What can we say other than "WOW!" The 2011 Midwest Birding Symposium was wonderfully fun and engaging, fully living up to our claim that it is "The Worlds Friendliest Birding Event!" We attempted to set a world record and raised more than $20,000 for bird conservation causes! See the highlights below.
The MBS Conservation Fund raised just over $12,000 from the conservation raffle and silent auction, sales of movie tickets, donations at the MBS photo booth, and sponsorships of birds on the MBS conservation checklist. A dozen different conservation organizations and projects will receive $1,000 grants from the MBS. A matching gift of $10,000 from the Ohio Ornithological Society raised the total for conservation funding generated at the MBS to more than $22,000. A portion of this will be applied toward the purchase of additional land and critical migratory bird habitat at Meadowbrook Marsh in Danbury Township on the Marblehead Peninsula. This was an amazing indication of the generosity of bird watchers in supporting conservation initiatives. Thank you so much to all MBS attendees who made contributions.
On the night of Saturday, September 17, 2011, 801 people gathered inside Hoover Auditorium at Lakeside, Ohio for the Midwest Birding Symposium. Before the evening's presentations began, MBS emcee Bill Thompson, III, introduced bird call expert Nicole Perretta who taught the audience the call of the barred owl. After several practice runs, and with two elected officials from the Ohio House of Representatives on hand as witnesses, the assembled crowd performed the call of the barred owl three times in succession in an attempt to set a world record for the most people doing a bird call in unison. The record attempt had been approved by the staff of The Guinness Book of World Records, and once the documentary evidence (video, audio, still photographs, and notarized witness statements) is reviewed by the officials at The Guinness Book, the record should be confirmed.
Emcee Bill Thompson had this to say after the record attempt: "THIS WAS AWESOME! I always wanted to be a world record holder. And it's even better to share it with 800 of my closest birding friends!"
|22,184||The amount, in dollars, generated by the conservation fundraising efforts at The Midwest Birding Symposium.|
|4,550||The number of plastic water bottles that were NOT used at the MBS (we gave out re-usable water bottles to all attendees).|
|1,007||The number of name badges given out to MBS participants.|
|801||The number of people who participated in our world record attempt.|
|702||The number of days between the end of the 2011 MBS and the start of the 2013 MBS.|
|126||The number of photos taken in the MBS "green screen" photo booth.|
|125||The number of people in the Lakeside, OH community who volunteered to help at the 2011 MBS.|
|55||The number of Caspian terns seen flying past the Lakeside pier on Sunday afternoon, after the MBS was over.|
|12||The number of official MBS bloggers.|
Download the MBS 2011 field checklist in .pdf format. The checklist documents species sighted during the event on Friday and Saturday. Bird watchers sighted a total of 144 unique species (130 on Friday, September 16 and 119 on Saturday, September 17).