Monday, March 7, 2011

Spring Meetings for Birders

Every state has an ornithological society where birders meet to learn more about birds, take field trips in hopes of seeing new birds, and socialize with people of similar interests.

Both thee Oklahoma and Texas societies have meetings coming up in May.

The Texas Ornithological Society (TOS) has its spring meeting May 5 -7 in Junction, TX. I enjoy the TOS meetings, but this one (again) conflicts with another commitment--I am speaking at a conference in Oklahoma that same weekend. Bummer.

The Oklahoma Ornithological Society (OOS) has its spring meeting May 13 - 15 in Black Mesa, OK. I haven't yet had a chance to attend any of the OOS meetings, but I am sure they are well worth attending.

The state ornithological societies depend upon the help of volunteers and most of the attendees are budget conscious, so you will find you can get a lot of birding done for a reasonable price. Your hotel (and right now, gas) will probably be your biggest expense. I know the organizers do their best to negotiate good rates at decent hotels.

If you can make one of these events, please do and consider joining these organizations if you are able. In addition to these meetings, the organizations support education and conservation programs that benefit the birds. The TOS has several sanctuaries open to their members. It is unfortunate that all of them are on the Texas coast, but you can indeed see some nice birds--I have visited some of these sanctuaries on previous trips. I would be nice to have different ecological areas represented--just takes money and volunteer time.

Good birding!

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