrated showing of the movie "The Big Year" with Ohio's own Greg Miller (portrayed by Jack Black in the film). Greg will offer commentary during the film, sharing anecdotes from his actual Big Year and from his time as a birding consultant on the movie set. This is a don't miss chance at seeing how the worlds of Birding and Hollywood converged for this feature-length film.
EARLY MORNING FIELD TRIPS – SATURDAY & SUNDAY
Self–drive to East Harbor State Park, Meadowbrook Marsh, Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge. Field trip leaders will be available at each location.
INDOOR SHOREBIRD ID COURSE–SATURDAY MORNING
Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge
10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
SEE REGISTRATION FORM FOR BOX LUNCH OPTION
This short indoor workshop presents an alternate approach to shorebird identification. It encourages an initial evaluation of physical impressions to form a surprisingly accurate foundation for your ID conclusion before analyzing feather details or plumage patterns. By concentrating on the size, body shape and structural features of each bird, a reliable set of non–changeable impressions is formed for each species, unaffected by the many plumage conditions found throughout the year for most shorebirds.
Conscious evaluation of distinctive body motion and behavior for each species further enhances your ability to really "know" the important field impressions for all shorebirds. A similar approach was given in Kevin's popular book The Shorebird Guide, published by Houghton Mifflin Co. in 2006. Digitized comparison photos of similar, hard–to–identify species are included in this program to allow participants to see for themselves how a combination of subtle structural differences and analysis of plumage details results in a more complete ID picture. Some of the comparison photos include dowitchers, large and small plovers, Western and Semipalmated sandpipers and the two willets.
IN THE FIELD WITH KEVIN KARLSON – SATURDAY AFTERNOON
Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge
1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
This hands–on workshop, with additional field trip leaders, will concentrate on a basic approach to shorebird identification using both non–changeable physical impressions and details of plumage and feather patterns. Kevin will explain how to build a foundation for shorebird ID using basic impressions of size, shape and body language, and then combine more detailed study of plumage and feather patterns to fine tune your ID conclusion. This workshop is suitable for birders of all levels, but will sometimes include advanced tips that will allow beginners to see what lies ahead in their personal ID evolution. Kevin's book The Shorebird Guide will be available for sale and a personal inscription.
KEYNOTE SATURDAY NIGHT WITH KEVIN KARLSON
7:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Visions: A Photographic Celebration of Birds and Nature
Everyone has visions, and some of these have the power to transform our lives. This visual and musical program contains an exciting collection of bird and nature images that reflect the personal visions of nature by eleven contributing photographers as perceived through the camera lens. These images are themed to the elements of the planet: earth, fire, air and water, and include some of the finest action and behavioral photographs available. The unique theme and musical interludes in this program will capture your fancy and take you on a riveting visual ride through the world of birds and nature.
SATURDAY NIGHT FILM
Epic Journeys: Tracking the Migrations of Shorebirds in the Western
A documentary film by Shawn Carey and Jim Grady
9:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Each year millions of shorebirds make an amazing round–trip journey between the Northern and Southern hemisphere. Migration Productions' newest video, "Epic Journeys", looks at three shorebird species—Red Knot, Piping Plover and Semipalmated Sandpiper—and the challenges these species face during each of their monumental annual treks.
Interviews and footage were shot on Plymouth Beach and South Beach in Massachusetts, the Bay of Fundy in Canada, and Cape May, New Jersey.
PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP WITH KEVIN KARLSON – SUNDAY MORNING
8:30 AM – 10 AM
LIMITED SPACE—This short indoor photo workshop covers a number of basic photographic principles that are important for creating the best wildlife and nature images. Photographers of all skill levels will benefit from the varied topics covered. The introduction covers basic composition and awareness of lighting, with compensation settings for light and dark subjects explained. Tips for evaluating background scenes and anticipating action in the field are discussed, as well as making use of the different perspectives for each field scenario. A short section on your personal artistic freedom is also included, with encouragement to see and compose a unique photo that sets itself apart from the rest. The emphasis of this workshop is wildlife, but general nature photography is also covered.
If time permits, a brief introduction to cutting edge techniques for flight and action photography ends this workshop, with instruction on how to capture the best possible flight or action photo. Different camera settings for a variety of field situations are covered, and hand–held versus tripod telephoto techniques are explained.
Lukas Padegimas has been fascinated by birds since he first went on a Sunday Birdwalk at North Chagrin in 2004 and saw a Scarlet Tanager. Since then, he has traveled extensively throughout Ohio and has been an active leader in the Ohio Young Birder's Club. His love for shorebirds came after a family vacation to Cape Henlopen State Park in Delaware when he saw his first Piping Plovers. Since then, he has been greatly interested in conservation and the study of these remarkable birds. Last summer, he volunteered with the Arctic Shorebird Network in Alaska to study the breeding ecology of several declining species. Afterwards, he interned with Wildside Birding Tours as a co–leader in Ecuador. Other than birding, his interests include: traveling, culture, and the Arts. He lives the dream.
Kevin T. Karlson
Kevin T. Karlson is an accomplished birder, professional tour leader and wildlife photographer who has published numerous articles on bird identification and natural history for an assortment of magazines, books, and journals. A former photo editor for North American Birds, he currently writes the Birder's ID column for Wild Bird Magazine. Kevin is a co–author of The Shorebird Guide (Houghton Mifflin Co. 2006) and is currently completing a new book for the Roger Tory Peterson Reference series at Houghton Mifflin Co. called Birding by Impression. He is the author and photographer of a book titled The Birds of Cape May (Schiffer Publishing, 2010), which celebrates the birds of this special location through the four seasons, and just completed a new nature photography book called Visions: Earth's Elements in Bird and Nature Photography, which will be released in June, 2012.
Originally from Pennsylvania, Shawn moved to Boston, Massachusetts in 1986 and has been photographing birds and other wildlife for about 20 years. He's been teaching wildlife photography for Mass Audubon for over 12 years. He's on the board of directors for Eastern Mass HawkWatch where he serves as their Vice President. He's also on the advisory board for the Massachusetts Audubon Society and Mass Audubon Visual Arts Center. He is past board member for the Brookline Bird Club and past council member for the Nuttall Ornithological Club. Shawn co–founded Migration Productions in 1996 with Jim Grady and the two have produced all its productions. Shawn also provides almost all digital photography used in the productions. "I LOVE the natural world; if it walks, crawls, flies, swims or slithers...I'll photograph it!"
Jim Grady, a native of central Massachusetts, attended Fitchburg State University where he studied Photography and Video Production, earning a B.S. in Communications. In 1989, he started working at the production company, Cornerstone Associates, where he created and presented multi–image shows for some of Boston's largest companies. At Cornerstone, Jim met Shawn Carey and together they founded Migration Productions. Jim has always had in interest in the natural world, and enjoys hiking, backpacking, kayaking and bird watching. With his love of photography, Migration Productions seemed like a natural step. Today he shoots video, edits, creates motion graphics and handles all of the post–production work for Migration Productions.
Greg Miller has been birding for about 50 years and has birded in all 50 states. He was formerly on the board of directors for Southern Maryland Audubon Society and for the Ohio Ornithological Society. In 1998 Greg did a Big Year in an effort to see as many species of birds as possible in one calendar year. Greg and two other birders broke the 700-species mark in 1998. The individual stories of the three birders were documented in Mark Obmascik's 2004 book, “The Big Year”. The book made the USA Today's Best Books of 2004, and was a New York Times Best Seller. As most birders know, “The Big Year” has been made into a feature-length film, starring Jack Black, Steve Martin, Angelica Huston, and Owen Wilson. Greg served as a birding advisor to the film and spent a lot of time on the set, hanging out with the movie stars. He will speak at points during the film about his experiences during the making of the movie.
Links to Birding Locations:
- Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge
- Magee Marsh Wildlife Area
- East Harbor State Park
- Meadowbrook Marsh
More than 8,000 acres of Lake Erie marshes attract a dazzling variety of birds. Shorebirds can be exceptionally plentiful, and nearly every species thus far recorded in Ohio has been found here. Peregrine Falcons make frequent forays through the marshes, and Bald Eagles are guaranteed. Hawk migrations can be awesome; kettles of more than 5,000 Broad-winged Hawks have been seen here in September. Many a rarity has also been found at Ottawa, including Vermilion Flycatcher, Black-necked Stilt, and White-winged Dove.
An undisputed legend among North American birding locales, the famous boardwalk ranks high on many birders' lists of favorite places. 2,000 acres offer a world-famous spring warbler migrant trap on the Lake Erie shoreline. Perhaps the most iconic birding hotspot in the southern Great Lakes region, Magee attracts thousands of birders annually. Two thousand acres of outstanding marshes abut Lake Erie, and lure scores of waterbirds. To date, almost 340 species have been tallied at Magee—82 percent of all the species thus far found in Ohio. This may be the most reliable site away from the breeding grounds to find Kirtland's Warbler, and scores of other rarities have turned up here. A highlight is the seven-acre patch of woods that harbors the world famous "Bird Trail." Migrants abound along this boardwalk, and it is a must-visit site for any birder exploring Ohio's Great Lake region.
The park contains excellent woodland and shrubby thicket habitats. There are also marshlands and large open harbors. Hard on the Lake Erie shoreline, East Harbor offers a diverse blend of mature swamp woods, shrubby thickets, beach, marsh, and open water. The park has certainly attracted great rarities; for instance, a Kirtland's Warbler appeared at East Harbor during the 2009 MBS! The sheltered large bays lure scads of waterbirds, including most of the region's regularly occurring dabblers and divers. Lots of gulls and terns frequently collect on the beach, and they are worth picking through for unusual species such as Least Tern, Franklin's Gull, or Lesser Black-backed Gull.
The 113 acres within Meadowbrook includes a beautiful wetland marsh, forest, meadow and grassland. The wetland located on the west side of the bridge will never experience development and is home to an amazing selection of waterfowl. You may view it from the dike but please be careful as you walk along heavily traveled Bayshore Road. On the east side of the bridge you will enjoy an observation deck, 2,800 feet of ADA-accessible paved trails and another 3,000+ feet of mulched and grass trails. Meadowbrook has a vast array of migratory birds and waterfowl, deer, muskrat, and coyote along with dozens of other natural wonders and wildlife. Our bird species include Bald Eagle, Ring-necked Pheasant, Great Egret, Great Blue Heron, Green Heron, Belted Kingfisher, Eastern Screech-Owl, Great Horned Owl, Red-tailed Hawk, Red-shouldered Hawk, and, in spring and fall, migrating warblers. In 2000, Danbury Township Trustees made an unprecedented purchase of 33 acres of forest and brook area. Township residents Tim Nash and his late wife, Sylvia, graciously donated this property known as Meadowbrook to the Township.