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HOME > EVENTS IN ADAMS COUNTY, OHIO > 12th Annual Adams County Amish Bird Symposium

March 7th, 2015 9:30am-4:15pm
12th Annual Adams County Amish Bird Symposium

Join the Adams County Travel & Visitors Bureau and the Adams County Amish Community for a daylong celebration of birds that features speakers, vendors, live raptors from Raptor Incorporated, and other activities. Registration required. View/print a registration form here.

3735 Wheat Ridge Road - Wheat Ridge Amish Community Building
West Union, OH 45693

Toll-Free: 1-877-232-6764

>>Download/View a registration form here in pdf or jpg format.<<
 9:30 Arrive, coffee and doughnuts
9:50 Welcome - Tom Cross, Adams County Travel and Visitors Bureau. Chris Bedel, Cincinnati Museum Center's Edge of Appalachia Preserve.
10:00 Cheryl Harner: “Birding by Habitat and Habitats for Birds.”
10:50 Break
11:10 David FitzSimmons: "How to Photograph Birds: Professional Tips and Techniques"
12:00 Amish made lunch
1:00 Announcements
1:10 Dave Mehlman: “Flyways of the World: Migratory Bird Conservation and The Nature Conservancy.”
2:00 Break
2:20 Katie Fallon: “Cerulean Blues: A Personal Search for a Vanishing Songbird”
3:10 Closing Summary and Field Trip Directions - Chris Bedel.
3:15-4:15 Field trip: Winter water birds of Adams Lake State Park.

>>Download/View a registration form here in pdf or jpg format.<<
Cheryl Harner, Co-founder of Flora-Quest
Birding by Habitat and Habitats for Birds

One’s ability to identify birds in the field is greatly improved by knowing their favorite habitats. Even the most novice birder knows to look for ducks in or near water and woodpeckers in woods!
Cheryl will group birds by habitat and highlight some of the best places for specific species. Once birders consider the habitat and plant life associated with the birds they’d like to see, it’s easier to build bigger life lists. Better birding should also lead to an understanding of why we need to conserve diverse habitats for the maximum bird species.

*This program features photos by Cleveland photographer Chuck Slusarczyk, Jr.

About Cheryl Harner
Cheryl Harner is interested in the connections between botany and wildlife. She is an avid gardener and life-long wildflower and butterfly enthusiast. Her extensive volunteer work includes long-time leadership in Greater Mohican Audubon Society and Richland County Master Gardeners. She enjoys promoting conservation projects, educational events and providing programs for many clubs and organizations. She currently serves on two land trusts and works as an environmental educator and advocate for nature. Co-founder of Flora-Quest, she writes a blog for its website: Weedpicker’s Journal Cheryl resides in the Mansfield area but she can be found with binoculars and camera throughout the state. She is always ready to bird, butterfly or botanize!
David FitzSimmons, Photographer & Writer
How to Photograph Birds: Professional Tips and Techniques

Photographer David FitzSimmons will share the secrets of producing prize-winning, eye-catching bird images. Learn principles of composition, best bird photography equipment, and software to make your images shine. In addition, David will show some of his latest studio bird portraits, some of which will be appearing in his next Curious Critters children's picture book. David works with the Sigma lens company and will display some of Sigma's telephoto zoom lenses and will be providing some great door prizes.

About David FitzSimmons
David FitzSimmons is an award-winning free-lance photographer and writer. David photographs and writes for various magazines, including Outdoor Photographer, Popular Photography, Professional Photographer, and Shutterbug. His 100+ calendar credits include numerous titles by BrownTrout and Barnes & Noble. David's most recent publications include Animals of Ohio's Ponds and Vernal Pools, Curious Critters, which has won five national book awards and sold over 100,000 copies to-date, and Curious Critters Volume Two, as well as audiobooks for both Curious Critters titles. Forthcoming are Curious Critters Marine (October 2014), featuring common animals in and along the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, as well as the Gulf of Mexico, and Salamander Dance (Spring 2015), a children's picture book exploring the annual life cycle of vernal pools.

One of eight Sigma Pro photographers in North America, David presents seminars and workshops to a wide variety of audiences, from public school, college, and university classes to photography groups and civic organizations. His works have been exhibited at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute, the National Center for Nature Photography, and the Telluride Photo Festival.

An example of David FitzSimmons unique style of photographing animals.
Before becoming a freelance photographer and author, David taught for over twenty years—first high school English and then as a university professor, having instructed at the Cornell University, Ohio State University, and Ashland University. He holds a Ph.D. in English from Ohio State University, with a specialty in narrative theory—investigating the components of storytelling—something that influences his photography and writing.

To see more of David's work and to know more about seminars and photo workshops, visit

To learn more about David's award-winning picture book, Curious Critters, visit

Dave Mehlman, Director of The Nature Conservancy's Migratory Bird Program
Bird Conservation in 2015: Where Are We and what Happens Next?
This presentation will begin with an overview of the status of birds at global, national, and Ohio levels, using information from recently released reports on the State of the World's Birds, the State of the Birds in the United States and Canada, and information specifically for Ohio. Some information on Ohio's place in the migration flyways of North America will be presented. We will then discuss the wide variety of threats that face birds both globally and nationally and how bird conservationists are addressing them. The talk will then proceed to give an overview of a variety of conservation projects that are demonstrating success in the conservation of birds, including in Ohio. Finally, we will describe a variety of actions that anyone can take to benefit birds, either at home, at work, or in other countries.

About Dave Mehlman
Director of The Nature Conservancy's Migratory Bird Program He holds a PhD from the University of New Mexico, which he obtained in 1995, an MS from Florida State University, and a BA from Bowdoin College.  In his position with the Migratory Bird Program, Dave directs the program's Gulf Wings project, represents the Conservancy on the North American Bird Conservation Initiative, and serves as the Conservancy's staff person on the North American Wetlands Conservation Council.  He administers avian research and conservation projects in various countries in Latin America and is a contributor to the 2009, 2010, and 2011 U.S. State of the Birds Reports. 

Dave has worked for the Conservancy for over 20 years in a variety of positions, including with the Migratory Bird Program, the Maryland Field Office, the former International Program, and at the Worldwide Office.  Dave has been an avid birder for many years and has conducted field work and traveled to see birds in numerous parts of the U.S. and throughout the Western Hemisphere.  He has published numerous papers in both scientific and popular journals on birds, bird conservation, and ecology.

Katie Fallon, Author & one of the Founders of the Avian Conservation Center of Appalachia, Inc
Cerulean Blues: A Personal Search for a Vanishing Songbird

The cerulean warbler is one of the fastest-declining Neotropical migrant songbirds; since 1966 its population has declined by approximately 3% per year. In addition to discussing the challenges ceruleans face during the breeding and non-breeding seasons, this presentation will discuss some of the biology and natural history of cerulean warblers. How does the male cerulean woo the female? Who builds the nest, and how do they choose a nest location? How many young do they have, and how do they raise them? Once young cerulean warblers leave their nests and begin finding food on their own, where do they go? And what might they encounter on the way? We will also discuss tips for finding and identifying cerulean warblers while birding, as well as the ways that we can help conserve cerulean warblers.

About Katie Fallon
Katie Fallon is the author of the nonfiction book Cerulean Blues: A Personal Search for a Vanishing Songbird (Ruka Press, November 2011).  A finalist for the Reed Award for Outstanding Writing on the Southern Environment, Cerulean Blues is “part journey, part documentary, and wholly engaging; a tribute to a bird that bridges continents with its wings and to a rising star among contemporary nature writers,” according to Pete Dunne, director of the Cape May Bird Observatory and author of Hawks In Flight and other books.

Katie’s essays have appeared or are forthcoming in a variety of literary journals and magazines, including Bark Magazine, Fourth Genre, River Teeth, Ecotone, Appalachian Heritage, Now & Then, IsotopeFourth River, the Minnesota ReviewThe Tusculum Review, and elsewhere. Her essay Hill of the Sacred Eagles was a finalist in Terrain‘s 2011 essay contest, and she has been nominated several times for a Pushcart Prize. Katie has taught creative writing at Virginia Tech and West Virginia University. Her first word was “bird.”

Katie is also one of the founders of the Avian Conservation Center of Appalachia, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving wild birds through scientific research; outreach and public education; and rescue and rehabilitation. The ACCA is based near Morgantown, WV, and each year treats approximately 150 injured wild birds.

From June until mid-October Katie serves as Market Manager for the Cheat Lake Farmers’ Market. In addition to birding, Katie enjoys hiking, canoeing, yoga, and wine. She lives in Cheat Neck, WV, with her daughter Laurel, husband Jesse, and dog Liza Jane.

>>Download/View a registration form here in pdf or jpg format.<<

We gratefully acknowledge the contributions of the following individuals, businesses and organizations for their generous support of the Adams County Amish Bird Symposium:

Jay & Joanne Smale

Donna & Dan Rouster

Hilltop Cabinet
1553 Tater Ridge Rd
West Union, OH

>>Download/View a registration form here in pdf or jpg format.<<