And what a conference it was!
Soaring Toward the Future: New Challenges in Raptor Migration
The Hawk Migration Association on of North America (HMANA) held its 2018 conference, “Soaring Toward the Future: New Challenges in Raptor Migration,” Oct. 12-14, near Detroit, Michigan.
A stellar lineup of speakers and presenters included keynote presentations speeches by Kate Davis, founder of the education project Raptors of the Rockies, and Todd Katzner, a pioneering researcher on Golden Eagles. Featured presenters are Rob Bierregaard, Dr. David Bird, and Bill Clark.
An exciting program explored emerging topics of interest, including:
- Raptor population trends
- Possible shifts in migration patterns (routes and timing)
- Raptor telemetry and technological advances
- Conservation issues and threats facing raptors
- Education initiatives, including for young hawkwatchers
- Challenges to sustaining and maintaining hawkwatch sites
- Weather patterns and migration in a changing climate
- Advances in raptor identification in the field
- Raptor photography
Kate Davis opened the conference with her keynote presentation. A long-time raptor educator, Kate recently celebrated 30 years and nearly 2,000 live bird programs with Raptors of the Rockies. She has authored five books about raptors, and one of avian humor, all illustrated with her own and guests’ photographs.
Todd Katzner is the supervisory research wildlife biologist with the Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center in Boise, ID. Todd was our Saturday night banquet keynoter, focusing on his Golden Eagle research. He is the author of numerous publications and a co-author of The Eagle Watchers: Observing Raptors Around the World.
Rob Bierregaard is director of National Audubon’s Hog Island Nature Camp’s “Raptor Rapture” session. His work focuses on Ospreys in New England and includes radio-tracking and long-term monitory of their populations. He is the author of Belle’s Journey, An Osprey Takes Flight.
David M. Bird recently retired as an Emeritus Professor of Wildlife Biology and Director of the Avian Science and Conservation Centre of McGill University in Montreal, Quebec and is now living on Vancouver Island. Dr. Bird has published almost 200 peer-reviewed papers and supervised 50 graduate students on a wide range of wildlife themes, including endangered species, toxicology, captive propagation of birds of prey, human-wildlife conflicts, and today, the application of UAVs to wildlife research and conservation. In 2013 the Canadian Wildlife Federation honored him with the Roland Michener Award for Wildlife Conservation and, in 2017, the Society of Canadian Ornithologists gave him the Doris Spiers Award for outstanding lifetime contributions to Canadian ornithology.
Bill Clark is the Chairman of Raptours’ Board of Advisors for which he leads or co-leads raptor tours abroad. He is also on the board of several national and international raptor institutes and foundations. He has published more than 140 journal articles and papers in conference proceedings and is the author or co-author of several raptor field guides, including two for North America (Hawks of North America and A Photographic Guide to North American Raptors), one for Europe (A Field Guide to the Raptors of Europe, The Middle East, and North Africa), one for Latin America (Raptors of Mexico and Central America), and is currently completing one for Africa.
Our full conference program featured an impressive lineup of speakers, citizen scientists, and hawkwatchers who presented on raptor education, innovative technology, regional hawkwatches, and raptor migration research.
Field trips to Holiday Beach Migration Observatory in Canada and the Detroit River Hawk Watch at Lake Erie Metropark rounded out the weekend.