SOUTHEAST ARIZONA BIRDING FESTIVAL | August 8–12, 2018| Tucson, AZ
Featured Speaker Evening Programs
Keynote Presentation and Banquet: Saturday, August 11
6:00pm — 8:30pm, $75/person
The Perils and Pitfalls of Birding with Bill Thompson III
A humorous narrative about the many mistakes, accidents, and embarrassing situations Bill Thompson III, has experienced in his 30+ years as a bird watcher. He urges the audience to avoid these same perils and pitfalls and even offers tips for how to do so. This light-hearted talk pokes fun at how we bird watchers have our own language, dress code, and food preferences. It’s guaranteed to generate laughs or Bill will clean the binoculars of everyone present.
Bill Thompson III (or BT3 as he is better known) is a lifelong birder, the co-publisher of Bird Watcher’s Digest (BWD), and the author of many books on birds and nature. He’s been on the editorial team of BWD since May 1988, and during that time has watched birds in 49 U.S. states (still missing Hawaii) and more than 40 countries. Bill enjoys a huge following on social media and creates and hosts two podcasts: “This Birding Life,” which gets more than 750,000 episode downloads annually and “Out There With the Birds,” which he co-hosts with Ben Lizdas.
He is the former president and a founding board member of the Ohio Ornithological Society, and also serves on the board of directors for the Roger Tory Peterson Institute. He is devoted to introducing kids to nature and birding and considers his Young Birder’s Guide to Birds of North America to be his proudest professional achievement.
Bill loves showing people birds and does so regularly at birding festivals, where he is a popular keynote speaker, guide, and musical performer. He is also the creator of two events for birders: Reader Rendezvous (birding weekends for Bird Watcher’s Digest subscribers) and the American Birding Expo (a commercial event connecting North American birders to the worldwide birding marketplace).
In his spare time, Bill writes music and performs with his country-rock band, The Rain Crows. His favorite North American bird is the red-headed woodpecker.
Thursday, August 9
Museum Birding: From the Specimen Drawer to the Field with Rick Wright
- 10:00 am – 12:00pm
How do we birders know the things we think we know? Where do “field marks” come from? And what on earth do all those dead birds on their backs in wooden drawers have to do with our hobby as we practice it in the 21st century? Join Rick Wright for a two-hour workshop exploring the intimate connections between museum specimens and conservation, research, and, yes, recreational birding. We will discover how collections are formed and maintained, and learn about the sometimes surprising results when old specimens are brought to bear on new problems. After this introduction to the enduring value of natural history collections, Rick will discuss a number of the Southwest’s rarest and most challenging birds, illustrating his remarks with representative specimens from among the more than 18,000 held by the University of Arizona. Along with stories of collecting adventure, daring, and even foolishness, workshop participants will come away with new knowledge they can use in the field—and a new respect for the sources of that knowledge, sources that lie on their backs in wooden drawers. Van will leave DoubleTree at 9:45am or meet on-site. 15 person limit.
Hummingbird Photography Class Workshop with Steve Vaughan
- 2:00pm – 5:00pm
Hummingbirds can flap their wings up to 80 times a second, which can present quite the challenge for a photographer. This is the perfect opportunity to learn the specialized techniques needed to create stunning images of hummingbirds. This workshop includes both a classroom discussion and field instruction to maximize your learning experience. The field instruction is limited to eight participants. We will cover ambient light, fill-flash and high-speed flash photography techniques. Join professional nature photographer Steve Vaughan for this fantastic opportunity to experience the joys of photographing these flying jewels. Recommended equipment: Digital SLR, TTL flash, tripod and a telephoto lens capable of focusing close enough the fill the viewfinder with a 5 x 7 inch object.
You can email Steve at StephenHVaughan@Gmail.com if you have questions. No participant limit for workshop, but field trip is limited to 8 participants and you must sign up separately.
Friday, August 10
LBJs: Little Brown Jobbers with Homer Hansen
- 1:30pm – 3:00pm
Our skulky sparrows come to life during the monsoon season in southeast Arizona, and species such as Botteri’s, Cassin’s and Grasshopper’s can be identified readily if you are familiar with their appearance and vocalizations. This workshop will introduce you to the breeding sparrows of our region, along with their habitat, identification characteristics, and songs. Take this workshop and then accompany Homer into the field on Saturday for a special sparrow field trip. No participant limit for workshop, but field trip is limited to 9 participants and you must sign up separately.
Saturday, August 11
Peaking Down The Rabbit Hole: A Beginner’s Look at Dragonflies and Damselflies in southeast Arizona
- 3:00pm – 4:30pm
Have you been curious about dragonflies but mystified by the challenge of identifying them? Join Chris Benesh and Laurens Halsey for a workshop aimed at providing a foundation for how to go about identifying these challenging arthropods. This will be followed by a Sunday field trip aimed at examining some of the odonate diversity found around Southeast Arizona. No participant limit for workshop, but field trip is limited to 9 participants and you must sign up separately.
Free Talks at the Nature Expo – Registration required below
Thursday, August 9:
Easy Digiscoping with Carl Zeiss Sports Optics at Reid Park with Richard Moncrief
- 10:00am – 11:00am
- FREE. Register here
Learn about simple ways to use a spotting scopes to take beautiful images of the natural word! Includes us of both smart phones and mirrorless camera systems. We will also take a look at post processing of your images.
Getting Started with eBird – Making eBird easy! with Jennie Macfarland
- 2:30pm – 3:30pm
- FREE. Register here.
eBird, the free online birding tool, is changing the face of modern birding. The goal of this internet-based checklist system is to harness the power of both birding and science. It allows you to keep track of your bird records online and share them with the birding community, while making them available for science and conservation efforts. eBird allows birders to post sightings, keep life lists, manage their personal records and has amazing output maps and features. This workshop will teach you what eBird is and why it’s important that you contribute, show you what it can do for you as a birder, and teach you how to get started. Join Jennie MacFarland, Tucson Audubon’s Bird Conservation Biologist, and get empowered to make your observations count!
Friday, August 10:
How to Choose an International Birding Tour with David Pearson
- 2:30pm – 3:30pm
- FREE. Register here
Based on the book he co-authored, “Global Birding”, and published by National Geographic Society, Dave Pearson will give accounts of his favorite birding site on each continent and then lead a discussion on the pros and cons of choosing a tour company, local guides or going it on your own in the quest to see your world life list soar.
Moths: A Hidden World of Nocturnal Diversity with Pima County Naturalist Jeff Babson
- 4:00pm – 5:00pm
- FREE. Register here
Moths are often dismissed as drab creatures whose caterpillars devour our gardens and sweaters. While some species do exhibit bad habits, the truth is that moths are incredibly diverse, abundant, and easy to observe. Many moths are strikingly patterned and stunningly beautiful, refuting the idea that these insects are unattractive. This workshop is an introduction to the vibrant, beautiful, and surprising world of moths. (Use main festival registration for adjoining field trip.)
The Exciting Night Life of Bats with Karen Krebbs
- 3:30pm – 4:30pm
- FREE. Register here
Karen has studied bats for more than 30 years. Learn about this exciting and unique nocturnal mammal and how it is so successful as a predator and pollinator. There are more than 1,100 species of bats that occur worldwide. Bats are an important part of our ecosystems and deserve our respect and admiration. Echolocation allows a bat to fly in total darkness to locate, chase, and capture flying insects. Bridges and other human structures are important roost habitat for many species of bats. Nectar bats visit and pollinate columnar cactus and succulents in our area. Also learn about the threats to bats and how we can help. A live bat will be presented at the end of the lecture. (Use main festival registration for adjoining field trip.)
When Science and Art Collide with Dano Grayson
- 5:00pm – 6:00pm
- FREE. Register here
Dano Grayson’s “When Science and Art Collide” is a comprehensive presentation showing the use of scientific methods and photography to catalog the behaviors of animals found near and far. Dano has spent a lifetime getting close to nature and having worked on projects with the government of Peru, San Diego Zoo, and USGS and has been allowed access to some of the most wild places. The pictures shown during this presentation are an archive of adventure travel and science and he hopes to show the world the beauty of biodiversity through the use of his non-invasive photography methods. More information on Dano and sample images from this presentation can be found at http://www.danograyson.com/
Birder Happy Hours
Details coming soon!
Cancellations received on or before July 1, 2018 will be refunded less a 10% processing fee. No refunds will be issued after July 1. Tucson Audubon reserves the right to cancel or revise any event for any reason. If it becomes necessary to cancel a paid event (field trip or dinner) for which you have a reservation, we will notify you and issue a full refund. No refunds will be issued for no-shows.
Tucson Audubon Society
300 E University Blvd. #120 Tucson, AZ 85705
3835 W Hardy Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85742
Paton Center for Hummingbirds
477 Pennsylvania Ave.
Patagonia, AZ 85624