Midwest Birding Symposium 2013
The American Ornithologists’ Union and Cooper
Ornithological Society have extended an invitation to high schools students
to attend their joint meeting and symposium being held in Chicago, Illinois, Wednesday,
August 14 through Saturday, August 17, 2013, hosted by the Field Museum of
Natural History. The Ohio Ornithological Society will be offering two deserving high school students a
registration scholarship to attend. Cost
of transportation and lodging is not included.
The recipients will be chosen for their interest in birding and bird
conservation and hopefully their desire to go into the field of ornithology. Candidates
must complete an OOS Scholarship Application and submit the Board
of Directors of the Ohio Ornithological Society. Candidates must be an Ohio resident and be
enrolled in an Ohio high school.
The Thompson Family Youth Scholarship Fund was created in 2007, when a “one of a kind” baseball hat was auctioned off at our Third Annual Conference. We raised over $250 and earmarked the proceeds towards a Young Scholarship Fund. The Board of Directors dedicated the fund to the Thompson Family in 2010 in honor of the family that has devoted their lives to the birds and to the birding community. In 1978, the Thompson family embarked on an incredible journey when Bill Sr. and his wife Elsa founded Bird Watcher's Digest, which was based in the living room of their Marietta home for the first five years. They launched the magazine by sending out 35,000 copies, which garnered about 2,500 - 2,800 initial subscriptions. The first issue was printed in black and white, and featured almost all reprints of bird-watching articles obtained from a clipping service, but immediately the magazine began receiving submissions of original material.
Over the years the Thompsons have
been actively involved in the birding community across the country and around
the globe. This scholarship fund will
help the Ohio Ornithological Society foster young people who are interested in
birds to attend summer camps, workshops, training programs, conventions and
other bird-related activities. Funds
will be used in honor of the entire Thompson family for their dedication in
sharing the joy and amazement of birds.
The joint meeting will include symposia and plenary talks that look at exciting new approaches and results across the entire history of the avian tree and how that may project ahead in time. Chicago lies at the crossroads of the continent and the meetings take place at a watershed time for North American ornithology.
We’ve probably all been the last to hear about a rarity that’s just down the road. Postings to ABA's Birding News, Ohio will have a time lag and require both sender and potential readers to have an internet connection. Cell phone calls and texts can only go to one person at a time and also need decent signal strength. Even passing information from car to car in caravan is difficult. One solution is the Family Radio Service (FRS) “walkie-talkie” system. Broadcasts don’t depend on cell towers or WiFi hot spots and are received by anyone who’s in range and on the same frequency.
FRS radios are readily available, inexpensive, and lightweight. OOS recommends the combination of Channel 11 and Subchannel 22 for birder use. The American Birding Association (ABA) pioneered the 11/22 combo and several other state birding organizations have adopted it. This combination does not require a license because all makes of radio broadcast at 0.5 Watt on Channels 8-14. (Some state clubs suggest using Channel 5 or 6. However, many brands of radio broadcast at 1.0 Watt on Channels 1-7 and using this higher power require a license). There are, of course, limitations. The broadcast is line of sight which means that calls from a valley won’t go far. The range, while nominally up to five miles for most radios, is more like one to two miles on flat land. FRS is most useful in wide open areas like Killdeer Plains, the Ohio Power lands near The Wilds, and Ottawa NWR. The radios, however, should not be used in crowds like those on the Magee boardwalk. Let’s keep in touch!
Part of the excitement of birding comes when we find something unusual, something rare or unexpected that we can relish and share with others. But telling others about your finding, in person or on the internet, is fleeting. Even more important, for the ornithological record, is documenting your record in a permanent way. Reports of rarities, when they can be authenticated and published, help to fill out the total picture of our local avifauna. As records, they can help us all to recognize habitats, regions, or seasons in which scarce species are most likely to be found.