Cancelled-Adams County Bird Symposium March 2, 2024

Since our inception in 2004, the Adams County Amish Birding Symposium was founded based on sharing the natural beauty of Adams County with the rest of the world.  The Symposium was started with a member of the Amish Community and has always included the Community in every facet of the event.  As you know this includes the use of the Community building, serving on the planning team, having the Community provide the food we enjoy from donuts to the soup and sandwiches and even having members of the Community share their knowledge as speakers.  The Amish Community  has always been an integral part of the event from the beginning and continues today.

The Symposium committee has always had the knowledge that if a Community member died, there was always the possibility  Symposium would need to be relocated or cancel.  Since our inception, as you know, that has never happened.  This year a very well-respected and one of the founding members of the Amish Community in Adams County is presently fighting for his life.  With the uncertainty of his health and the knowledge that this person’s well being is felt by not only the Amish Community, the Symposium committee, and people beyond Adams County, the committee has decided to cancel this year’s symposium.  The committee feels that the time and effort that the Community would normally put into helping us with the event would be better served within the Community themselves as they deal with this situation.  The committee doesn’t like canceling the event, but we all agree that our thoughts and prayers for the Community and this person and their family and friends would be a better service for them rather than trying to hold this event.  We regret having to do this but without the Amish Community’s help we really wouldn’t have an event.  

ATTENDEES:  If you were attending the symposium next weekend, and you registered online by credit card, you will be issued a credit within 2 weeks from ‘webconnex’ to the same credit card that you used to register. If you paid for your registration by check, the Adams County Travel Bureau will be sending checks to you this week. We can not re-direct funds at this time. Any questions can be sent to You can be assured we are working on this now to have your refund processed as soon as possible. We are sorry for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience.  Again, the committee’s thoughts and prayers are with our brothers and sisters in the Amish Community.

Registration for the symposium will begin on January 3, 2024. A link will be posted to this page, and our Facebook group. The registration fee is $45.00 and it includes access to all the speakers, an optional hike to Adams Lake, coffee, and donuts for breakfast, and a delicious lunch provided by the local Amish Community. If you’re interested in selling at the event, you’ll need to pay a total of $55.00 which includes the registration fee. Additionally, we’re offering lunch for one person helping vendors to sell at their table for an extra $15.00. Please note that selling and exhibitor space is limited, so it’s recommended to sign up early to ensure your spot!

Attendee Registration – opens January 1, 2024
Vendor/Exhibitor Registration – If you are interested in being a selling vendor or exhibitor, please contact the Adams County Travel Bureau at 1-877-ADAMS-OH.
Sorry, We are sold out as of 1/11/24.
Mail-In Attendee Registration form.

Symposium Presentations

The Hidden History of Warblers, Kenn Kaufman

The many species of small, colorful warblers are popular with birders, providing some of the peak excitement of spring migration. But they have a complicated history. Two centuries ago the American warbler family hadn’t been defined yet, and naturalists were identifying some of the warblers as flycatchers, creepers, titmice, or thrushes. The females, males, and fall plumages of some warblers look so different from each other that they were originally described and named as separate species. Even after these were figured out, some warblers wound up with misleading names because of old mistakes, some hybrids have caused confusion for years, and at least one mysterious warbler vanished for no obvious reason.  

Kenn Kaufman has been studying this fascinating history, and in this talk, he’ll present some highlights. The program draws on his most recent book, A Season on the Wind: Inside the World of Spring Migration(2019), but most of it is based on a chapter from his forthcoming book, The Birds That Audubon Missed, scheduled for release in late spring 2024. 

Kenn Kaufman burst onto the birding scene as a teenager in the 1970s, hitch-hiking all over North America in pursuit of birds, an adventure later chronicled in his cult-classic book Kingbird Highway. After several years as a tour leader, taking birding groups to all seven continents, he transitioned to a career as a writer, editor, and illustrator. He has authored or co-authored 13 books, including seven titles in his own series, Kaufman Field Guides. Currently, Kenn is a field editor for Audubon, a Fellow of the American Ornithological Society, and the only person to have received the American Birding Association’s lifetime achievement award twice. 

A Celebration of Bird Song, Wil Hershberger

Wil Hershberger has been an avid naturalist most of his life. After becoming an accomplished and well-respected birder, photography skills learned in his Dad’s basement darkroom were rekindled.  Today his photography has become an extension of his passion for the natural world.  He has an innate ability to capture the natural world artistically.  Wil is also an accomplished nature sounds recordist with over 5,100 recordings, including birds and bugs, are archived at the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology’s Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds.  Wil’s images and sounds have been published in books, calendars, and in museum exhibits around the US. Through his photography and sound recordings, he hopes to instill in others the desire to protect and save these sacred natural treasures. 

Bird song through the seasons from late winter through early spring. We’ll examine some of the songs in detail by slowing them down with visual displays to help us “see” what they are hearing. We’ll explore what the birds are conveying to one another and other fascinating aspects of bird communication that are being revealed in the current literature. We will also explore the wonders of the Merlin Bird ID online app.

From Rescue to Release – Rehabilitating Local Birds of Prey, Marc Alverson

This presentation will provide an overview of RAPTOR Incorporated, including our mission, volunteers, facilities, and history. In addition, we will discuss how we care for injured birds of prey – from their admission, evaluation, treatment, and finally, release back to the wild.

How did an electrical engineer who worked as an engineer and program manager for a defense contractor building radio systems get involved with saving raptors?  Easy – I was drafted.  My wife, Cindy Alverson, the Executive Director of RAPTOR, Inc. immediately wanted to get involved with rehabilitating raptors as soon as she found out about the organization.  As anyone who has handled a raptor such as a Great-horned Owl knows, it takes someone you know and trust to safely hold the bird while you are trying to evaluate its injuries or perform treatments.  I was that person.  Decades later I am still holding birds, as well as serving on RAPTOR Inc.’s Board of Trustees as President.

For the Love of Birds, Marty Dermody

S. Marty Dermody, SC is the current Director of the Spirituality Center for the Sisters of Charity, and loves sharing her work of photography and watching birds. She is an avid birder (birdwatcher) and enjoys sharing her knowledge with those willing to learn. She enjoys spending time in the woods, lakes and ponds looking for a variety of bird species that live in various habitats. Birding is her passion and she looks forward to sharing her knowledge and love of birds with others.