Sunday, March 27, 2011

Separate Ways...

At home on a quiet Sunday, Kimberly writes: Yesterday, Kenn and I did something that we rarely do. We really don't like being away from each other, but yesterday, we went separate ways to deliver talks at two different events.   Kenn headed north to Detroit, MI, to lead a field trip and give a presentation for the Detroit Audubon Society 2011 Conservation Conference, while I headed to Shreve, Ohio for the Shreve Migration Sensation (SMS). 

Kenn and I both delivered completely new talks at these respective events, and the 24 hours leading up to yesterday were pa-retty hectic, to say the least!  Both of us really feel blessed to have the opportunity to speak about birds and bird conservation, but it also feels really nice to have yesterday behind us, and to be home together on a quiet Sunday morning.  I'll let Kenn fill you in on the details from Detroit, but I'd like to share a few thoughts about the SMS.

The Shreve Migration Sensation is, hands down, my favorite nature festival. The event is community based, offers a wide variety of nature-related activities for families, is organized by great people and organizations, and, I just have to say, the whole "feel" of the festival is wonderfully warm and welcoming. They get an impressive number of people at the festival, too.  This year, I heard that they broke last year's attendance record, and registered 1200 people!  And, get this - the entire population of Shreve is only 1500.

Here's some coverage of this year's event that our friend Cheryl Harner posted on her Weedpicker's Journal blog!
Shreve Migration - A Sensation!

And here are some great posts from past SMS's from our friend Dave Lewis from his Birds From Behind blog.
Migration Sensation
Sensational Shreve

I was so honored to give a talk at this event.  I was a speaker last year, too, and they actually asked me to come back again...amazing!  =)  In my presentation this year, "How To Be A Better Birder - Even if You're Already an Expert", I wanted to share some of the most powerful moments I've had with birds, and end by encouraging people to do more to support bird conservation.  In addition to talking about Proper Siting of Wind Turbines, wind turbines and birds, encouraging birders to buy Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center (SMBC) Certified Shade Coffee, the Federal Duck Stamp and Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp, Take a Kid Birdingand Keep Cats IndoorsI spoke about the importance of continuing to learn about birds beyond just matching them up to a picture in a book.

If ever there was a time when we needed to learn more about birds and their habitat needs, it is now.   The natural world is under seige. If birders stop caring about birds at the point where they can identify them, we'll never really know enough to be proper stewards of the natural resources that birds -- and humans -- depend on. Identification is an important first step.  People have to care enough to wonder, "What's that bird?!" before they can take that  critical next step and explore its life history, and understand how to care for its habitat properly.

I'll leave you with an environmental quote I read recently from Dr. David Suzuki, award-winning scientist, environmentalist and broadcaster. The quote really resonated with me, and I hope it has the same impact on you.

  "In reality, there are no externalities, there is no environment 'out there', with humans 'over here' trying to manage our relationship with the biosphere. We are the environment. We take a breath of air and some of that air stays in us. The environmental crisis is a crisis of humans and we are treating ourselves as a repository for all the pollution we send out through our chimneys and exhaust pipes."
                                                                 ~Dr. David Suzuki
                                                                 The Nature of Things


  1. Nice post. I can't imagine a birder that isn't an environmentalist (even amateur) too. The two can't be separated can they? And I love the quote. It's funny how people talk about 'The Environment' and 'people' as separate entities when all of us will become one with it again someday.

  2. Kimmay, your talk was great. We need more folks like you out there to help save what's left of our natural world.
    Thank you so much for being a friend to me and the Doodles AND to the birds!

    Big hugs!

  3. I'm an amateur birder and I just discovered this blog. Love the posts! I can't wait to read more.

  4. Nice reference to Suzuki, Kim! Actually, the greatest American popularizer of birds in the 20th Century, Roget Tory Peterson, said a very similar thing. It was shorter, too. He said: "If each individual could define his own role 'in' nature, we wouldn't have as many problems. It is when we see ourselves 'out' of nature that we court trouble."