Seminars

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Seminars


Entrance to all keynotes, seminars and workshops are being offered for one flat price during the online registration period. This Kiskadee Pass is $30, and allows you entry to all those offerings as you please. A huge savings from individually priced admissions, you can purchase the Kiskadee Pass only during open registration. During the Festival, individual tickets will be sold for admission. Field trips are not included in the Kiskadee Pass.

 

THERE & BACK

with Richard Crossley
Free with Kiskadee Pass / Wednesday 4pm

While working on The Crossley ID Guide: Waterfowl, Richard decided he needed to drive to the Arctic Ocean, northern Alaska – from his home in Cape May, NJ. Told in a thick Yorkshire accent, with a sense of humor, and a disdain for PC, Richard will talk about his 16,000-mile adventure. Living out of his truck, Richard chats about the incredible places he travelled and the inspiring people he met who changed his thoughts.

Richard Crossley is an internationally acclaimed birder, photographer and award-winning author of ‘The Crossley ID Guide’ series. A Yorkshireman, he also lived in Japan, and travelled the World before settling down in his beloved Cape May, NJ.

After one of his frequent mid-life crises at the turn of the millennium, Richard decided it was time to spend less time obsessively birding and to focus on paying back. Sometimes called crazy (his badge of honor), wildly passionate, and driven, Richard has made concerted forays into youth birding, television, books, and other areas where he feels there is a need for American birding and conservation to improve.

Richard’s latest book, The Crossley ID Guide: Waterfowl, continues to push boundaries. It is self-published and encourages all outdoor conservation groups to see each other as one.

Richard also co-founded the global birding initiative Pledge to Fledge, Race4Birds (www.race4birds.org) and The Cape May Young Birders Club. He served on the board of directors at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary. He has contributed to most major birding publications, is frequently heard on radio, and is a sought-after public speaker.

COASTAL BIRD MONITORING IN THE LAGUNA MADRE

with Stephanie Bilodeau
Free with Kiskadee Pass / Thursday, 2:00pm

Coastal Bird Monitoring and Habitat Management in the Lower Laguna Madre

The Laguna Madre, the only hypersaline lagoon in North America and one of only five in the entire world, is a unique and extraordinary ecosystem. Its expansive wind-tidal flats, seagrass beds, oyster reefs, mangroves, and man-made islands make the Laguna Madre of Texas a hotspot for numerous migratory and resident birds. Over 25 species of water birds, the majority of which are facing serious population declines, nest on the important rookery islands of the Laguna Madre during the breeding season. Learn about the unique coastal birds of the Laguna, and Coastal Bend Bays & Estuaries Program’s ongoing conservation efforts to benefit them.


Stephanie Bilodeau is originally from the cold state of Vermont, Stephanie migrated south with the birds shortly after receiving her bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Biology from the University of Vermont. After moving around the country for various field jobs, she eventually landed in South Texas. She has lived in the Rio Grande Valley for 3 years and feels right at home among the unique birds of South Texas.

Stephanie is a Coastal Bird Conservation Biologist working for the Coastal Bird Program within Coastal Bend Bays & Estuaries Program (CBBEP), a non-profit organization. She is based in the Lower Rio Grande Valley and works to conserve over 25 species of colonial nesting water birds, through habitat management and monitoring on nesting islands. Her work also involves research on breeding and non-breeding shorebirds, as well as outreach and educational projects.

BIRDING THE WORLD

Free! Open to the Public / Thursday 3:30 – 5:10 pm / Friday 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm (20 minute sessions)
Want to get your heart pumping? Tickle your wanderlust? This is a great opportunity to hear guides from other countries dazzle you with the birds and vistas of their native countries to entice your visit. Each guide will have 20 minutes to share their passion and PowerPoint views of the birds of their homeland. If you are thinking of traveling, be sure to check the schedule of speakers to find the destinations of your choice. If you want to increase your bucket list, these are the presentations for you! You can follow up their presentation with a visit to their booth for more information.

KEYNOTE: GIVING SCIENCE WINGS: COMICS FOR BIRD CONSERVATION

with Rosemary Mosco
Free with Kiskadee Pass / Thursday 6:15pm

The creator of the comic Bird and Moon and author of kids’ books on science will discuss the funny side of birds, from vomiting vultures to awkward sage-grouse to cavorting birds-of-paradise. She’ll share tales from the field and talk about how she turns her research and experiences into cartoons. She’ll also explain why comics are powerful tools for conservationists.

Rosemary Mosco is a science writer and artist, and she’s passionate about sharing her love for the natural world. She creates the comic Bird and Moon and has written and drawn for a variety of nonprofits and scientific organizations, including Audubon, The American Ornithological Society, Nature Ecology & Evolution, and others. Her work was the subject of an award-winning museum exhibit at Cornell’s Museum of the Earth. She’s published a collection of her comics, Birding Is My Favorite Video Game, through Andrews McMeel. A middle-grade graphic novel, Solar Systems: Our Place in Space, is out in September via First Second. She once spent six months drawing all 162 species of snake in the United States. She somehow still likes snakes. Her favorite bird is the Laysan Albatross.

KEYNOTE: BIRD IDENTIFICATION SIMPLIFIED– IN 12 STEPS

with Steve NG Howell
Free with Kiskadee Pass / Friday 6:15pm

Millions of people around the world enjoy watching birds. And often a big part of the enjoyment is putting a name to the bird you are seeing: what species is this? But how do you go about that seemingly simple task? There are lots of field guides out there to help you, even courses you can take. But there is so much you already know about birds, whether you realize it or not. This 12-step program, described in the recently published Peterson Guide to Bird Identification—In 12 Steps (co-authored with Brian Sullivan), looks at how we as modern humans approach the process of bird identification. We start with some basics that so many people forget, or take for granted, and then build simply and logically into a framework that can help anyone in his or her goal to identify and appreciate birds.

Steve N. G. Howell has been watching birds for as long as he can remember—of course, this may simply mean that his memory is not very good… He is an international bird tour leader with WINGS and a popular speaker and trip leader at birding festivals. Steve has birded in all oceans and on all continents, and in his “spare time” has authored numerous books and articles, mainly about birds. The common thread to his life is that birding should be fun. His most recent books both came out in Spring 2018: The Peterson Guide to Bird Identification—In 12 Steps (co-authored with Brian Sullivan) and Birds of Chile: A Photo Guide (co-authored with Fabrice Schmitt). Steve will talk about his 12-Step approach to birding at the festival and lead two field trip.

The RAPTOR PROJECT

with Jonathan Wood
Free! Open to the Public / Saturday 11am

Jonathan is a Master Falconer, a licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator, and along with his wife Susan, an integral and fascinating part of the Festival. Their free-flying hawks, owls, eagles, and falcons are always thrilling to watch. The flight show in the auditorium is a prelude to seeing the birds up close in their booth at the Birder’s Bazaar.

 

A FEATHERED DYNASTY! BLACK-CRESTED TITMICE

with Rebekah Rylander
Free with Kiskadee Pass / Saturday 2pm

A feathered dynasty! The black-crested titmouse and the formation of kin-structured neighborhoods

Have you ever wondered why titmice are found in flocks? What is the purpose of being in a group with conspecifics? While the physical appearance of the black-crested titmouse (BCTI) is rather drab in shades of black and gray, the social structure of this species is anything but that! Over the course of a six-year study, it has been discovered that the BCTI is a complicated species with peculiar flocking capabilities and reproductive behaviors. Through color banding and focal monitoring, a rather common bird just became much more interesting! Come hear Rebekah Rylander, a PhD student.

Rebekah Rylander is a native Texan who was introduced to the field of ornithology during her undergraduate degree at the University of Texas. Since then she has been fortunate to assist with avian research in various locations across the globe including Australia, Ecuador, Hawaii, Mexico, and Canada. Rebekah is currently pursuing a PhD at Texas State University focusing on family flocking dynamics of the Black-crested Titmouse, a project that stemmed from her Master’s Degree work with the same species. In her limited spare time, Rebekah enjoys running a banding station, monitoring local populations of Golden-cheeked Warblers, and assisting undergraduates with independent research projects that target bird conservatios.

LAGUNA ATASCOSA: A SOUTH TEXAS TREASURE

with Richard Moore
Free and Open to the Public! / Saturday, 3:30pm

This is a place like no other…where a phantom wildcat stealthily stalks the cloaking thornscrub, tropical birds dart from dense thickets and wintering waterfowl greet the crimson dawn. Laguna Atascosa is the largest protected area of natural habitat open to the public in southernmost Texas and one of the most biologically diverse tracts in the United States.

Richard Moore is a professional wildlife photographer and writer. A South Texas native, Richard has been exploring Laguna Atascosa practically all his life. For the past 25 years he has been producing a television series featuring this region’s incredibly diverse wildlife. His programs, sponsored by the Payne Auto Group, air on the NBC affiliate KVEO every Tuesday and Thursday.