Mass Audubon Birders Meeting Sunday, March 13, at UMass Boston
Michael P. O'Connor
LINCOLN—Each March, as spring approaches and birds begin their annual migration to New England breeding and nesting grounds, hundreds of people gather in their own seasonal rite, at the Mass Audubon Birders Meeting. The 24th annual conference will take place Sunday, March 13, in the Campus Center at UMass Boston on Dorchester Bay.
The theme for this year’s conference is Seabirds: Divers and Their Drivers. Speakers will address the remarkable characteristics and behaviors of seabirds, the challenges they face in a changing world, and some of the factors that influence their distribution and ecology, including right here in New England.
This year’s all-day event again features an engaging roster of speakers and topics. These include:
- Bermudian naturalist and conservationist David Wingate, who will discuss how saving the Bermuda Petrel—thought extinct for almost three centuries—has provided insights and hope for global oceanic bird conservation.
- Guidebook writer and children’s author/illustrator Sophie Webb, who will consider how modern field guides, increasing ocean access for researchers and birders, and technological advances have collectively aided our understanding of seabird distribution patterns at sea.
- Stephen Kress and Derrick Z. Jackson, who collaborated on the well-received book, Project Puffin: The Improbable Quest to Bring a Beloved Seabird Back to Egg Rock and will discuss the resilience—avian and human—key to the seabird’s inspiring recovery on the Maine coast, and broader seabird conservation lessons. Kress is Vice-President for Bird Conservation for the National Audubon Society. Jackson is an essayist, nature photographer, and contributing columnist at the Boston Globe.
Additional presentations will range from the navigational challenges seabirds confront within the “hook” of Cape Cod Bay and how to identify Massachusetts species to habitat issues on the continental shelf and across the Gulf of Maine.
“The Birders Meeting is a constant on the calendars of birders and other nature lovers of all abilities and backgrounds, and for good reason,” said Wayne Petersen, Director of Mass Audubon’s Important Bird Areas program and chief organizer of the popular conference. “Every year since 1992, it has brought together a growing community of people connecting to the natural world through biodiversity and eager to learn the latest on birds and bird life.”
Birders Meeting tickets ordered through Sunday, February 28 are $60 for Mass Audubon members; $65 for non-members. From Monday, February 29 until March 13, prices are $70 for Mass Audubon members; $75 for non-members.
Light breakfast and lunch are included in the cost of registration for the conference, which will again feature a vendors area where attendees can shop for birding- and other outdoors-related equipment and gifts.
Parking is available in the Campus Center Garage and at surface lots near the Center. Mass Audubon is especially grateful to its Birders Meeting sponsors, including binoculars and spotting scopes manufacturer Zeiss, whose generous support provides admission for members of young birders clubs.
Mass Audubon protects more than 38,000 acres of land throughout Massachusetts, saving birds and other wildlife, and making nature accessible to all. As Massachusetts' largest nature conservation nonprofit, we welcome more than a half million visitors a year to our wildlife sanctuaries and 20 nature centers. From inspiring hilltop views to breathtaking coastal landscapes, serene woods, and working farms, we believe in protecting our state's natural treasures for wildlife and for all people's vision shared in 1896 by our founders, two extraordinary Boston women.
Today, Mass Audubon is a nationally recognized environmental education leader, offering thousands of camp, school, and adult programs that get over 225,000 kids and adults outdoors every year. With more than 135,000 members and supporters, we advocate on Beacon Hill and beyond, and conduct conservation research to preserve the natural heritage of our beautiful state for today's and future generations. We welcome you to explore a nearby sanctuary, find inspiration, and get involved. Learn how at www.massaudubon.org.