The Connecticut Ornithological Association will hold its Annual Meeting on Saturday, March 23, from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM at Chapman Hall on the Middlesex Community College campus in Middletown, CT and will feature three dynamic speakers. Dr. Steve Kress, founder of Project Puffin, Marshall Iliff, eBird Project Leader for the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology and Sharon “Birdchick” Stiteler, author of the popular birding blog,

In his talk, “Restoring Endangered Seabirds:  Lessons from Puffins and Terns,” Dr. Kress will discuss how humans have devastated seabird colonies in many parts of the world by excessive hunting for food and feathers and by introducing mammals such as cats and rats to otherwise secure nesting islands. He will review how techniques developed on Maine islands have led to the restoration of puffins and terns to historic nesting islands in the Gulf of Maine, are how these techniques are helping seabirds worldwide. His presentation will include the restoration of Common Murres to an historic nesting island near San Francisco following an oil spill, relocation of a Caspian Tern colony in the Columbia River estuary to reduce predation on salmon smolt, relocation of Short-tailed Albatross off of an active volcano in Japan, and efforts to save the endangered Bermuda Petrel from rising oceans and increased frequency of hurricanes.

Marshall Iliff will discuss “Bird Migration through the lens of eBird”.  Bird migration is one of the great miracles of the natural world. Millions of warblers, vireos, thrushes, and other birds stream north from the tropics and back south in fall, and birders flock to migrant traps to catch a glimpse of this miracle in action. Recently it has become possible to piece together birdwatcher observations from across the country to see migration in action and Marshall will begin by sharing this amazing imagery, discussing the ebb and flow of migration and what we are learning by seeing migration in this way. Come learn how easy it is to use eBird, and see how your bird records can be joined with those of birders around the World to see bird migration in action.

Sharon Stiteler’s topic is “Today’s Office.” Sharon’s goal is to get paid to go bird watching and her office can be in the middle of a corn field watching eagles or flying 100 feet above the Mississippi River counting ducks. Some of the topics covered include the Horned Guan Death March (climbing 4 hours up a volcano in Guatemala to search for a rare tree chicken), trying to find a reasonable bathroom while birding in Kazakhstan or misadventures searching for an Ivory-billed Woodpecker with Cornell Lab of Ornithology in 2005. Learn about a day in the life of Birdchick.