Victor Emanuel, founder of the world’s largest avian ecotourism company and one of the world’s top birders, will share his biggest adventures and sign his new memoir One More Warbler: A Life with Birds. Emanuel has seen 6,000+ species during travels to every continent and has received some of birding’s highest honors, including the Roger Tory Peterson Award from the American Birding Association and the Arthur A. Allen Award from the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, He also started the first birding camps for young people, which he considers one of his greatest achievements.
In One More Warbler, Emanuel recalls a lifetime of birding adventures—from his childhood sighting of a male Cardinal that ignited his passion for birds to a once-in-a-lifetime journey to Asia to observe all eight species of cranes of that continent. He tells fascinating stories of meeting his mentors who taught him about birds, nature, and conservation, and later, his close circle of friends—Ted Parker, Peter Matthiessen, George Plimpton, Roger Tory Peterson, and others—who he frequently birded and traveled with around the world. Emanuel writes about the sighting of an Eskimo Curlew, thought to be extinct, on Galveston Island; setting an all-time national record during the annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count; attempting to see the Imperial Woodpecker in northwestern Mexico; and birding on the far-flung island of Attu on the Aleutian chain. Over the years, Emanuel became a dedicated mentor himself, teaching hundreds of young people the joys and enrichment of birding. “Birds changed my life,” says Emanuel, and his stories make clear how a deep connection to the natural world can change everyone’s life.
Ants are found on every continent except Antarctica, can lift up to 100 times their own body weight, communicate mostly by smell, and play such an important role in the environment that they are considered an indicator species for restoration success in grasslands and savannas. Lake Forest College’s Sean Menke will fill us in on these often-overlooked insects, including their relationship to birds.
Since recognizing its first communities in 2010 under the auspices of Milwaukee Audubon Society, Bird City Wisconsin has grown to 103 communities that take over 1,200 conservation and education actions every year to make Wisconsin’s communities healthy for birds as well as people. Program director Dr. Bryan Lenz will explain how cities join the program, share success stories, and discuss how other states are now adopting it as a model of conservation and education.
SPECIAL OFF-SITE PROGRAM – MEMBER PRIORITY. 30 PERSON MAXIMUM
From stranded sea lions to endangered African penguins threatened by oil spills and marine animals endangered by single-use plastic, the Shedd Aquarium’s Response Team rescues and rehabilitates animals in danger. Tim Binder, the aquarium’s EVP of Animals, will discuss the team’s work. Limit 30. Member priority.
Register (required) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In 2016, Cook County Forest Preserves sponsored a #BirdthePreserves initiative that unleashed hundreds of birders on more than 20 of the county’s forest preserve sites to see what they could find. Field Museum conservation ecologist Doug Stotz will discuss new information about birds in the Chicago area yielded by this effort, including new insights into distribution, abundance, migration timing and breeding.
For the past 35 years, Ders Anderson has been restoring a 2½-acre property in McHenry County that was once home to a dairy farm. Over the years, the Openlands Greenways Director and Land Conservancy of McHenry County board member has planted and seeded the land with 150 native species including forbs, grasses, shrubs and trees – bringing back native prairie, wetland and savanna plus a rich array of wildlife. He will discuss his journey as well as the many surprises he encountered along the way.
Shrinking habitat is causing population declines among many grassland bird species in North America, but some are doing well in Illinois despite the odds. Grassland bird authority and Illinois Audubon Society Executive Director Jim Herkert will discuss what new research is showing about the conservation needs and approaches for five keystone species in the state: Henslow’s Sparrow, Grasshopper Sparrow, Bobolink, Dickcissel and Greater Prairie Chicken.
Join Red Hill Birding’s Josh Engel and five local birders, including Lake/Cook’s Rena and Sonny Cohen, as they revisit their 2016 trip to Namibia and Botswana – complete with 5-ft-tall bustards, hundreds of mammals at Etosha National Park, a hungry hippo joining the group for dinner, and video of the adventure.
Over two decades of studying and banding 15,000+ Prothonotary Warblers, Illinois Natural History Survey’s Jeff Hoover and his team have made some remarkable discoveries. He will share some of their findings – from surprising behaviors like birds moving away from “bad” sites and returning from their wintering grounds to breed close to where they were born, to life expectancy, lifetime reproductive success, and response to global climate change – and how they relate to the broader bird world.
Members and non-members alike are invited to join us for our annual potluck dinner. This is a great opportunity to socialize, provide feedback on our year of programs and field trips. Also enjoy a sneak preview of what’s on tap for our Chapter’s 2018 – 2019 program & field trip year.
Bring a dish to share, personal bird stories to tell, and gently used bird and nature books to sell.
Not a cook? Store-bought is fine. Everything is welcome – small and large portions alike or bring a beverage.