The beauty of birding — besides the birds themselves, of course — is you don’t necessarily have to leave your backyard to enjoy this fast-growing pursuit.
Yes, the birds oftentimes will come to you.
How, you ask?
A story on backyard birding in the fall issue of Northland Outdoors magazine, due out in early August (subscribe for free for future magazines at www.northlandoutdoors.com/subscribe/), addresses everything from how to attract birds to bird identification as well as how to connect with the birding community and where backyard birding can take you.
As in beyond the backyard.
In that fall piece, it’s noted that many birders enjoy their backyard birds and have no desire to go on special birding outings or trips, while others find that backyard birding is only the beginning of a hobby that will open them up to a new world that includes learning about habitat and conservation and connecting with like-minded individuals.
Such as the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative’s annual gathering, scheduled Oct. 27-29 at the Stoney Creek Inn and Conference Center in Rothschild.
The WBCI again is partnering with Bird City Wisconsin as well as collaborating with the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum. Appropriately, this year’s theme is “Protecting Birds Through Action and Art.
The first day of the conference will offer Bird City communities and other conservation-minded attendees a program on hazards facing birds and how to deal with those hazards. The lineup of speakers includes renowned author, naturalist and conservationist Kenn Kaufman; Minnesota Audubon’s Joanna Eckles; Tom Will of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Partners in Flight; and many others who will cover topics such as cats, collisions, climate change and native plantscaping as well as the Migratory Bird Treaty centennial.
This year’s conference also will explore the rich and fascinating intersection between bird conservation action and art in partnership with the museum, a widely-respected cultural and educational facility in nearby Wausau.
An evening reception hosted by the museum will offer attendees a private viewing of the museum’s 41st annual Birds in Art exhibition. The second day of the conference will feature presentations by artists, advocates and educators on how art can help advance bird conservation outreach and action.
According to a release from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Bird City Wisconsin is extending special invitations to its representatives and collaborators in 99 communities across the state to attend the conference, which is serving as a second Bird City Summit, the theme of the 2014 WBCI annual meeting.
Similar invitations are being extended to all WBCI partners and through the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology and the Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory, which also are sponsoring the conference. Additional support has been provided by the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin’s C.D. Besadny Conservation Grant Program.
A full program and schedule of events for the conference may be found at http://www.wisconsinbirds.org. Register online by October 11 at http://wsobirds.org/wbci-annual-meeting-2016. The $65 registration fee covers both days of the conference, including lunches, breaks and the evening reception. Organizers also have reserved a block of rooms at the Stoney Creek Hotel at $82 (plus tax) single occupancy and $99 double, with the rates good through Sept. 30. Call Stoney Creek’s central reservation system at 800-659-2220 or the hotel’s front desk at 715-355-6858 and mention the WBCI’s annual meeting to get the special rate.