Tuesday, November 6, 2012

OYBC Conference in Dayton

This past weekend, my wife and I headed to Dayton for the 6th Annual Ohio Young Birders Club (OYBC) Conference! The conference was held at the brand new Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm. On Friday night, we arrived in time to meet up with the crew from BSBO for dinner and had a great time hanging out with our friends Kenn and Kim Kaufman and I got to meet Ethan Rising, a young birder from Ohio that always answers our weekly NuttyBirder.com bird quiz!

The next morning, we arrived at the center early so that I could join in the bird hike and Steph could watch some of the bird banding demonstration! We had some great birds on the hike including, Winter Wren, Brown Creeper, and Red-breasted Nuthatch. During the banding, they caught a male and female White-breasted Nuthatch at the same time and we were able to compare the darkness or their crowns.

Female (right) and Male (left) White-breasted Nuthatch
After the hikes and banding, as well as the building of Prothonotary Warbler nest boxes, the main conference got started!

The presentation room before everyone arrived.
From the start, this conference has had kids present all of the programs. Over the years, participants of the conference have been blown away by the quality of the presentations that the OYBC members put together and this year was no exception. While there were too many awesome presentations to talk about all of them, I will mention a few.

Dakota Callaway, who blogs on BirdFreak.com, gave a great presentation on the different citizen science projects that people can get involved with and reminded us why it is important to be involved with them. It was the first time he had ever presented and he did an awesome job!

Kristina Polk gave one of my favorite presentations of the whole conference when she presented on her spark bird and how that bird changed her life. I think that she left all of the young birders with some great ideas on how to pursue their passion in birds and inspired them to do great things!

The keynote speaker was Benjamin Van Doren. Benjamin is only a freshman at Cornell University but he has already done some amazing research. He presented on his research on migratory birds and how they move in the morning after their overnight migrations. He placed 5th in the Intel Science Talent Search for this research and I am sure the we will see many more amazing things from him during his time at Cornell!

The conference was a huge success with well over 100 people in attendance! This is really one of the most fun birding events of the year and I encourage everyone to attend this conference at least once! We at the Indiana Young Birders Club have become so inspired that we will be putting on the 1st annual IYBC Conference in 2013!

-Rob

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