The 20th Annual Central Valley Birding Symposium was held November 17-20, 2016. While this Symposium had many of the features of a typical event–great speakers, workshops and tours–we also took the time to acknowledge the formation of the Central Valley Bird Club and how the Symposium began over 20 years ago. In particular, on Saturday night Ed Harper and friends thanked Tim Manolis and David Yee for getting the Club off the ground, and David for laying the groundwork for the first Central Valley Birding Symposium in 1997. The Club honored David and Sue Yee, Joanne Katanic, Kurt Mize, and Frances Oliver for their two decades of work. In addition, dozens of others have been involved to varying degrees over the years, leading field trips and doing the many things that make the event possible.
Kicking things off on Thursday night was Bob Steele’s talk and photos from his completion of the Pacific Crest Trail earlier in the year. Almost as amazing as the hike was Susan Steele’s effort along the way to make an eBird list for every five-mile section of their 2,650-mile hike. Full-day field trips followed on Friday, and perhaps the most unexpected find was of Red Phalaropes at Colusa NWR. The evening program began with the ever-popular Bird ID panel, followed by Kimball Garrett’s fun and educational discussion of the Central Valley’s important place in California field ornithology.
Saturday began with local field trips, image editing (Bob Steele), bird sketching (Keith Hansen), and beginning birding (Sal Salerno) workshops, and with what is becoming a popular tradition at the Symposium: a series short talks on studies and important conservation topics by multiple speakers, organized by the Bulletin’s editor, Dan Airola. After our lunchtime annual meeting, Andy Engilis and his UC Davis museum staff presented an in-depth specimen workshop relating to 20 years of research along Putah Creek. Beginning birders also had the option of Sal Salerno’s field trip.
Sunday began with Joe Morlan’s discussion of documenting rarities and some rare cases of ornithological fraud, followed by Jon Dunn’s program on challenging shorebird ID, while some participated in a morning wood carving seminar run by the Pacific Flyway Decoy Association. The Symposium ended with a host of local field trips in the afternoon. Thanks to all the field trip leaders, speakers, vendors and exhibitors, sponsors, and those who organize the event and make it run so smoothly. Here’s to 20 more years!
2016 Central Valley Birding Symposium Committee:
Patricia Bacchetti, Chris Conard, Joanne Katanic, Kurt Mize, Susie Nishio, Frances Oliver, Linda Pittman, Dale Smith, Dan and Jan Tankersley, David and Sue Yee