26th Annual Central Valley Birding Symposium

2022 Virtual Symposium Summary

Thanks to the over 180 people who attended and participated in the 26th Annual Hybrid Central Valley Birding Symposium. Because of all of you, both the virtual program and in-person field trips were a success. We are looking forward to a live event next year, and we hope to see you all in Stockton the weekend of November 16-19, 2023. Our special thanks to Jen Hajj for coordinating the virtual program again this year.

Friday’s program opened with Ed Harper’s Bird ID challenge, with panel members Jon Dunn, Keith Hansen, Lynette Williams, and Konshau Duman. The panel rose to the occasion, though not without some lively and informative back-and-forth on several of the identifications. The excellent Friday keynote address was given by Allen Fish, the Director of the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory. Allen’s observations about 40 years of data from Hawk Hill was were fascinating, and it also provided a glimpse of the history of hawk watching in the US in the last century.

Scott Weidensaul, Saturday’s keynote speaker, touched on migration: how scientists are documenting impossibly long migratory flights, how climate change is affecting timing and location of migration, and why hope for the future is not unwarranted. The Update on Bird Conservation and Research in the Central Valley featured short presentations by Dan Airola, Andy Engilis, Ed Pandolfino, and Robyn Smith. We heard about Tricolored Blackbird breeding successes and failures, the decline of grassland species in the Central Valley, The UC Davis Museum of Wildlife and Fish Biology’s programs on documenting bird diversity, and research on Loggerhead Shrike nesting. So many of the issues discussed touched on Scott’s excellent keynote address making for an informative afternoon.

The program was wrapped up with Jon Dunn and Lara Tseng’s review of the Calidris sandpipers. Always an ID challenge, Jon, with Lara’s lovely slides, helped us all become better shorebird watchers.

Many thanks to the field trip leaders who got everyone on the birds and kept everyone on the trail. It was wonderful to be out in the field in person again, and the lovely weather showcased the Central Valley in the winter.

A slideshow summary of the 26th Central Valley Birding Symposium.  Thanks to the photographers who donated their beautiful images, Pat Bacchetti, Chris Conard, Tom Deetz, Jim Gain, Dana J. Miller-Blair, Sal Salvatore, Michele Swartout and Dan Tankersley.

See you next year at the Stockton Hilton.