Bird Lovers Flock to the Mid-Shore

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More than 150 bird watchers will be gathered this weekend in Kent County for the 72nd annual convention of the Maryland Ornithological Society (MOS).

The event is being held at Washington College’s Chestertown campus from May 31st until June 2nd. MOS chose this beautiful, rural part of Maryland as it is conveniently close to several prime birding locations on the Eastern Shore.

The convention will feature a variety of field trips, workshops, vendor exhibits, and social gatherings. Registered birders will have excellent opportunities to go birding in new locations, including a few which may normally be closed to the public, with knowledgeable leaders.

On Friday evening, May 31st, the keynote address will be delivered by Jeffrey Gordon, President of the American Birding Association. Jeff is a well-known writer, photographer, tour leader, and naturalist. He is a frequent speaker and field trip leader at various birding and nature festivals.

The American Birding Association, founded in 1969, is celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2019. Jeff’s keynote address is titled “It’s Too Late to Stop Now: Sharing the Gospel of Birding in the 21st Century.” Jeff will share some of the highlights of the ABA’s first half century and from his own 40+ years as a birder. But most of all, he will talk about the path to 2069 and how we advance boldly toward making the world a better place for the birds and birders who will follow us.

On Saturday morning, June 1st, Jeff Gordon will co-lead a birding hike with Nancy Martin, President of the Kent County Bird Club, at Eastern Neck Wildlife Refuge (NWR). At the 2,300-acre refuge at the mouth of the Chester River, some 70,000 people visit annually to see migrating tundra swans, ducks, and shorebirds as they fuel up at the safe haven for their long migrations. Herons, egrets, rails, and terrapins skulk through the vast marshes as the nation’s symbol soars overhead.

In 2018, the US Department of The Interior recommended shuttering Eastern Neck and closing its trails to the public. Citing the economic impacts of birding tourism and the importance to bird conservation, the MOS, Friends of Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge and other citizens launched a campaign to keep the refuge open. Thanks in large part to this public outcry, the refuge remains open today.

The MOS invites members of the media to join them for the Friday night, May 31, keynote address by Jeff Gordon, President of the American Birding Association. The keynote address will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Decker Theater at Washington College.

Members of the media are also invited to join Jeff Gordon, President of the American Birding Association, and Nancy Martin, President of the Kent County Bird Club, for a birding hike at Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge on Saturday morning, June 1. The birding hike will meet at Washington College at 6:45 am before departing to Eastern Neck.

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