Conference Schedule and Program
Below you will find a list of the sessions being held during the conference. Changes to times and rooms will be updated as necessary and a final program will be published prior to the conference.
Thursday, October 11, 2018
|9:00 am - 8:00 pm||Holiday Beach Migration Observatory Field Trip||HBMO|
|1:00 pm - 4:00 pm||Registration||Main Hall|
|1:00 pm - 4:00 pm||Exhibitor Setup||Livonia|
Friday, October 12, 2018
|7:30 am - 4:30 pm||Exhibition Area Open||Exhibition Area|
|7:30 am - 3:00pm||Registration||Exhibit Area|
|7:30 am - 8:15pm||Silent Auction||Ballroom|
|7:30am - 8:30 am||Breakfast Buffet|
|8:30 am||Welcome||Jane Ferreyra, HMANA Executive Director, and Carolyn Hoffman, Chair, HMANA Board of Directors||Ballroom|
|8:45 am||Keynote: Raptor Rapture: 30 Years of Education|
Abstract: Kate Davis founded the non-profit education program Raptors of the Rockies in 1988, and has tales to tell about programs and projects through the years. We’ll meet the Teaching Team and tour the facility at her home on the Bitterroot River of Western Montana with a discussion of “Raptor Versus Rapture.” She includes Art Camps, film projects, research, a few video clips and lots and lots of kids. We’ll see the books she’s authored and illustrated along the way and finish with Birds in the Backyard, everyone from Bald Eagles and Ospreys to Peregrines and kestrels, plus a few non-raptors added for good luck.
|9:45 am||"Where Everybody Knows Your Name!"|
Abstract: This presentation will position the uniqueness and friendliness of the Rosetta McClain Raptor watch located at 200 feet above sea level, on the north shore of Lake Ontario just east of Toronto. 14 years of raptor population trends as well as migratory shifts will be presented. Our focus on raptor education, raptor identification and public outreach will be discussed. Current technologies (Dunkadoo) for recording and tracking as well as other challenges, such as keeping the Rosetta Raptor Watch group’s membership strong will be highlighted. Rosetta McClain is a raptor photographer’s paradise and many outstanding photographs will be shown!
|Terry Whittam: Rosetta McLain Hawk Watch Site||Dearborn I|
|9:45 am||Climate Change and Raptor Migration: How to Think About What We Don't Know|
Abstract: Raptors, and all species of birds have always been vulnerable to extreme variations of weather as an influencing factor through their long evolution. But with geologically recent changes in patterns of temperature; precipitation, sustained drought and unseasonable, persistent and extreme storm events, how are raptor populations responding? The Raptor Population Index (RPI) suggests statistically significant declines in observed numbers of several species at many sites. This presentation will look at evidence from the RPI, meteorology, phenology and raptor migration biology to evaluate possible long-term effects of climate change on populations of migrating North American raptors.
|Will Weber||Dearborn II|
|10:15 am||Hawkwatching for Dummies: A Beginner's Guide to Hawk I.D.|
Abstract: Hawk watching in the field can literally be a pain in the neck. It is hard enough to look up all the time but it becomes a visual challenge to identify raptors as they dart past showing only their bellies and bums! In this Beginner's Guide we break things down to the basics of identification - such as outlines, pattern,& behavior, and mix in a good dose of hawk appreciation that will help you embrace the pain and feel the gain. This is a low-tech, entertaining way to introduce yourself to the incredible world of migrating raptors.
|Gerry Wykes||Dearborn II|
|10:15 am||Chasing Broadwings to Brazil and Back: Understanding Movement Ecology in a Long-distance Migrant |
Abstract: We followed the movements of three juveniles and eight adult female satellite-tracked Broad-winged Hawks from Pennsylvania and three adults (two females and one male) from Alberta from July 2014 through May 2017 from breeding to overwintering sites. Post-breeding migratory movements were documented in four individuals. Adults initiated migration between 26 July and 11 September. Two juveniles began outbound migration between 18 August and 22 August, while the third juvenile was tagged during migration on 18 September. Adults had 1- 12 stopovers in autumn that lasted for 1-24 days and juveniles had 2- 5 stopovers that lasted between 2- 51 days. Adults from Pennsylvania spent the nonbreeding season in Nicaragua, Brazil, Peru and Colombia, whereas those from Alberta wintered in Suriname, Venezuela, and Bolivia. The distance traveled on autumn migration was greater for Alberta birds than Pennsylvania birds. Eight of the 14 tagged Broad-winged Hawks continued to transmit through spring, taking similar routes used during autumnal migration. Return migration varied among individuals and was initiated between 8 December and 26 February. Distances traveled were broken down into 10˚ latitudinal blocks to compare rate of travel by latitude, age and breeding area. These results help define Broad-winged Hawk intercontinental migration and provide insight to the spatial and temporal patterns of their migration.
|Rebecca McCabe||Dearborn I|
|10:45 am||Morning Break||Southfield|
|11:15 am||Featured Presentation: Is Harlan's Hawk a subspecies of Red-tailed Hawk?|
Abstract: J. J. Audubon described Harlan’s Hawk as Buteo harlani, based on a specimen he collected in Louisiana in winter in 1830. The specimen, now in the British Museum, was a dark-morph adult and had a gray tail. They breed in Alaska, Yukon, and NW British Columbia and winter south of Canada in the US. It has been deemed twice by the American Ornithological Union (AOU) check-list Committee (1892 & 1972) to be a subspecies of Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis harlani), neither instance with taxonomic justification. In 1944 it was again deemed by this Committee to be a species, with references given for justifying this decision. I will discuss these taxonomic decisions, as well as what I have learned about this interesting buzzard, as detailed in my recent paper in Zootaxa. Specifically, that it differs consistently in five characters from Red-tailed Hawks and that light-morph adult Harlan’s are interbreeding with Red-tails over a large area of western Canada. As Red-tailed Hawks have interbred with four other North American Buteo species, such interbreeding in itself does not mean that Harlan’s Hawk is its subspecies. I will briefly discuss several papers used to support Harlan’s being a Red-tail subspecies and why their justifications are not convincing. Rufous in the plumage of many Harlan’s, apparently the reason for including them with Red-tailed Hawk, could be due to ancestry. I will briefly discuss Krider’s Hawk and its plumage similarities with light-morph Harlan’s. I will present a possible scenario for its evolution from Red-tailed Hawk. Finally, I will discuss briefly the field ID of Harlan’s Hawk and note its regular occurrence in eastern North America.
|12:15 pm||Lunch Buffet||Ballroom|
|1:45 pm||Migration Data, Trends, and Declining Species|
Abstract: Analyzing data can present us with trends for our raptor species, but it is up to us to decide what those trends mean. Do changes in migration numbers represent declining populations, or are they a response to some other ecological or environmental change? NorthEast Hawk Watch has declining trends for several species, including three of our most historically prevalent species - Broad-winged Hawk, Sharp-shinned Hawk, and American Kestrel. Can our data help us decide if these populations are in jeopardy? Can the data detect shifts in flyways or response to climate change? This presentation will consider these questions and emphasize the importance of data collection to our understanding of raptor conservation.
|Trudy Battaly (lead presenter) and Drew Panko||Dearborn I|
|1:45 pm||An Ecological Profile of the Broad-winged Hawk (High School Curriculum Design)|
Abstract: This curriculum is designed for high school students and explores the study of movement ecology using Google Earth Pro. It connects educators with the monitoring research of the Sanctuary's scientists. This species is being tracked by satellite telemetry and the lesson plans use this data to create an interdisciplinary unit connecting ecology with geography and mathematics. Students track individual birds while studying the ecological niches they inhabit on their 6200 mile round trip migration. It includes extensions and is aligned to NGS Standards.
|Kirsten Fuller||Dearborn II|
|2:15 pm||Is There Evidence for Migratory Short-stopping of Sharp-shinned, Cooper’s, or Red-shouldered Hawks in Eastern North America?|
Abstract: For Sharp-shinned Hawks, Cooper’s Hawks, and Red-shouldered Hawks, geographic patterns of band returns are analyzed to determine key migration pathways, while Christmas Bird Count data are analyzed to determine changes in wintering densities. Together with hawk watch migration trends, comparisons are made to Red-tailed Hawk data, which indicate that Red-taileds are staying farther north over time.
|Nick Bolgiano||Dearborn II|
|2:45 pm||Dispersal timing, migration routes, and overwintering site fidelity of female Peregrine Falcons (Falco peregrinus) breeding in New Hampshire|
Abstract: Beginning in 2013, New Hampshire Audubon has partnered with colleagues from BioDiversity Research Institute and Stantec Consulting to capture five free-flying adult female Peregrine Falcons in New Hampshire, and fit them with 9 to 12-gram solar-powered satellite transmitters. In addition to documenting individual home ranges during breeding season, transmitters allow us to follow birds’ movements throughout their annual cycles. Currently, we have four adult falcons instrumented, the longest has been ‘on the air’ for more than four years. We discuss capture methods and highlights of dispersal patterns including 1) strong fidelity to individual winter territories, 2) multiple return trips within a given season to breeding territories, 3) unexpected Fall dispersal northward to Quebec, and 4) a shift to an adjacent breeding territory.
|Chris Martin||Dearborn I|
|3:00 pm||Featured Presentation: How Drones Can Be Useful for Raptor Research and Management|
Abstract:Small unmanned vehicle systems (UVS; aka drones) are gaining in popularity among wildlife biologists and managers all over the world for conducting population surveys, tracking radio-tagged animals, sensing and observing animals in sequestered or dangerous places, mapping and monitoring wild habitats, and deterring poachers. This naturally includes avian species such as raptorial birds. To date, we employed a rotary UVS to record the nest contents of five raptorial bird species nesting in Saskatchewan and Montana, and monitored their respective behavioral responses. We have experimented with using a fixed-wing UVS to count the abundance of nesting water birds, to map breeding habitat of threatened birds, to detect heat signatures from small birds and their nests, to radio track birds wearing either VHF transmitters or nano-tags for MOTUS tower operations, and to disperse nuisance birds from agricultural crops. Compared to using manned light airplanes or helicopters, flying drones can be cheaper, greener, less obtrusive, and much safer (the number one source of mortality for wildlife biologists is dying in a plane or helicopter crash!). However, UVS technology is still in its infancy. Limitations exist in the form of regulations, costs, and in the technology itself, e.g. weather constraints, terrain, piloting skills, etc. This presentation summarizes the above research and discusses how this emerging technology can be used for raptor research and management.
|3:30 pm||Afternoon Break||Southfield|
|3:45 pm||Distance Education and Raptors Trunks|
Abstract: Financial, transportation, geographic, and time constraints can prevent schools and other groups from taking field trips. Distance education allows students to learn about raptors without attending the Sanctuary. Interactive learning is facilitated via a videoconferencing platform and supports incorporating technology in the classroom (STEM). Student engagement is assured via the use of a raptor trunk filled with learning materials used during the program and sent prior to the program. Trunks are geared for Elementary, Middle, or High School levels.
|Erin Brown||Dearborn II|
|4:15 pm||Citizen Science in the Classroom: The Confluence of Authentic Science and Technology|
Abstract: The Next Generation Science Standards (the educational standards for the United States) implores educators to engage students in the practices of scientists and engineers. At the same time, citizen science is becoming a more important mechanism for collecting scientific data unfeasible for professional scientists. This confluence of mutual need creates a vacuum in our current educational system that hawkwatching aptly fills. Hourly raptor migration numbers, collected by skilled hawkwatching practitioners is harbored on a public website. This citizen science data provides opportunities for educators to explore, explain, and evaluate current trends in raptor populations. This talk will present the rudiments of lessons and techniques that can be utilized in secondary school science, mathematics, and technology courses.
|Brian M. Wargo||Dearborn II|
|4:45 pm||HMANA Board and Membership Meeting||Ballroom|
|6:45 pm||Reception||Featuring: Kate Davis||Ballroom|
Saturday, October 13, 2018
|7:30 am - 4:30 pm||Exhibition Area Open||LIvonia|
|7:30 am - 3:00pm||Registration||Main Hall|
|7:30 am - 8:30pm||Silent Auction||Ballroom|
|7:30am - 8:30 am||Breakfast Buffet||Ballroom|
|8:30 am||Featured Presentation: Raptor Migration: A World-wide Phenomena|
Abstract: More than half of the world’s species of diurnal raptors perform annual migrations, especially those populations in northern and southern latitudes. However, the entire population migrates in only a few species. I will show and discus some of the locations on five continents where people regularly gather to count raptors, beginning with North America, where the discipline of raptor counting began. I will show in flight some of the raptors counted at each site, present some count data from HMANA files and Raptor Watch, and give some of my personal experiences at some of these sites. Most of these count sites are usually at concentrations of raptor migrants. I will use many maps from Raptor Watch by Zailes and Bildstein and present some data from Migration Ecology of Birds by Newton. I will show some count sites on all continents (Except Antarctica where there are no raptors), concentrating of a few of them on each, especially the largest count at Veracruz, Mexico. I will end with count sites in Asia.
|9:30 am||Latest Raptor Population Index (RPI) analyses reveal interesting and concerning patterns in recent migration counts|
Abstract: The Raptor Population Index (RPI) is a collaborative effort to analyze and synthesize migration data from raptor watchsites across North America. Sites must meet certain criteria in order to be included in RPI analyses, namely 10 or more years of monitoring in a standardized way with a consistent daily and seasonal effort. The 2016 RPI analyses include data from 62 count sites and reveal that in the past 10 years there are disproportionately more declines in the east than in any other region and disproportionately more increases in the west (overall counts for all migrating raptor species). This pattern disappears when looking at longer term (20 and 30 year) trends.
|Dave Oleyar||Dearborn I|
|10:00 am||Interpreting Hawk Watch Data - an Example (using PEFA Trends)|
Abstract: Hawk watch data from several sites in the Northeast metropolitan region will be used to explore the increasing counts of Peregrine Falcons in the east, particularly along the coast. Using annual counts and seasonal distributions, the sites will be compared to hypothesize source regions the sites are monitoring and which Peregrine populations are increasing.
|Drew Panko (lead presenter) and Trudy Battaly||Dearborn II|
|10:30 am||Morning Break||Southfield|
|10:45 am||Featured Presentation: The American Kestrel: From Common to Scarce|
Abstract: Peruse any popular book or booklet on North American birds of prey written twenty years ago and you are apt to read the words “widespread and numerous” or “most common” as descriptors for the American Kestrel (Falco sparverius). In his 1982 book, The Falcons of the World, Tom Cade estimated there to be more than 1.2 million pairs of kestrels breeding in North America. Now, 36 years later, it would be interesting to know whether such an estimate would still be accurate. Over the last three decades, many managers of long-term nest-box programs for kestrels in North America have noticed disturbing declines in not the productivity, but in the numbers of nest boxes occupied by kestrel pairs. However, not all kestrel populations seemed similarly afflicted, e.g. Idaho, Oregon, New York City. There is no shortage of interesting hypotheses for the cause of the decline, which are by no means mutually exclusive. Some of the more prominent ones include predation pressure from larger raptors, e.g. Cooper’s hawks (Accipiter cooperii); diseases such as West Nile virus; competition with introduced cavity-nesters like European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris); impacts of poisonous chemicals such as brominated flame-retardants, selenium, and rodenticides; strikes by aircraft at airports; and more subtle, widespread changes in habitats and/or invertebrate prey availability due to climate change. This presentation will provide the latest figures on population trends, assess the various hypotheses, and conclude with a discussion of what can be done and what is being done to stem the decline. One thing is for certain — American Kestrels can be easily bred in captivity for release programs. Let us hope that it does not come to that.
|11:45 am||Hawks on the Wing: Video Techniques for Learning Hawk Identification in Flight Program|
Abstract: Hawks in flight bring a sense of wonder and struggle to birders, especially when it comes to identifying them at a distance. Field marks are not enough when back-lit conditions and birds miles out lack any color. Flight ID has long been the best way to identify hawks at a distance, however books only take it so far. Join hawk watcher Josh Haas as he shares the evolution of hawk ID and how using new innovative techniques combining videography, photography and audio commentary will take hawk ID to a whole new level. Josh’s program will feature methods and ideas for site coordinators to better connect with visitors using these tools to make conquering hawk ID much faster and easier.
|12:45 pm||Lunch Buffet||Ballroom|
|1:45 pm||Winter Raptor Survey|
Abstract: HMANA members across the country have been performing winter surveys extending back into the aughts. Nora E. Hanke has been surveying wintering hawks in the Connecticut River Valley of Massachusetts since 2013, and this fall she completes a master’s degree in Environmental Studies (Conservation Biology) at Antioch University New England. She will describe the current scope of the winter raptor survey project, and present an analysis of count trends. She will share her findings about whether month of count affects results, and considerations of how changing environmental conditions (such as an increased presence of thermal updrafts in winter) may affect counts of wintering birds. Finally, she will explore the question: In the age of
eBird, what do winter raptor surveys have to add to our understanding of North American wintering raptors?
|Nora Hanke||Dearborn I|
|2:15 pm||Featured Presentation: There and Back Again: Satellite Studies of Juvenile and Adult Osprey Migration between North and South America|
Abstract: Between 2000 and 2017 Rob Bierregaard and his colleagues placed GPS satellite (PPT) and cell-tower (GSM) transmitters on 47 adult and 61 juvenile Ospreys from South Carolina to the Avalon Peninsula in Newfoundland, Canada. The data from adult and young Ospreys nesting on islands in the Atlantic (Martha’s Vineyard and Newfoundland) demonstrate that juvenile Ospreys learn the “adult” migration route over the course of several migration cycles. Comparisons of the timing and location of adult and juvenile mortality may help explain the unusual prolonged first migration of juvenile Ospreys “wintering” for 18 months before their first north-bound migration. Finally, GPS data provide insights into perhaps the least-known aspect of Osprey biology—the process through which young birds instigate themselves into the breeding population.
|3:15 pm||Movement Ecology of a Non-Migratory Raptor: The Black Vulture|
Abstract: This curriculum is designed for middle level students and explores the movements of this non-migratory raptor using Google Earth and "R" visualization software. It connects educators with the monitoring research of the Sanctuary's scientists. This species is being tracked by satellite telemetry and the lesson plans provide ways to analyze movement patterns and data of individual birds, while making inferences about the life history of the black vulture. It includes extensions that incorporate reading and creative writing and aligns to NGS Standards.
|Zoey Greenburg||Dearborn I|
|3:15 pm||Trektellan: An Expanding Platform for Recording Migration Counts Across Continents|
Abstract: Since the start of the website and online database of Trektellen in 2002, over 10 million of records of migrating birds have been submitted to the database. At the moment, migration counts from 1000+ sites from Europe (and abroad) are entered on a regular basis. In this contribution we will first focus on the history and current status of the Trektellen platform, including developments in participation and website features. What types of users can we distinguish and how do they use the system? Next, we will present a brief overview of results of the project, mainly focusing on (changes in) migration patterns in The Netherlands.
|Gerard Troost||Dearborn II|
|3:45 pm||Afternoon Break||Southfield|
|4:00 pm||Raptor Photography: Techniques, Equipment & Ethics|
Abstract: Vic Berardi, the founder of the all volunteer Illinois Beach Sate Park Hawkwatch and an accomplished raptor photographer, will be discussing techniques and equipment used to obtain top quality raptor photos. He will cover both flight shots and perched shots. Vic will also touch upon the ethics of photographing raptors.
|5:00 pm||Dunkadoo/Trektellen Mobile Data Entry Panel Discussion|
Abstract: Since the start of the website and online database of Trektellen in 2002, over 10 million of records of migrating birds have been submitted to the database. At the moment, migration counts from 1000+ sites from Europe (and abroad) are entered on a regular basis. In this contribution we will first focus on the history and current status of the Trektellen platform, including developments in participation and website features. What types of users can we distinguish and how do they use the system? Next, we will present a brief overview of results of the project, mainly focusing on (changes
in) migration patterns in The Netherlands.
|Gerard Troost, Russell Conard, Josh Haas, Tom Reed||Ballroom|
|6:00 pm||VIP Reception for Life Members & Donors|
Join us for an exclusive reception recognizing HMANA’s key supporters, with special guest Bill Clark. HMANA Life Members and major donors have received a separate invitation; other conference attendees are welcome to attend at an additional cost at registration.
|Special Guest: Bill Clark||Southfield|
|6:30 pm||Cash Bar, Silent Auction, Book Signing Event||Ballroom|
|7:00 pm||HMANA Awards||Ballroom|
|7:30 pm||Dinner Buffet||Ballroom|
|8:30 pm||Silent Auction Closes|
|8:30 pm||Keynote Presentation: The Migration Ecology of Eastern North America's Least Known Large Predator– The Golden Eagle|
Abstract: Golden eagles are an elusive and iconic predator of northeastern North America. For thousands of years these birds have migrated along and wintering in the Appalachians. In the past decades a new potential threat has emerged on their flight routes – wind turbines. Yet although turbines have killed hundreds of Golden Eagles in the western USA, there are no records of this species being killed by wind facilities east of the Mississippi. In this talk I will review the status of golden eagles in eastern North America. I will then discuss my team’s research into their population dynamics, their flight behavior and the risk they face from wind turbines. Golden eagle populations in the east are likely larger than most people appreciate and contrary to expectations, the species appears to be associated with dense forests. These birds migrate using a complex and seasonally-specific combination of thermal and orographic (deflected) updraft to subsidize their long distance movements. Their behavior is stereotyped such that it is possible to predict the altitude at which they will be flying; these predictions form the basis for models we have developed to understand risk to birds from operation of wind turbines. Golden Eagles are a good "umbrella" for conservation because protecting eagles delivers broad biodiversity benefits through preservation of habitats and ecosystems that support many other species. These birds migrate through and winter in the Appalachians in numbers far greater than previously recognized and their presence is indicative of ongoing recovery of eastern forests.
|9:30 pm||Silent Auction winners/payment|
Sunday, October 14, 2018
|7:30 am - 8:30 am||Breakfast Buffet|
|8:30 am||Regional Hawkwatches (site reports): DRHW, HBMO, Whitefish Point, Mackinac Straits, Illinois Beach, Fort Sheridan||Presenters: Jerry Jourdan, Bob Pettit, Heather Good, Susan Stewart, Vic Berardi, Janice Sweet||Ballroom|
|10:00 am||Hawks on the Wing: Advanced Techniques for Bird Photographers|
Abstract: Hawks in flight pose big challenges to bird photographers. Tricky lighting often produces dark images and erratic raptors seem like they want nothing more than to avoid the camera. Josh will share some of his favorite techniques for capturing awe-inspiring images of hawks in flight and how to get around tracking and focus issues. Both non-technical practices and detailed exposure techniques will be shared to help solve multiple problems facing photographers and Josh will also include examples showing the effects of choosing different ways of exposing these amazing birds to help solidify the techniques. Speaker Bio: Josh Haas first developed a love for hawks working with the birds of prey at the Kalamazoo Nature Center. A hawkwatching trip to Lake Erie Metropark opened his eyes to hawks in migration. He would end up spending seven Fall seasons working with the Detroit River Hawkwatch where he developed a love for teaching visitors not only how to tell the shadowy specs apart but also some of the best ways to capture the essence of migrating raptors through flight photography. His work can be seen on-line at www.hawksonthewing.com, in several birding apps along with publications all over Michigan.
|11:00 am||Morning Break||Southfield|
|11:15 am||Featured Presentation: Unusual Raptor Plumages|
Abstract: Raptors do not always look like the illustrations of them in field guides. This talk is a presentation of a vast array of photos of unusual plumages of North American raptors, including partial albinism, amelanism (dilute plumage), partial amelanism, melanism, partial melanism, hybrids, and other oddly plumaged raptors. This presentation is regularly used in raptor identification sessions and is frequently updated.