Presented by Richard Crossley- Sponsored by Crossley Books Date: Saturday, May 9 Time: 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM Location: Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge Fee: $10 Registration Required: Yes
In this workshop, Richard Crossley (Crossley Books) will share an insider’s look at the making of the Crossley ID Guide: Waterfowl and the innovative approach used in designing the guide. Join Richard for an informal discussion on waterfowl identification and how the use of images that mirror real life condition views, found in the Crossley ID Guides, can help make you a better birder.
Basics of Identifying Sparrows
Presented by Kenn Kaufman Date: Sunday, May 10 Time: 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM Location: Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge Fee: $10 Registration Required: Yes
The North American sparrows seem to create an unreasonable amount of confusion and difficulty for the average birder. This is partly because they are often hard to see, partly because there are so many species to choose among, and partly because the field marks for many of them seem to be so similar. A birder catching a glimpse of a sparrow may be at a loss to even begin to put a name on it.
The best approach to identifying sparrows doesn’t begin with field marks at all. In this program, Kenn will illustrate the importance of putting the sparrows into groups on the basis of their shapes, habitats, and behavior. Once a sparrow has been placed in the right group, it becomes much easier to narrow it down to species by looking at a few key field marks. By getting past the ID challenge, we can focus on the beauty of these subtle birds.
Instructor: Kevin Karlson Date: Sunday, May 10 Time: 1 - 2 PM Location: Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge (indoors) Fee: $10 Registration Required: Yes
This workshop mostly includes Eastern warblers, with a few extralimital species. Each species is shown in digital photo arrays that have most of the plumage possibilities in one view (breeding male/female, nonbreeding, and immature). This comparison allows you to see the differences in each species in one view, which helps with your retention of important ID points. Similar species are also shown together in digital arrays to allow for direct comparison of differences. Most photos are from Kevin’s popular “Warblers of North America” laminated foldout guide (Quick Reference Publishing, 2015). Some quiz photos test your power of retention at the end. Come and witness the challenges of warbler ID, and see the power of comparative viewing to separate similar species.
Gulls Simplified: A Comparative Approach to Identification
Presented by Kevin Karlson Date: Monday, May 11 Time: 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM Location: Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge Fee: $10 Registration Required: Yes
Gull ID has always been troublesome for birders, largely due to the variety of plumages that they show at different ages. Kevin Karlson and Pete Dunne’s new book “Gulls Simplified” (Nov. 2018, Princeton University Press) will hopefully change that. Kevin shares tips on gull ID starting with basic features of size, body shape, structure and general plumage patterns to form a solid ID foundation. Simplified aging terms and plumage descriptions are then shared without confusing ornithological terms, and comparative photos showing similar species together help you to understand the differences between gull species. Give gulls one more chance and experience this simpler approach to ID. This workshop covers the regional gulls that are regularly seen in your area, as well as a handful of possible vagrants.
Learning To Look... At Birds Differently: Field Workshop
Instructor: Richard Crossley- Sponsored by Crossley Books Date: Tuesday, May 12 Time: 8 - 11 AM Location: Howard Marsh Metropark Fee: $35 Registration Required: Yes Limited to 15 participants
Join Richard Crossley (Crossley Books) to take a long look...at birds. In this field workshop, Richard will focus on extended views to experience the whole of each bird seen. Deep observation of the birds shape, movements, behavior, vocalizations, and plumage details (narrowing down an identification to sex or sub-species) with the emphasis on gaining a more intimate, complete understanding. Richard will also share tips on becoming a better field observer by taking notes on the birds you are observing.
The Overlooked ID Points That Make Identifying Warblers Easy
Presented by Tom Stephenson & Scott Whittle Date: Tuesday, May 12 Time: 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM Location: Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge Fee: $10 Registration Required: Yes
Our warblers are some of the most beautiful birds of the world. But their beautiful colors often blind birders to many of their most important ID points. This problem is compounded by the often brief and obstructed views we have in the field. This talk discusses many of these very important but often overlooked ID points such as overall contrast, subtle facial features, color impressions, feather edging, rump contrast, and foraging style, location, and behavior.
Fortunately, viewing a warbler from below can reveal some of the most important ID points for many species. Learn how many tail and undertail covert patterns are, in fact, diagnostic alone or when combined with one other ID point. Individual species, especially the most challenging to identify, will also be discussed with outlines of the important ID points, comparisons with similar species, and illustrations of how even partial views can be used to identify many of even the most challenging warbler species.
Principles & Pitfalls of Field Identification
Presented by Kenn Kaufman Date: Tuesday, May 12 Time: 1 PM Location: Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge Fee: $10 Registration Required: Yes
What does it take to develop more skill at bird ID, and to be able to recognize more of the birds that we find? Well, for starters, it’s not simply a matter of learning field marks. Often we can memorize all the field marks for a species and still have trouble identifying it, while in other cases we may recognize a bird without seeing any traditional field marks at all. In this program, based on a section from his recent Kaufman Field Guide to Advanced Birding, Kenn will talk about some basic principles that apply to all birds—principles that make it possible to name birds with more accuracy and confidence. He’ll also discuss some surprising pitfalls of ID, and how to avoid being tripped up by them.
So You Think You Know Your Warblers Field Workshop
Instructor: Kevin Karlson Date: May 12 or 14 Time: 8 - 11 AM Location: Meet at the east end of the Magee Marsh parking lot Fee: $35 Registration Required: Yes Registration limited to 20 people No transportation is provided
Warblers delight us all, but can be a problematic group for many birders. Join Kevin Karlson at Magee Marsh to search for these feathered jewels. Discussion will focus on seasonal and age variation, as well as behavioral clues to help make identifying warblers easier. Kevin will introduce his popular Warblers of North America, a laminated guide that has 153 photos of almost every warbler plumage seen in North America during any season (Quick Reference Publishing, 2015). Emphasis will be placed on key field identifying marks he used to select the photos for this folding guide.
You may consider signing up for Kevin's Eastern Warblers - A Comparative, Interactive Workshop on Sunday, May 10, from 1 to 2 PM at Ottawa NWR. The classroom workshop is independent of the field workshop; you must register for both separately.
Thrushes and Their Look-Alikes
Presented by Erik Bruhnke Date: Wednesday, May 13 Time: 1 - 2 PM Location: Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge Fee: $10 Registration Required: Yes
The world of thrushes is filled with charismatic song and impressive migration. Every year these birds wow us with their beauty, and every year these birds cause identification headaches among fellow birders. Thrushes share many similarities to each other and also look like other birds completely unrelated to them! Join in the fun as Erik talks about the field marks, songs, and more with thrushes and their look-alikes.
Shorebirds by Impression
Presented by Kevin Karlson Date: Thursday, May 14 Time: 1 - 2 PM Location: Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge Fee: $10 Registration Required: Yes
This interactive indoor workshop shares a different approach to field identification that Kevin calls Birding by Impression, A Different Approach to Knowing and Identifying Birds, which is the title of his and Dale Rosselet’s book in the Roger Tory Peterson Reference Series. This ID approach concentrates initially on basic impressions of size, body shape, structural features and body motion to form a surprisingly accurate mental picture of every bird seen in the field. Shorebirds are the focus of this workshop, and comparative digitized photos encourage the audience to spot differences between similar species in direct side-by-side comparison. Kevin then shows some of the species that can be seen in your area, with comments on how to identify, age and/or sex them, and how to separate them from similar species. This ID approach is similar to the one used in Kevin’s bestselling book The Shorebird Guide (Houghton Mifflin, 2006). Test your birding and observation skills by attending this workshop and guessing the correct species using pertinent ID tips that contribute to your opinion.
Presented by Erik Bruhnke Date: Saturday, May 16 Time: 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM Location: Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge Fee: $10 Registration Required: Yes
Have you ever wondered what that speck of a hawk is, way out on the distant horizon or circling right over your head? Do you ponder which birds of prey visit your backyard? Would you like to fine tune your hawkwatching skills and learn more about these exciting birds found here both year round and in migration? If so, this is the talk for you! Birds of prey are consistently one of the most difficult varieties of birds to identify. Come join Erik Bruhnke as he shares field-learned techniques for identifying raptors both up close and at a distance. From his raptor jokes and identification anecdotes, to his wide range of impressive raptor photographs, Erik’s raptor identification workshop is sure to captivate and educate audiences of all skill levels!
Learning to Appreciate and Identify Flycatchers
Presented by Kenn Kaufman Date: Saturday, May 16 Time: 1 PM Location: Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge Fee: $10 Registration Required: Yes
Intimidated by flycatchers? Don't be! Flycatchers are fascinating birds with quite a reputation! Small, active, and challenging to identify, flycatchers can cause great consternation among birders. A better understanding of what to look (and listen!) for, and where and when to look, can help to unravel the mysteries of flycatcher identification. In this workshop, one of the leading authorities on the subject, Kenn Kaufman, will share tips and techniques for identifying and appreciating flycatchers based on concepts from his highly-acclaimed book "Kaufman Guide to Advanced Birding."