Birdwatchers in the Badger State will have an opportunity to hear Contributing Editor Kenn Kaufman and other top-flight speakers this October.
Kenn will join a stellar lineup at the annual meeting of the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative, to be held October 27-29 at the Stoney Creek Inn and Conference Center in Rothschild, near Wausau, Wisconsin.
This year’s event, produced in partnership with Bird City Wisconsin, will include a reception and a special viewing of “Birds in Art” at the world-famous Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum.
In keeping with the meeting’s theme, “Protecting Birds through Action and Art,” Kenn will talk about the reality of bird conservation on Friday, October 28, and the nexus of art, conservation, and education on Saturday, October 29.
Kenn, an accomplished artist as well as an author, naturalist, and conservationist, has been writing for BirdWatching since April 1988. In his regular column “ID Tips,” he uses photographs taken by Brian E. Small to explain how to identify North American birds. In 2004, he designed the logo for the Great Wisconsin Birding and Nature Trail.
Meeting organizers promise an agenda filled with information about the hazards facing birds throughout the year, and the rich intersection between bird conservation and art. Topics will range from cats, collisions, and climate change to native plantscaping, the influence of art on conservation campaigns, and the centenary of the International Migratory Bird Treaty.
Joanna Eckles, coordinator of Project BirdSafe with Minnesota Audubon. A core part of Audubon Minnesota’s mission to conserve birds in urban areas, Project BirdSafe involves monitoring buildings, researching species affected, influencing building design, encouraging the retrofit of problem buildings, and increasing awareness.
Tom Will, of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Partners in Flight. Will was a co-author of the groundbreaking 2014 paper that estimated that 365-988 million birds are killed in collisions with windows in the United States each year.
Tom Schultz, the field-guide illustrator and past president of the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology. Schultz has contributed illustrations to several widely distributed and well-loved field guides, including National Geographic’s Field Guide to the Birds of North America.
Bryan Lenz, chief scientist at the new Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory. Lenz joined the Observatory and the WBCI Issues Committee in 2015 after taking over as the director of Bird City Wisconsin in 2014.
Susan Bonfield, executive director of Environment for the Americas, home of International Migratory Bird Day. Founded in 1993, IMBD focuses attention on one of the most important and spectacular events in the life of a migratory bird — its journey between its summer and winter homes.
Ryan Brady, research scientist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resource, in Ashland, and bird monitoring coordinator with the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative. Brady is also a member of the Wisconsin eBird team.
Andy McGivern, curator of exhibitions at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum. McGivern will review the history of “Birds in Art.” This year’s exhibition, the 41st, will be on view September 10 through November 27.
Bird City Wisconsin is extending special invitations to its representatives and collaborators in 99 communities across the state to attend the conference, which is serving as a second Bird City Summit, the theme of the 2014 WBCI annual meeting.
Similar invitations are being extended to all WBCI partners and through the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology and the Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory, which are also sponsoring the meeting. Additional support has been provided by the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin’s C.D. Besadny Conservation Grant Program.
Registration costs $65, and is open until October 11. The fee covers both days of the conference and includes lunches, breaks, and evening reception.
Organizers have reserved a block of rooms at the Stoney Creek Hotel. Call the central reservation system at (800) 659-2220 or the front desk at (715) 355-6858. Mention the WBCI annual meeting to get the special rate ($82 single, $99 double). Rates are good through September 30.
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