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HOME > EVENTS IN ADAMS COUNTY, OHIO > 11th Annual Adams County Amish Bird Symposium

March 1st, 2014 9:30am-4:30pm
11th 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. (This event has reached capacity. Please consider participating in 2015.)

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

Toll-Free: 1-877-232-6764

 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 Martha the Last Passenger Pigeon. John A. Ruthven, International wildlife artist.
10:50 Break
11:10 Birding by Impression: offering a new slant to field
identification. Kevin T. Karlson.
12:00 Amish made lunch
1:00 Announcement: Peregrine Banding Trip
1:10 The Neotropical Waves of Spring Migration along Lake Erie's Southwest Shore. Mark Shieldcastle, Director of Research for the Black Swamp Bird Observatory
2:00 Break
2:20 Tuning in to Nocturnal Bird Migration by Bill Evans, nocturnal
bird migration researcher for 25 years.
3:10 Closing Summary and Field Trip Directions - Chris Bedel.
3:15 Travel to Adams Lake State Park
3:30-4:30 Field trip: Winter water birds of Adams Lake State Park.

John A. Ruthven, International Wildlife Artist.
Martha - the last Passenger Pigeon.

Capturing the spectacle of the Passenger Pigeon migration in art is no small feat when your canvas is a multi-story wall in downtown Cincinnati. John talks about his experiences imagining Martha flying again with her flock while he completed one of his largest works ever.

About John A. Ruthven
A native Cincinnatian John returned to his hometown after Naval Service during WWII to attend the Cincinnati Art Academy. Following a successful commercial art career he began his full-time wildlife art career opening his own company Wildlife Internationale, Inc. in 1970 and moved to Georgetown. Highlights of his accomplishments include the 1960-61 Federal Duck Stamp competition, 1st Artist of the Year print for Duck's Unlimited, and the American Bald Eagles for three U.S. Presidents. His original works hang in the Hermitage Museum, The Neil Armstrong Space Museum, Bellingrath Gardens, Colonial Williamsburg, Trout Unlimited, universities and corporate offices around the world. Awards include the Ohio Governor's Award, Rotary International, Jim Foote Sustaining Artist Award from the Ruffed Grouse Society, the Ralph Drury Metal, the MacDowell Society, honorary Doctorates from Miami University, Northern Kentucky University, Wilmington College, St Francis College, Great Living Cincinnatian, and Paul Harris Fellow Award from Rotary International.

John has exhibited his original paintings at prestigious art venues and museums around the world including a one-man art exhibit titled 'John A. Ruthven – In the Audubon Tradition sponsored by the Cincinnati Museum Center where over 700 guests honored John's many accomplishments to the world of wildlife art.

John was honored at the White House by President George W. Bush and his wife Laura when he received the Medal of Art from the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington D.C. The citation read: For his impeccably accurate and unfailingly beautiful wildlife art, and in recognition of his contributions as an artist and naturalist to conserving our natural resources. He is the first wildlife artist to receive this award.

Kevin Karlson, Birder & Professional Photographer
Birding by Impression
This interactive indoor workshop shares a new slant to field identification that Kevin calls Birding by Impression, A Different Approach to Knowing and Identifying Birds, which is the title of his and Dale Rosselet's forthcoming book in the Roger Tory Peterson Reference Series at Houghton Mifflin Co. A short description of Birding by Impression is followed by unique digitized photos from his new book that encourages the audience to spot differences between similar species in direct side-by-side comparison. This exciting ID approach concentrates on basic impressions of size, shape and body motion to form an initial mental picture of birds seen in the field, with analysis of plumage details and bare parts to follow. A similar approach was used in Kevin's best selling book, The Shorebird Guide (Houghton Mifflin Co., 2006). Tips on evaluating important physical features for different bird families, and a review of difficult ID dilemmas for similar species are highlighted in this seminar.

About Kevin Karlson
Kevin Karlson is an accomplished birder, professional tour leader and wildlife photographer who has published numerous articles on bird identification and natural history for an assortment of magazines, books, and journals. A former photo editor for North American Birds, he also wrote the Birder's ID column for Wild Bird Magazine from 1992 – 2012. Kevin is a co-author of The Shorebird Guide (Houghton Mifflin Co. 2006) and is currently completing a new book for the Roger Tory Peterson Reference series at Houghton Mifflin Co. called Birding by Impression: A Different Approach to Knowing and Identifying Birds. He is the author and photographer of a book titled The Birds of Cape May (Schiffer Publishing, 2010), which celebrates the birds of this special location through the four seasons, and a new nature photography book called Visions: Earth's Elements in Bird and Nature Photography, which was released in June, 2012 by Schiffer Publishing. Kevin recently produced two laminated foldout raptor guides for Quick Reference Publishing of Austin, Texas (Raptors of Eastern and Western North America), and a new laminated foldout guide for all the Waterfowl of North America was released in September, 2013. He hopes to complete a new comprehensive e-book on shorebirds by early 2014, and is working on a laminated foldout guide for shorebirds, which should be out in the spring of 2014.

As the sole ornithologist for Cornell Lab of Ornithology's DVD Birds of North America, Kevin prepared photos and wrote captions for over 2600 bird images, including over 800 of his own. He is a regular presence at numerous Bird and Nature festivals around North America, where he gives keynote presentations and workshops on bird identification and natural history, and leads field trips to a variety of locations. Kevin also leads a limited number of photography tours, and is a regular photography instructor at several national festivals, where he specializes in Advanced Flight and Action techniques, and Basic Wildlife Photography Principles and Composition.

Mark Shieldcastle, Director of Research
for the Black Swamp Bird Observatory.
The Neotropical Waves of Spring Migration along Lake Erie's Southwest Shore

In this presentation, Mark Shieldcastle, Research Director at Black Swamp Bird Observatory, and one of North America's leading authorities on passerine migration, will delve into the science that makes bird migration so intriguing, and explore the seemingly magical way that these feathered marvels move through our universe. Mark has been studying migration in the Lake Erie Marsh Region for more than 35 years. He pioneered the "wave theory" that has become a way of thinking among birders visiting Ohio's north coast. The three "waves" of Neotropical migrants will be brought to life through vibrant imagery, and the timing of their passage through this area mapped out with surprising precision. If you have a nemesis, or just one species that is special to you, come find out when and where it's best to look for "your" bird.

About Mark Shieldcastle

Mark has a degree in Wildlife Management from The Ohio State University.  He was on staff at Ohio State with the Ohio Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit before accepting a position with the Ohio Division of Wildlife where he spent thirty-two years as a Wildlife Biologist specializing in avian research and recently retired from his position as Project Leader of Wetland Wildlife Research.  Mr. Shieldcastle is currently employed as Director of Research for the Black Swamp Bird Observatory where he leads research on passerines, raptors, shorebirds, rails, and bird/wind power issues. 

Mark has conducted research on Bald Eagle, colonial waders, terns, wetland breeding birds, woodcock, shorebirds, colonial passerines, waterfowl, rails, cranes, migrating raptors, and migrating passerines.  Has co-authored the Beneficial Use Impairments for Wildlife and Wildlife Habitat portion of the Lake Erie Management Plan which is part of the Clean Water Act; The Great Lakes-Upper Mississippi River Regional Plan of the National Shorebird Plan; The Great Lakes-Upper Mississippi River Regional Plan of the North American Waterbird Plan; and has contributed to several of the regional plans of  Partners-in-Flight.  Mark has authored or co-authored a variety of papers on passerines, Bald Eagles, cormorants, and contaminant issues with birds.  He developed recovery plans for the Bald Eagle, Osprey, Common Tern, Black-crowned Night-Heron, and Sandhill Crane in Ohio. Is presently the lead author on the Ohio Winter Bird Atlas, the first Winter Atlas in the United States.  

While with the Division of Wildlife he was Representative to the Mississippi Flyway Council, Mark also Chaired the Banding Committee of the Mississippi Flyway Council Technical Section (MFCTS); Represented the MFCTS to the International Black Duck Joint Venture and Adaptive Harvest Working Group; Is Past-President of the Inland Bird Banding Association; serves on the North American Banding Council (NABC) and served two terms as Chair of the Council; Has 38 years experience in the capture and banding of birds, has been responsible for over 800,000 banded birds, and is a certified trainer for banders under the NABC.

Bill Evans, Director of Old Bird Inc.
Tuning in to nocturnal bird migration
While we sleep large waves of migrant birds pass over our houses during the spring and fall migration periods. Bill Evans will discuss nocturnal bird migration and share insights from his 25 years of obsessive study of the phenomenon. He will give practical tips for how we can tune in from our homes by listening to and recording avian night flight calls, and by checking our local weather radars. Bill's presentation will include audio examples of some of the more interesting and unexpected species we can commonly hear from our yards at night in eastern North America.

About Bill Evans
Bill Evans is director of Old Bird Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit focused on nocturnal bird migration research and education. He has studied nocturnal bird migration in eastern U.S. for 25 years and co-authored the CD-Rom, Flight Calls of Migratory Birds with Michael O'Brien in 2002. Bill's expertise on nocturnal bird migration has led him into active involvement in efforts to mitigate avian fatalities at communications towers and wind turbines. His current research is directed toward understanding the impacts of artificial light on night-migrating birds and the concentration dynamics of night-migrating birds along shorelines and in montane terrain. Bill's scientific publications on night migration are included at; his research has been featured on PBS, BBC, NPR and in Science, The New York Times and numerous other science-news periodicals. Bill currently lives with his wife and two children in Ithaca, NY.

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

Jan & Wym Portman

Jay & Joanne Smale

Donna & Dan Rouster

Hilltop Cabinet
1553 Tater Ridge Rd
West Union, OH