East Coast Hawkwatching: Identification and Trends
Presented by Dr. Brian M. Wargo Date: Saturday, May 9 Time: 1 - 2 PM Location: Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge (indoors) Fee: $10 Registration Required: Yes
Hawkwatching is an esoteric subset of birding that utilizes unique skills and techniques for identification. Hawks are usually far out in the sky, often appearing black, and nearly devoid of any plumage patterns. Making matters worse, these birds rarely vocalize, are moving fast, and do not return for a second glance. All of these problems conspire against the hawk counter who must quickly identify the hawk and move on to the next bird. So, how do they do it?
Your instructor, Dr. Brian M. Wargo, author of “Bird!”: An Exploration of Hawkwatching, takes you into the mind of the hawk counter and shares the techniques that hawkwatchers practice to make the identification. In addition, Wargo is the Eastern Flyway Editor for Hawk Migration Studies, taking countless hours to analyze the data collected from the nearly 90 hawk sites in the eastern part of the United States. This information helps reveal the state of the raptors for the east coast. This workshop provides tips and tricks for hawk identification, all while integrating population trends for each raptor species.
Identifying Bird Songs Field Workshop
Presented by Tom Stephenson & Scott Whittle Date: May 10 or 11 Time: 8 - 11 AM Location: Magee Marsh East Boardwalk Entrance Fee: $35 Registration Required: Yes Limited to 20 people No transportation is provided
Identifying the warblers and other species singing around us is one of the most enjoyable and satisfying aspects of birding. The language for describing visual ID points for birds greatly helps us identify an unknown bird. The lack of this language for songs, however, makes it often very difficult to know how to figure out an unknown song.
Join Tom and Scott, the authors of The Warbler Guide book and the Birdgenie app, as they outline their new system that makes identifying bird vocalizations much easier.
What is a Warbler?
Presented by Scott Whittle Date: Monday, May 11 Time: 1 - 2 PM Location: Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge Fee: $10 Registration Required: Yes
One of the hardest and most important birding questions to answer is “What makes that a warbler?" Too often we start out on the wrong identification path by choosing the wrong group, and everything goes downhill from there. On the other hand, if we pick the correct group, the rest of the ID process gets a lot easier! Scott Whittle, co-author of The Warbler Guide, will take us through a little history.
eBirding Howard Marsh Metropark - Field Workshop
Instructor: Nate Swick of the American Birding Association Date: Wednesday, May 13 Time: 7-10:00 AM Location: Howard Marsh Metropark Fee: $35 Registration Required - limited to 20 people No transportation provided.
eBird has grown in popularity in recent years due to its ever continuing ease of use for birders of all skill levels. The advantageous part of the eBird database is that it allows the user to engage at whatever extent desired. No other database at the birder’s disposal allows us to use the hobby we enjoy so much to help make such a significant impact to science and conservation by simply watching and counting birds. But, there are considerations to be made before heading in to the field to count birds for entry into eBird. We will eBird Howard Marsh Metropark in effort to build a list of observations that will be used in the classroom workshop, where the data entry and submission process will be discussed. During the trip we will discuss the three major observation/protocol types, when to choose which, and effort levels that eBird asks the user to record. We will explore how to approach counting birds in the field and why it is important to actually count and “record all species. Other topics such as the importance of sharing checklists with other birding party members and list keeping phone applications that aid in keeping your list as accurate as possible, will be discussed. Most importantly, as eBird states it, learn how to make your “checklist more meaningful”.
You may consider signing up for the eBird Classroom Workshop following the eBird Walk from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm at Maumee Bay State Park Lodge. The classroom workshop is independent of the field workshop; you must register for both separately
Presented by Nate Swick of the American Birding Association Date: Wednesday, May 13 Time: 1-2:30 PM Location: Maumee Bay State Park Lodge Lobby Fee: $10 Registration Required - limited to 30 people
eBird has become the go to resource for keeping your bird observations in one easy to use database. It’s as wealth of information and increasingly powerful tool that is useful to birders on a local, state and national level. In the classroom portion of the eBird workshop we will use our observation counts from the Maumee Bay State Park walk to discuss the data submission process. Discussion will include data entry tips and shortcuts. We will explore the various types of data output available (maps, bar charts, graphs and count data, etc.) and how we as birders can use this data to further our personal knowledge of avian status and distribution locally and nationally. How scientists use the data we submit to eBird. Also how eBird is useful to the traveling birder and those searching to find specific species in their own region. We will also discuss use of list keeping phone applications and their interaction with the eBird data base.
You may consider signing up for the eBird Walk at Maumee Bay State Park prior to the eBird Classroom Workshop from 7:00 to 11:00 am. The eBird Walk field trip is independent of the field workshop; you must register for both separately
Learn How to Bird Like the Experts - Field Workshop
Instructor: Kevin Karlson Date: Wednesday, May 13 Time: 8 - 11 AM Location: Maumee Bay State Park Trautman Nature Center Fee: $35 Registration Required: Yes Limited to 20 people No transportation provided.
Come along as Kevin combines the traditional field mark approach to ID with a more holistic one that incorporates physical features and behavior to reach a more complete ID picture. Most of the expert guides use this combined approach on a regular basis, and you too can improve your field skills by employing this technique. This approach concentrates initially on the relative size, shape, structure and behavior of every bird, and then fills in the blanks using conventional field marks and details. Come and experience a different way of identifying and looking at birds, with an emphasis on having fun and sharing with others. Kevin’s book “Birding by Impression: A Different Approach to Knowing and Identifying Birds” was released in 2015, and covers this exciting ID technique in detail.
Learning to Look: Conservation in the new millennium, and connecting the dots between habitats, birds, and you
Presented by Holly Merker- Sponsored by Crossley Bird ID Boot Camp Date: Wednesday, May 13 Time: 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM Location: Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge Fee: $10 Registration Required: Yes
Size, shape, behavior, and patterns of color are linked to how and where a bird lives. During this program, we will focus on behavior and the benefits of observation. Learn to look at how and why birds use habitats, how this impacts ID, what you can do to help, and how we are all connected. This will be an interactive indoor learning program spotlighting:
How we look for birds within landscapes and habitats
How and why birds use habitats
How this impacts ID
What you can do to help birds
How we are all connected
Learning to Look Outdoors: Connecting the dots between birds and you - Field Workshop
Instructor: Holly Merker- Sponsored by Crossley Bird ID Boot Camp Date: Thursday, May 14 Time: 8 - 11 AM Location: Pearson Metropark Fee: $35 Registration Required: Yes Limited to 15 participants Click HERE for a map of the meeting place
Size, shape, behavior, and patterns of color are linked to how and where a bird lives. During this program, we will focus on behavior in relationship to habitats and the benefits of observation. Learn to look at how and why birds use habitats, how this impacts ID, what you can do to help, and how we are all connected.
Why Do Birds Sing? How Do They Learn Their Songs? And How Can Birders Learn Them Too?
Presented by Tom Stephenson Date: Thursday, May 14 Time: 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM Location: Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge Fee: $10 Registration Required: Yes
It takes energy to sing. So why do most birds spend so much time vocalizing? What are the different functions of songs and calls? Are songs learned or innate? And how do we know?
This lecture will begin with an overview of the different kinds of vocalizations that birds make, how they are acquired, and how the song-learning process unfolds. We’ll discuss why in early Spring you might hear very odd songs from common species, and what that tells us about the singer.
We’ll also cover how many different kinds of vocalizations one individual bird might make, what they may mean, and discuss species that sing only one song across the US compared with other species that have hundreds of different songs.
We’ll then explore some strategies we can use when we hear a song we don’t recognize and see why traditional field guides aren’t much help.
Finally we’ll discuss general memorization theory and outline a simple and very effective technique for memorizing many bird songs.
So if you have ever had any questions about why birds are singing or wanted better ways of learning their songs, this is the lecture for you!
The Music of Birdsong
Presented by Lisa Rainsong Date: Friday, May 15 Time: 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM Location: Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge Fee: $10 Registration Required: Yes
Learning bird songs can feel a little overwhelming at times, especially when it seems that everyone is singing at once! Bird song is music, and the techniques used in ear training and music appreciation classes can provide valuable tools for identification of avian musicians and their repertoire. Lisa Rainsong, Music Theory faculty member of the Cleveland Institute of Music, will help you sort out the singers and their songs through an approach that can be applied to many of the birds we hear.