Michigan Audubon is excited that the 2019 Seminar Series is beginning to take shape and this year’s lineup has a little something for everyone. Seminars are free and open to the public. Sessions take place on the second Monday of each month from 7 – 8 p.m. at the Michigan Audubon office located at 2310 Science Parkway, Suite 200, Okemos, MI 48864.

More information will be posted soon about each seminar topic and speaker.

Reducing Avian Collisions with Communications Towers: A community effort by Joelle Gehring
January 14 | 7-8 p.m.

An estimated 6.8 million migratory birds collide with communications towers every year in the United States. Tower height, tower lighting, sitting within the landscape, and the presence of supporting guy wires influences the numbers of avian collisions. Michigan research determined that taller towers, towers with guy wires, and towers with non-flashing lights are involved in significantly more avian collisions than shorter towers, unguyed towers, and towers lit with only flashing lights. Extinguishing non-flashing lights is one of the most effective and economically feasible means of achieving a significant reduction in avian fatalities at existing communications towers. The public is playing an important role in outreach efforts to the tower industry.

Dr. Joelle Gehring is a Michigan biologist. Previously, Dr. Gehring was Senior Conservation Scientist with Michigan State University where she designed and supervised a multi-year, landscape-scale study of the variables associated with bird collisions at communications towers.

Kirtland’s Warblers with Dave Ewert
February 11 | 7-8 p.m.

The Kirtland’s Warbler is one of the rarest migratory songbirds in North America, breeding almost exclusively in young jack pine stands in northern Michigan and wintering almost exclusively in dense scrub in the Bahamas. This presentation will give an overview of the biology of the Kirtland’s Warblers and how successful conservation efforts have brought the species from near extinction to recovery, including potential delisting as a U.S. endangered species.

Dr. Dave Ewert is a Kirtland’s Warbler Program Director and Conservation Specialist with the American Bird Conservancy. He focuses primarily on the conservation of the Kirtland’s Warbler, especially on the Bahamas wintering grounds, and also works on protection of stopover sites for migratory birds in the Great Lakes region, and Great Lakes coastline and island protection.

Great Lakes Piping Plover Recovery with Vince Cavalieri
March 11 | 7-8 p.m.

Join us to learn about the Great Lakes Piping Plover Recovery Plan with a focus on population status, our recovery strategy, and research updates. Attendees will learn about current banding efforts, and be updated on all things Piping Plover related in Michigan.

Vince Cavalieri is originally from Iron Mountain in the Upper Peninsula. A lifelong birder, Vince has worked with numerous research projects focusing on birds of conservation concern including Mountain Plover, Trumpeter Swan, Cerulean Warbler, and Kirtland’s Warbler. Vince works for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as an endangered species biologist and lead biologist for the Great Lakes Piping Plover Recovery Program.

Birding 101 with Kristy Taylor
April 8 | 7-8 p.m.

Intermediate Birding with Linnea Rowse
May 13 | 7-8 p.m.

Monarch Butterflies and Other Pollinators with Erin Oswald
June 10 | 7-8 p.m.

In 2017, Fenner Conservancy constructed an exhibit to raise awareness in the community about pollinator conservation through the raising and rearing of monarch butterflies — the Monarch House. Since then, more than 300 monarch butterflies have been reared, checked for parasites, tagged, and released. Join us to learn more about ways you can help monarch butterflies and other pollinators thrive, and citizen science projects you can be a part of.

Erin Oswald is the volunteer coordinator and citizen science program coordinator at Fenner Nature Center. She oversees programs such as Project FeederWatch and all Monarch House activities. She has been working at Fenner since April 2018. Erin holds a B.S. in fisheries and wildlife from Michigan State University.

Bird Window Collisions with Linnea Rowse
July 8 | 7-8 p.m.

Plants for Hummingbirds with Rosann Kovalcik
August 12 | 7-8 p.m.

Chimney Swifts with Linnea Rowse
September 9 | 7-8 p.m.

Winter Bird Feeding
October 14 | 7-8 p.m.

November 11 | 7-8 p.m.

December 9 | 7-8 p.m.