First Annual ILYB Symposium

Wisconsin Young Birders at ILYB symposium

On August 27th, the WYBC was invited to the First Annual Ilinois Young Birders Symposium in Ryerson Woods, Illinois. It was a great event and we look forward to next year’s meeting. Here is the full report published on the ILYB page:

“Illinois Young Birders in conjunction with Brushwood Center offered the first Illinois Young Birders Symposium at Ryerson Conservation Area on Saturday, August 27th. The event was nearly sold out with more than 60 people in attendance!

The packed house got to enjoy complimentary breakfast, lunch, and snacks from Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, while young birders presented polished and impactful personal stories of how birds have affected their lives. Isoo O’Brien spoke about his year long adventure, birding around the world in more than 20 countries. Jackie Kuroda debunked the stigma surrounding pigeons, proving to us how intelligent pigeons are. Eddie Kasper regaled us with stories of Camp Colorado and birding from the arid grasslands to the mountain tops. Ryan Treves gave a moving speech of the struggle to start Wisconsin Young Birders, taking an dream and making it a reality. Jake Cvetas taught everyone how to get the most out of eBird from tracking your life list to calculating the probability of finding Eurasian Wigeon in Illinois. Finally, Kalman Strauss talked of his selfless work with the Chicago Bird Collision Monitors and how it once took six monitors to resuce a Virginia Rail in downtown Chicago.

Also on the agenda, author and naturalist, Joel Greenberg, moderdated a panel discussion of professionals who have turned their passion into a career with birds: Sulli Gibson – recent graduate of Cornell University, Vickie Igleski – Zookeeper at Lincoln Park Zoo, and Peggy Macnamara – Resident Artist at the Field Museum.

Finally, key note speaker, Josh Engel, recounted tales from his life and career from an early age through college and into professional life. Josh told us how his focus, friendships, and a bit of luck took him around the world from Chicago to Eucador and South Africa, all while working with birds.

After the talks ended and donated items were raffled off including a signed copy of a Sibley’s field guide, the group headed to Brushwood Center for an art reception. The walls of Bushwood proudly displayed photography, drawings, paintings and more by several young birders including Lucas Haberkorn, Nandu Dubey, and Brett Kasper.

Overall it was an amazing day!”


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