Monday, March 08, 2010

7th Annual Amish Bird Symposium

Image © Lucy Miller. Used here with permission.

Last Saturday, March 6th, I attended the 7th Annual Amish Bird Symposium in beautiful, rural Adams County, Ohio. I have to say that this is one of my favorite birding events to attend, as it is just the right size and doesn't have too much going on all at once. This event always seems to get better every year, and this year was no exception.

This year, the event was held at a new location, the Wheat Ridge Amish Community Building. With this new location brought for the first time indoor plumbing, an insulated building and plenty of room to enjoy your Amish made lunch. The only thing that reminded me that I was still in an Amish building was the gas powered mantle lighting.

Every year, the symposium starts off with a speech from a member of the Amish birding community. I enjoy listening to them as they have different perspectives on birding than most of us. I listen closely, hoping to get a little hint or secret as to how they attract all the rarities ;-)

Susan from Raptor Inc. was there with her rehab birds (always a very popular draw!), as were several birding related vendors which had items on sale.

Storm the Barn Owl was adding wild sound effects to many of the speakers' presentations!

The speaker list for this event is always impressive, and this year was no exception! Thane Maynard , Director of the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden , gave an optimistic talk about the work and the progress that is being made with endangered species conservation.

Donald Kroodsma , author of The Singing Life of Birds, opened up a whole new world to me that I have never really paid that much attention to. Very interesting and informative talk. Wildlife photographer Ron Austing showed off some of his stellar bird photography and volunteer naturalist Chuck Jakubchak gave an informative talk about bird nests.

After the presentations, some symposium attendees took a trip to the close-by Adams Lake State Park for some local birding.

Ring-necked Ducks on Adams Lake.

I had a wonderful time. Met many old friends and some new ones too! Looking forward to this event again next year!


  1. Anonymous9:32 AM

    Hi DTB!

    In common with the majority of people, all I know about the Amish people was gleaned from the film Witness.

    I am intrigued to know what their different perspective on birding is?


    P.S. I have moved to if you are still interested.

  2. Poor Birding World: Since most of them can't travel far distances fast, they don't chase birds. Many don't keep lists either. They pay more attention to the birds that are around them, watching them just for their beauty. A good deal of rare/state record birds here in Ohio come from the Amish.

  3. Nice barn owl shot.

  4. Anonymous5:28 PM

    Thanks DTB

    Sounds like some of us could learn a lot from the Amish.

    best regards

  5. A whole lotta Ring-necked Ducks! Cool. I've only seem them 2 at a time so far.

  6. ...sounds like a great time. I'm going to mark it on my calendar for next year. I'd like to go to it.