Klamath Bird Observatory and the 2015 Mountain Bird Festival welcome three featured artists – Dan Elster, Katrina Elise Meister, and Stefan Savides. These artists, all from the Klamath-Siskiyou Bioregion, will be setting up galleries during this year’s Friday (May 29) and Saturday (May 30) Mountain Bird Festival socials from 5:00pm to 7:00pm at ScienceWorks Hands-on Museum in Ashland, Oregon. These generous artists are donating a portion of gallery sales to support Klamath Bird Observatory’s efforts to advance bird and habitat conservation through science, education, and partnerships.
Mountain Bird Festival 2015 Keynote Presentation —
eBird: Innovating citizen-science, big data research, and bird conservation
In our fast-paced world, birds serve as an unrivaled window for studying and assessing environmental change: literal canaries in coal mines. eBird is a network of human observers spread across the planet collecting millions of data points each month, combined with the power of remote sensors that collect real-time environmental data, spun together through innovative computer science and modeling efforts that ultimately achieve real-world conservation outcomes for birds. Today eBird is arguably the fastest-growing biodiversity network in existence. Find out how we’ve taken a novel approach to crowdsourcing, and turned the birding community’s global passion for birds into a vast data resource for science and conservation.
Brian Sullivan has conducted fieldwork on birds throughout North America for the past 20 years. Birding travels, photography, and field projects have taken him to Central and South America, to Antarctica, the Arctic and across North America. He has written and consulted on various books, popular, and scientific literature on North American birds, and is a co-author on The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors, and the forthcoming Princeton Guide to North American Birds. He is currently project leader for eBird (www.ebird.org) and photographic editor for the Birds of North America Online at the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. He also served as photographic editor for the American Birding Association’s journal North American Birds from 2005-2013.
2015 Mountain Bird Festival: Citizens and Science Elevating Bird Conservation
The 2014 Mountain Bird Festival was a huge success. All attendees served as bird conservationists by helping raise over $10,000 in support of local and national conservation efforts and the science that drives that conservation. Participants flocked from all over the U.S. to bird the Klamath-Siskiyou Bioregion of southern Oregon and northern California. 171 bird species were seen by festival participants, including mountain and pacific northwest specialties such as White-headed Woodpecker, Spotted Owl, Calliope Hummingbird, Mountain Bluebird, and of course, the Great Gray Owl. Additionally, over 90 species of wildflowers were seen in bloom, as well as 21 species of dragonflies and damselflies seen zipping through the region’s diverse habitats. All data from field trips were entered into eBird Northwest, which contributes to our understanding of bird distribution and habitat use. All festival attendees purchased a Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp (a.k.a. the Duck Stamp) with their registration, contributing to wetland restoration and conservation throughout the United States; attendees also purchased a Conservation Science Stamp, supporting Klamath Bird Observatory‘s worldwide efforts to advance bird and habitat conservation through science, education, and partnerships.
The 2015 Mountain Bird Festival will offer guided bird walks, fine art galleries, local wine, microbrew, and food vendors, and a feel-good community atmosphere. This year’s keynote speaker will be Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology’s International eBird project leader, Brian Sullivan. Brian will show us how eBird and its state of the art technologies are revolutionizing birding, making this popular recreation a powerful conservation science activity.
Festival registration includes half-day or full-day field trips offered on both Saturday and Sunday.
Festival goers will have the opportunity to enjoy all that is offered by the town of Ashland, Oregon. See a play at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, stroll through town to visit a variety of shops and galleries, get a massage, or enjoy a meal at one of Ashland’s many restaurants that feature local foods. We look forward to seeing you at the 2015 Mountain Bird Festival.
- Click here for registration, now available on our website.
- Click here for the festival flyer.
- Click here for a list of field trips.
The Klamath Bird Observatory is grateful for your support and dedication. Don’t forget to tell your friends about this great opportunity to see wonderful birds and contribute to their conservation while at it!
*** PRESS RELEASE***
The award winning Mountain Bird Festival is back, celebrating the natural wonders of southern Oregon and northern California. The 2015 Mountain Bird Festival will be held in Ashland, Oregon from May 29th-31st. Registration for the Festival will be available on the Klamath Bird Observatory website at www.klamathbird.org. The Mountain Bird Festival offers guided bird walks, a keynote presentation, fine art galleries, local wine, microbrew, and food vendors, and a feel-good community atmosphere. Registration includes half-day or full-day field trips offered on both Saturday and Sunday.
The 2015 Mountain Bird Festival combines a celebration of the Klamath-Siskiyou Bioregion’s spectacular mountain birds and the stewardship ethic needed to ensure thriving landscapes for humans and wildlife. Every citizen who participates in the Festival helps to advance bird and habitat conservation in multiple ways. They contribute to habitat protection through the purchase of a Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp (a.k.a. the Duck Stamp), thereby supporting one of the most successful conservation programs in the United States. Festival attendees also purchase a Conservation Science Stamp with proceeds supporting Klamath Bird Observatory’s regional science and education programs aimed at achieving sustainable natural resource management. Additionally, every Festival goer serves as a citizen scientist contributing field trip bird sightings to eBird Northwest, a rapidly growing database that advances our knowledge about birds and their habitats.
This year’s Mountain Bird Festival features a keynote presentation by Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology’s International eBird project leader, Brian Sullivan. Brian will show us how eBird and its state of the art technologies are revolutionizing birding, making this popular recreation a powerful conservation science activity.
The Klamath-Siskiyou Bioregion of southern Oregon and northern California is one of the most biologically diverse regions in the world, an absolute must-see for birders and naturalists. The 2015 Mountain Bird Festival offers guided bird walks to some of the most beautiful and diverse landscapes of the region. Field trips will target highly sought after mountain birds of the Cascade, Siskiyou, and Klamath Mountains, as well as Klamath Basin specialties. Target birds include Mountain Quail, nesting Sandhill Cranes, dancing Western and Clark’s Grebes, Black Terns, Great Gray Owls, Calliope Hummingbirds, and the bird that will be featured on this year’s Conservation Science Stamp, the White-headed Woodpecker.
The Mountain Bird Festival has received national awards for becoming one of our nation’s leading conservation events. Please join us for the 2015 Mountain Bird Festival and become part of our efforts to elevate bird conservation.
Click here to view a a copy of the press release announcing the 2015 Mountain Bird Festival.
Mindful Birding recognizes that bird watching, by nature, is an outdoor activity that connects participants with nature through an appreciation of the magnificence of birds. With this recognition of the inherent value of birding, the Mindful Birding ethic encourages bird watchers to be mindful toward wildlife, mindful to safety and other people, and mindful of their own birding experience. With such consciousness it is believed that bird watchers will carry a Mindful Birding ethic from the field into their everyday activities, becoming even stronger messengers for and supporters of conservation for birds and people. The Morrissey Family Foundation issued this first Mindful Birding Award in recognition of Klamath Bird Observatory’s efforts to promote birding ethics and conservation through the Mountain Bird Festival.
The Mountain Bird Festival is a unique community conservation event that celebrates the globally outstanding Klamath Siskiyou Region, recognized for its abundance of different habitats and species. The festival offers two days of field trips that will search for mountain bird specialties, such as White-headed Woodpecker, Mountain Quail, Calliope Hummingbird, and Great Gray Owl. The festival also features a fine art auction, live music, local foods and beverages, cocktail parties, and stimulating evening presentations. Klamath Bird Observatory will distribute specific Mindful Birding guidelines to festival attendees and provide training to field trip leaders, who will encourage Mindful Birding practices on field trips.
Klamath Bird Observatory is hosting the 2014 Mountain Bird Festival in partnership with the City of Ashland, the Ashland Chamber of Commerce, ScienceWorks Hands-On Museum, and many other organizations. Click here to access a PDF of this press release.
Bids can be placed by individuals who are registered for the festival, or by individuals who purchase a Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp and a Mountain Bird Conservation Science Stamp ($15 each, $30 in total) at the door to gain entry to the evening festivities, including art auction, no-host bar, and Saturday keynote presentations and music. Funds generated from stamp sales will directly support bird and habitat conservation.
To the right and below, we share a sample of the fine art that will be on display at the first-ever Mountain Bird Festival. The Mountain Bird Festival is a community conservation event hosted by Klamath Bird Observatory, in partnership with the City of Ashland, Ashland Chamber of Commerce, and ScienceWorks Hands-On Museum.
Klamath Bird Observatory is currently serving on a national team of scientists and communications specialists working to produce annual State of the Birds reports. The reports link bird conservation to the fundamentals of sustainability. They recognize that bird populations, like the famous canary in the coal mine, serve as bellwethers of the health of whole ecosystems, and thus our economic and social well-being.
As the State of the Birds Team works on the upcoming report, which will provide an update on bird population trends in our country since the initial report five years ago, we reflect on the centennial commemoration of the Passenger Pigeon. Once North America’s most abundant bird, the Passenger Pigeon was driven to extinction 100 years ago. A lesson that emerges from this travesty is that we must use proactive approaches to natural resource management and excellent applied science to avoid such unnecessary losses in the future.
While the State of the Birds reports highlight many inspiring conservation success stories, such as the recovery of the Peregrine Falcon, and the effective management of migratory birds through the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, they also outline some alarming trends. For example, declines of western forest birds appear to be sharpening, a reflection of the forest management challenges facing local communities, economies, and ecosystems in the Pacific Northwest.
So, by placing a birding festival within a conservation context, we are balancing troubling news about declining bird populations with the optimism that science-based conservation can work. The Mountain Bird Festival celebrates how citizens and science can reverse bird population declines through strategic habitat conservation, an engaged citizenry, and stewardship for resilient ecosystems. During the festival, field trip goers will be exploring the Klamath Siskiyou Bioregion, an area renowned for its high diversity of western forest migratory birds. This is also an area where opportunities abound for improved conservation of these species.
By signing up for the Mountain Bird Festival, every registrant will be purchasing a Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp and thereby directly contributing to habitat protection within the National Wildlife Refuge System. Additionally with registration, every festival attendee will be purchasing a Mountain Bird Conservation Science Stamp, with proceeds supporting Klamath Bird Observatory’s scientific programs that are driving western forest bird conservation in the Klamath Siskiyou Bioregion and throughout the Pacific Northwest.
We hope you attend our inaugural Mountain Bird Festival and help us write a new conservation success story starring citizens, science, and mountain birds.
Below are the keynote descriptions and presenter biographies. Visit the Mountain Bird Festival website to browse available birdwatching field trips and then register for this exciting community conservation event, a recent recipient of a Conservation Award. Sign up soon before field trips fill, and we hope to see you in Ashland in late May!
The Mountains of Everywhere by Pepper Trail
Ashland, Oregon, tucked into a fold between the Cascade and Siskiyou Mountains, may seem to be in the middle of nowhere. But here in single day, you can walk through sagebrush and spruce forest, spot Great Gray Owls and Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, and attend a science seminar and a Shakespeare play. Our mountains are one of the great biological crossroads of North America, and our little town is a hotbed of science, conservation, and the arts whose influence extends to the corridors of power in Washington and the bright lights of Broadway. Welcome to Ashland. Welcome to everywhere.
Pepper Trail received his Ph.D. from Cornell University for his field studies of the spectacular Guianan Cock-of-the-Rock in Suriname. He is the author of numerous scientific papers and popular articles in journals ranging from Science and Conservation Biology to National Geographic and Ranger Rick. He has lived in Ashland since 1994, where he is the ornithologist at the U.S. National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Laboratory. In this position, he is responsible for identification of all feathers and bird remains seized in investigations of endangered species smuggling and other wildlife crimes. An active member of the regional conservation community, he was heavily involved in the efforts that led to the establishment of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. His expertise, enthusiasm, and sense of humor make him a sought-after speaker and tour guide, and he has led birding trips to all seven continents.
Shakespeare and the Corvids by Barry Kraft
In 1592, the first critical notice of Shakespeare was published in London — an unflattering description of him as “an upstart crow”. Critical intent aside, the comparison of the poet/playwright to the crow and raven family of feathered geniuses was apt – both he and they, noted for outstanding intelligence and adaptability, are survivors above all. Barry Kraft’s keynote presentation will explore the affinities Shakespeare has with the corvids, and reference the many members of this family of birds that have flown their ways into his poems and plays.
Barry Kraft has acted in all 38 of Shakespeare’s plays (more than 100 roles in 86 full productions), including 20 seasons at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He has had seasons with the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Old Globe (San Diego), The Empty Space & A Contemporary Theatre (both in Seattle), San Jose Rep, Berkeley Shakespeare Festival, ACT (San Francisco), Marin Shakespeare Company, and Utah Shakespearean Festival. For the Eugene Symphony, he was the narrator for Leonard Bernstein’s Kaddish Symphony. He has written After-Dinner Shakespeare and Shakespeare Insult Generator. He has recorded several books on tape for Blackstone Audio, including Ovid’s Metamorphoses. He is also a dramaturg, educator, an avid chess and Go player, and poetry lover. Barry has been an enthusiastic birder from boyhood, and in his teens had a pet barn owl, a red-tail hawk, a kestrel, and a raven. (Yes, illegal at the time — but he didn’t know it!)
Visit the Mountain Bird Festival website to register for this fun and unique conservation festival!