We’re thrilled to welcome Lili Taylor as a keynote speaker at the 2018 American Birding…
The 2018 American Birding Expo will offer a full schedule of talks presented by sponsors covering such bird-watching topics as photography, international conservation efforts, skills, gardening, technology, travel, optics, and beyond! All programs will be held at the Expo Center meeting rooms outside Hall A on Friday, September 21 and Saturday, September 22. Four concurrent sessions will be held at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. each day. These events are open to all Expo attendees! We are still waiting on talk information for a few sponsors but this is what we know so far! Be sure to join our email list for more Expo news!
TITLE: Bird Photography with Tamron Lenses SPEAKER: Bruce Wunderlich
DESCRIPTION: Discover how to use Tamron lenses to produce sharp bird images! This presentation will cover how to use settings and techniques to produce great images of birds. Other topics will include the four different types of bird photography, capturing birds in flight, and mastering composition.
SPONSOR: Tamron USA LOCATION: Meeting Room C
TITLE: Ontario’s Algonquin Park: Where North Meets South
SPEAKER: Lev Frid
DESCRIPTION: Algonquin Provincial Park is located in Central Ontario, Canada – where northern boreal forest meets southern hardwood forest, creating a unique blend of wildlife – birds such as boreal chickadee and wood thrush can be found on territory within a few hundred yards of one another. It is a large protected area that is an important bastion for wolf, black bear, moose and a variety of other mammals while still being very close to two of Canada’s largest cities. Lev, a former park ranger, will introduce you to some of its unique ecosystems and the birds and other wildlife that call them home.”
SPONSOR: Rockjumper Worldwide Birding Adventures LOCATION: Meeting Room B
TITLE: Amur Falcon– Living on the Edge
SPEAKER: Catherine Hamilton
DESCRIPTION: The Amur Falcon makes a spectacular flight during its migration each year from Siberia to Southern Africa and then back. Hundreds of thousands of these birds congregate in remote northeast India during the fall, providing a true spectacle of migration. It is believed to be the largest concentration of falcons anywhere on Earth. Through the photos and artwork of world-renowned artist, Catherine Hamilton, we’ll hear the story of these kestrel-sized birds, the threat that hunting poses to this species, and the recent conservation efforts to save them. Come find out how a small group of conservationists and the will of the local people to protect this incredible “resource” has started to turn the tide in this story.
Catherine Hamilton was born in Altadena, California, with a pencil in hand. She began birding at an early age with her father, developing a keen interest in both natural history and art, and started her first ornithological notebook at seven. Her talk will present her recent adventures in Nagaland, a far-flung corner of India that has only recently been opened to western visitors. There, in just the last few years, a conservation crisis and conservation miracle seems to have unfolded. Come discover the world of the amazing Amur Falcon!
SPONSOR: Carl Zeiss Sports Optics LOCATION: Meeting Room A
TITLE: Digiscoping Tips & Tricks
SPEAKER: Robert Wilson
DESCRIPTION: Learn simple techniques to get quality photos by attaching your camera or cell phone to your spotting scope. For both photographers and bird watchers, it’s easier than you think.
SPONSOR: Kowa American Corporation LOCATION: Meeting Room D
TITLE: Costa Rica: Conservation in a Nutshell
SPEAKER: Carlos Roberto Chavarria
DESCRIPTION: Our model of conservation, history, and how we are able to integrate the concept of sustainability and preservation in our economic model. Plus, the impact of this on the conservation of biodiversity, with an emphasis on birds.
SPONSOR: Costa Rica Rainforest Experience LOCATION: Meeting Room C
TITLE: International Birding 101
SPEAKER: Stephen Shunk
DESCRIPTION: North America offers many outstanding birding experiences, so why should you leave our home continent? Expense, safety, and language barriers are just a few of the obstacles that may prevent us from venturing beyond our borders, but the biggest obstacle is psychological: we like to stay in our comfort zones. International traveler and professional naturalist, Steve Shunk, offers some simple advice: Travel now, and travel often. There is a great big world out there of wonderful lands and exceptional birding, and Steve’s introduction to international travel will inspire and entertain.
SPONSOR: Paradise Birding
LOCATION: Meeting Room B
TITLE: Optics for Birding
SPEAKER: Jeff Bouton
DESCRIPTION: No optical product is ideally suited for every birding and nature observation scenario, and selecting the product best suited to meet your personal needs can be a daunting and overwhelming task. Join Jeff Bouton, from Leica Sport Optics, for an easily understandable presentation on selecting optics for nature observation. As a lifelong professional birder (using & abusing optics daily) and as an optics industry insider, Jeff has a unique understanding of technical specifications and optical characteristics coupled with a first hand understanding of why these are (or are not) important for every day use in the field. His concise, informative overview will touch on optical specifications, nomenclature, product design, as well as field craft to include popular digiscoping techniques.
SPONSOR: Leica Sport Optics LOCATION: Meeting Room A
TITLE: Watch Your Background!
SPEAKER: Kevin Loughlin
DESCRIPTION: What lies behind your subject can make or break your final image. Learning to pay attention to all elements in your image, especially the background will help you get better photos. We will discuss using different lenses and depth of focus to isolate your subject or show it in its environment.
SPONSOR: Wildside Nature Tours LOCATION: Meeting Room C
TITLE: Discover One Bird, Save a Thousand
SPEAKER: Doug Wechsler
DESCRIPTION: An odd bird is discovered in the cloud forest of the Andes Mountains of Ecuador. Scientists rushing to find out more about the bird find themselves in a race to save it. Cascading events lead to the establishment of a chain of bird reserves in Ecuador and conservation action across the globe. Doug Wechsler will recount this fascinating history and talk about bird conservation in Ecuador today. His beautiful images will focus in on the biodiversity of the Ecuador reserves run by the Jocotoco Conservation Foundation. What interesting management problems does the foundation face and how does it solve them?
SPONSOR: Jocotoco Foundation, Ecuador LOCATION: Meeting Room D
TITLE: Bird Philly! Bringing the Joy of Birding to the Heart of the City
SPEAKERS: Tony Croasdale, Jeff Gordon, and Joanne Woods
DESCRIPTION: Most Americans live in cities. What is less known is that lots of wild birds live there, too. BirdPhilly is an innovative and exciting partnership between the Delaware Valley Ornithological Club, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, and the Philadelphia Free Library that has enjoyed great success bringing birding to new audiences in sometimes untraditional places. Come hear how BirdPhilly focuses on servicing marginalized communities and highlights birding in urban locations from brownfields to huge municipal parks. Perhaps you will learn about some new places to bird if the Philadelphia area is your home, or maybe take some of these ideas and apply them to your city.
SPONSOR: Steiner Optics LOCATION: Meeting Room B
TITLE: Super Telephoto – 1000mm and Beyond!
SPEAKER: Clay Taylor
DESCRIPTION: Most birders quickly realize that even when using a 400mm telephoto lens, that bird in the tree is still mighty small in the final picture! Using a 600mm or 800mm lens with a teleconverter helps boost the magnification, but brings another set of challenges. Spotting scope photography has evolved WAY past “Digiscoping” – using a DSLR, Mirrorless, or SmartPhone camera might be the perfect way to go BIG with your telephoto photography.
Clay will discuss Spotting Scope Photography versus Super Telephoto camera lens options and SuperZoom Point & Shoot cameras – advantages and disadvantages in both image quality as well as field usage and techniques.
SPONSOR: Swarovski Optik, NA
LOCATION: Meeting Room A
TITLE: BirdGenie: Connecting to the Birds Around You Through Their Songs
SPEAKERS: Tom Stephenson & Scott Whittle
DESCRIPTION: Bird songs are some of the most beautiful sounds of nature. But it can be difficult to know what birds are singing in your backyard or local parks. BirdGenie is designed to help you identify these songsters and learn more about the species that are your neighbors or migrating visitors. We will explain how, by recording their songs, BirdGenie can help you identify most of the birds you commonly hear. Learn about some of the challenges of identifying bird songs, what technologies are used by BirdGenie to aid in identifying them, and the story behind the development of the program. We will also discuss how collecting songs from across the country can help researchers learn more about song variation and song learning; and how the program’s spectrograms can help even advanced birders learn more about the structure and uniqueness of a species’ vocalizations.
SPONSOR: Princeton University Press LOCATION: Meeting Room A
TITLE: Cuba’s Zapata Peninsula: Endemic Bird Species and Key Conservation Issues
SPEAKER: Arturo Kirkconnell Sr. and Arturo Kirkconnell Jr.
DESCRIPTION: 28 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) have been identified in Cuba by Birdlife International. The most critical area for conservation in Cuba is the Zapata Peninsula (Ramsar National Park and numerous other sites). The Zapata Peninsula is important for birding, as you can find nearly 85 percent of the Cuban endemic bird species here. Nearly 30 percent of these bird species are threatened or endangered. These threatened and endangered species include the following:
Both presenters will share several informative and entertaining stories in describing these bird species, sharing their beauty and other characteristics. They will also provide information about these conservation issues and threats to these bird species in the region, and they will put forth some ideas on how best to support species conservation.
SPONSOR: Partnership for International Birding LOCATION: Meeting Room C
|TITLE: Hummingbirds: Magic in the Air
SPEAKER: Gina Nichol
DESCRIPTION: With more than 330 species known in the world, hummingbirds are the second largest family of birds after flycatchers. These tiny aeronautic marvels have the ability to hover, fly backward, and migrate long distances. The physiological capacity of hummingbirds to raise and lower their heart rate and body temperature to survive cold nights is unmatched in the animal world. This program illustrates the amazing adaptations of these glittering gems and describes their fascinating life histories. Vivid photographs of hummingbirds in the United States, Costa Rica, and Ecuador tell the story of how these birds survive in habitats that range from tropical forests to the forests of the Andes Mountains.
SPONSOR: Sunrise Birding LOCATION: Meeting Room B
TITLE: CAPE aMAYzing! At the Crossroads of Migration in the Nation’s First Seaside Resort Town
SPEAKER: David La Puma, PhD
DESCRIPTION: Each autumn millions of birds migrate through Cape May on their journey south, whether on a short distance hop to Delaware, on the express to Tierra Del Fuego, Argentina, or some point in-between. There are few places worldwide that can compare to Cape May, located at the tip of the migration funnel whereby birds pass through from the Boral Zone as far west as Alaska, and as far east as Newfoundland. What makes Cape May unique, though, is its situation within a tank of gas of 60 million people, giving visitors an opportunity to get up close and personal with many species of bird during their visit. Join NJ Audubon Cape May Bird Observatory’s Director, Dr. David La Puma, on a virtual tour of Cape May through the lens of fall migration monitoring as he weaves together the stories of songbirds, waterbirds and raptors (and even some butterflies), and leaves you wanting to make your next trip one down the shore to Old Cape May.
SPONSOR: New Jersey’s Cape May Bird Observatory LOCATION: Meeting Room D
TITLE: Light & Shadow
SPEAKER: Kevin Loughlin
DESCRIPTION: The art of photography is based upon light and shadow. Having a proper understanding of exposure will help you create better images of any subject and take your photography to the next level!
SPONSOR: Wildside Nature Tours LOCATION: Meeting Room B
TITLE: Birds Exterminate Insect Pests
SPEAKER: Mike McGrath
DESCRIPTION: Birds are an organic gardener’s best friends, with some species consuming their own weight in pest insects every day. Mike McGrath, host of the nationally-syndicated Public Radio show, You Bet Your Garden, will explain which birds eat the most bad bugs, how to specifically attract those species, and how to ‘train’ all the birds in your landscape to eat the maximum number of garden enemies.
LOCATION: Meeting Room A
TITLE: Warblers and Birding Northwest Ohio
SPEAKER: Jason Guerard
DESCRIPTION: Northwest Ohio has become world renowned for its spring migration of Neo-tropical birds. At the top of the list for most birders are the warblers; those feathered jewels of the forest whose beauty in plumage and song can make your heart skip a beat. Join Jason to explore what makes the Lake Erie marsh ecosystems so special for witnessing bird migration. Learn about the warblers that make passage through Magee Marsh every May– where do they nest and where do they spend our winter months? Find out how these birds are helping a community to discover that conserving habitat can lead to a major economic boost for the region.
SPONSOR: Black Swamp Bird Observatory LOCATION: Meeting Room D
TITLE: Birds & Other Wildlife of Taiwan
SPEAKER: Chuck Hung
DESCRIPTION: With the world’s second highest bird density, Taiwan is well-known as one of the best bird watching hotspots in Asia. This paradise boasts unique bird species and an extraordinary abundance of flora and fauna, including endemic species not found anywhere else but Taiwan. As the migration hub of Asian migratory birds, Taiwan attracts a wide variety of summer and winter migratory birds from different places. Also, there are plenty of options for birdwatching sites across Taiwan due to high landscape diversity. Active birding communities will provide the professional data and information you need, and easy roadside birding provides an up-close experience with nature and birds in all seasons. Friendly welcoming people, amazing landscape, delicious food and well-structured transportation will make your bird watching trip in Taiwan even more enjoyable.
SPONSOR: Taiwan Tourism Bureau LOCATION: Meeting Room C
TITLE: Birds and Wildlife and Rockets – Oh My!
SPEAKER: Laurilee Thompson
DESCRIPTION: So, you’re driving down to Florida and you want to see birds and manatees and alligators and you heard that South Florida is the best place to find them… Here’s a tip to save you needless time, travel and gas money. Instead of heading south for five more hours, check out the wild and scenic lands and waters of the east side of the Sunshine State. From immense open marshes of the mighty St Johns River to the remarkable diversity of the Indian River Lagoon and high energy beaches of the Atlantic Ocean, you will find an amazing array of wildlife within a compact area. More than 300 species of birds either live here, pass through or spend the winter. In this magical place where the Tropics meet with cooler climes, alligators bask in the shadow of rockets; our beaches comprise the most important loggerhead sea turtle nesting area in the western hemisphere and 1/3 of Florida’s manatees live in the Indian River Lagoon. Our assets are legendary: Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, home to more species of threatened and endangered plants and animals than any other wildlife refuge in the continental U.S.; Canaveral National Seashore, with the longest stretch of undeveloped beach on Florida’s eastern seaboard; and Kennedy Space Center top the list. Birthplace of the outstanding birding and wildlife festival that bears its name, this realm of adventure is Florida’s Space Coast – Where Nature Meets Space. Titusville, Cocoa Beach, Orlando. We are the stewards of an amazingly diverse collection of natural resources. They enrich our lives as well as our visitor’s and have an impact that reaches far beyond the borders of our county.
SPONSOR: Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival LOCATION: Meeting Rooms D
TITLE: Binoculars Beyond Birding
SPEAKER: John Riutta
DESCRIPTION: Few of us would ever venture out into the field without our trustee birding binocular, but what about all the other activities that could be enhanced by taking along a binocular? From off-shore adventures to exploring the night sky, from a day at the ball game to a night at the opera, join binocular expert, John Riutta, for an enthusiastic overview and discussion about how much your view of the world can be enlarged and enhanced when its seen through a binocular.
LOCATION: Meeting Room B
TITLE: The Speciation Process in the North of Central America
SPEAKER: Maynor Ovando
DESCRIPTION: Did you know that most species in the northern region of Central America are sub species from birds of North America? Join Maynor to learn more about this process and how natural wisdom takes place.
SPONSOR: Guatemala, Heart of the Mayan World
LOCATION: Meeting Room C
TITLE: A Birder’s Guide to Murder and DIE, DIE BIRDIE Readings and Signing
SPEAKER: J.R. Ripley
A BIRDER’S GUIDE TO MURDER (based at our Expo!): When an exhibitor at the American Birding Expo drops out at the last minute, it’s time for a road trip. Amy and her bird-loving friends head to Philadelphia where they plan to promote Birds & Bees with a booth of their own. Esther was reluctant to go, claiming that she doesn’t “do Philadelphia.” After the gang arrives in Philly, the keynote speaker is found dead. The local police believe that Esther is somehow mixed up in his death. As Esther’s mysterious past comes to light and shadowy characters keep springing up, Amy doesn’t know what to believe. But if Amy wants to get home, she’s going to have to bird dog another criminal. And it doesn’t help matters that the annual ZombieFest convention is going on concurrently in the exhibit hall next-door. Somewhere among the walking birders and the walking dead there walks a killer.
DIE, DIE BIRDIE: For Amy Simms, hatching a birding shop in her hometown of Ruby Lake, North Carolina, hasn’t exactly been a breeze. But could a deadly discovery clip her wings for good? It’s just days before Amy plans to open Birds & Bees on the first floor of her creaky Victorian house, but delayed seed shipments have prevented the fledging owner from stocking her shelves. And it doesn’t help that Amy’s best friend and business partner is out of town indefinitely. With locals skeptical about the niche shop taking flight, the last thing Amy needs now is a dead man in her storeroom—or for a crotchety tenant to catch her holding a bloody bird feeder hook over his body…Pigeonholed as a leading murder suspect by police and lacking a solid alibi, Amy’s delving into the victim’s ugly past and buzzing around Ruby Lake for clues on his killer…before she ends up like so many of her beloved feathery friends—trapped behind bars!
LOCATION: Meeting Room A
We’re thrilled to welcome Lili Taylor as a keynote speaker at the 2018 American Birding…
Our Expo partner, the John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove and its excellent staff, will be headlining the Family Day activities on Sunday, September 23 at the 2018 American Birding Expo!
The American Birding Expo offers attendees the unique opportunity to view and try the best optics available on the market at the Expo’s indoor optics range. The indoor optics range simulates outdoor birding conditions, allowing consumers to field test optics side-by-side.