Birders Flock to Jonesboro For Convention Arkansas Audubon Society to Convene May 2 – 4

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Experience the height of spring migration at the 2014 Arkansas Audubon Society (AAS) spring convention, which will meet Friday, May 2 through Sunday, May 4 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Jonesboro. The convention will feature birding field trips, biology student presentations, and keynote speakers covering the characteristics of the black-capped vireo and cerulean warbler, as well as the nesting ecology of the western slimy salamander. Additionally, participants will enjoy a silent auction, door prizes, and opportunities to network with other wildlife enthusiasts. Friday registration lasts from 4 – 6 p.m. in the Ouachita/Delta Ballroom.

Field trip participants will enjoy seeing a cornucopia of migrating birds, such as colorful buntings, grosbeaks, and warblers, perhaps even the rare Cape May or black-throated blue warbler.

Friday afternoon’s field trip destinations will encompass the Crowley’s Ridge Nature Center and St. Francis Sunken Lands Wildlife Management Area/Hatchie Coon Island. Saturday field trips will include Friday’s destinations plus Craighead Forest Park, Wapanocca National Wildlife Refuge, and Scatter Creek Wildlife Management Area.

Friday evening’s speaker is Dr. Stanley Trauth, professor of zoology at Arkansas State University and author of The Amphibians and Reptiles of Arkansas. He will share his knowledge of the western slimy salamander’s fascinating nesting habits.

Saturday evening’s highlight is Dr. Than Boves, assistant professor of ecology at Arkansas State University, who will deliver a presentation entitled, “Black and Blue: The Life and Times of the Black-capped Vireo and the Cerulean Warbler.”

Also Saturday, several biology students will educate participants on their areas of research, as follows: Baltimore checkerspot oviposition (Stephen Robertson, University of Arkansas – Little Rock), winter roosting in eastern bluebirds in northwest Arkansas (Jessica Fowler, Arkansas State University), and the effects of chronic noise from gas extraction on bird communities and their songs in the Fayetteville shale (Maiya Block and Meghan McFadden, Hendrix College).

Convention registration is $15 per person if registered by April 18; after that, it is $20 per person. To reserve a room at the Hilton Garden Inn, call 870.931.7727 and request that you want a room in the Audubon block. The convention is open to non-members. Children under 16 are free. Meals are an additional charge. A downloadable brochure about the society, convention registration form, and complete meeting agenda are available at http://www.arbirds.org/.

If you have questions about the convention, please contact Karen Holliday at [email protected]

The biannual AAS conventions are excellent opportunities to watch birds, meet other birders, learn, and have fun. Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ArkansasAudubonSociety.

The Arkansas Audubon Society, a nonprofit all-volunteer organization founded in 1955, aims to foster a greater knowledge of Arkansas’s natural history through observation, investigation, education and publication; and to be a potent force in the conservation of all of the state’s natural resources.