Adams County Bird Symposium March 4, 2023

Wheat Ridge Amish Community Center, 3735 Wheat Ridge Road, West Union, OH 45693

We want to thank our sponsors, vendors and attendees who came to the symposium in 2023. We had a great time in spite of the weather which resulted in power outages across Ohio. The symposium is always held the first Saturday in March. Sign-up to our email list to be sent updates about the 2024 symposium. We are proud to report the efforts with the support of TNC that resulted in low waste from our event! View the report here. We hope to see you next year!

Attendee Registration is sold out – Registration for up to three attendees using one secure form
Vendor/Exhibitor Registration- selling vendors and exhibitors only

Welcome 9:30 am  
Donuts and Coffee will be served.  Our paper products are compostable thanks to the generous donation of The Ohio Nature Conservancy. Feel free to bring your favorite coffee cup to use for the day. After the symposium we’ll have an optional field trip to Adams Lake led by local birders. Keynote speakers: Gabriel Foley, Brian Jorg, Jim McCormac, Bob Scott Placier

Agenda, Speakers and Programs


Most states and provinces in the US and Canada undergo regular bird atlases. An atlas maps the regional distribution of local birds at an exceptionally fine scale, and usually focuses on breeding birds. These projects provide data that are invaluable to conservation efforts and documenting distribution changes. Atlas data are almost entirely collected by local volunteer birders, but many participating birders comment on how atlasing requires an unexpected shift in their approach to birding. Atlasing focuses on understanding and observing bird behavior. This means it goes beyond simply identifying a bird and regularly requires watching an individual bird for several minutes at a time. The result? “Slow birding”. 

Gabriel Foley, Coordinator of the Maryland & DC Breeding Bird Atlas, will discuss what behaviors to look for to identify breeding activity in birds, how these observations can be used for conservation, and how to support nesting birds in your yard.


Twenty-six warbler species have been documented as nesting in Ohio, and 18 of them breed in the massive protected lands of Shawnee State Forest and the adjoining Edge of Appalachia Preserve. This region encompasses nearly 90,000 acres, and is the largest contiguous wild landscape in the state. Well over 1,000 native plant species occur in the area, an impressive percentage of Ohio’s approximately 1,800 species. This botanical diversity drives tremendous animal diversity, not the least of which are showy warblers. This group of birds often has intimate links with certain flora and specific plant communities. This richly illustrated talk will look at warblers, and the plants that fuel them.

Jim worked for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for 31 years as a botanist, and later specialized in wildlife diversity projects, especially those involving birds. He has authored or coauthored six books, including Birds of Ohio (Lone Pine 2004) and Wild Ohio: The Best of Our Natural Heritage (Kent State University Press 2009). The latter won the 2010 Ohioana Book award. He is a coauthor of the Ohio Breeding Bird Atlas II book. He’s currently at work on books about dragonflies and moths. Jim writes a column, Nature, for the Columbus Dispatch, and regularly publishes a natural history blog. He has written numerous articles in a variety of publications, and has delivered hundreds of presentations throughout the eastern United States. 

Shrubland Management and Thrush Migration in Southeastern Ohio, Bob Scott Placier

Since retiring in 2015, Bob has conducted songbird banding during both spring and fall migration seasons at his home in heavily forested eastern Vinton County. Habitat along   ¼ mile lane under the power lines is managed as a “stable shrubland”, with mist nets placed between the shrubland and adjacent mature forest on a mowed corridor.

The original thought was to provide habitat for shrubland birds, many of which show declining population trends. But he soon discovered that the abundance of several Fall fruiting shrubs, especially spicebush and sumacs, attracted a significant number of migrant thrushes in that season. Bob will share  results from eight seasons of operation.

Restoring the Bowyer Wetland: Agricultural Field to Wetland,
Brian Jorg

We will discuss the process that took an agricultural field to restoring it back to a wetland thru grants and hard work. The success as well as the challenges will be explored, as well as the abundant flora and fauna that has returned to its original habitat.

Brian Jorg is Manager of the Native Plant Program for the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. Brian also manages the Boyer Wetland, a 650-acre property in Warren County. Among his responsibilities is the Native Plant Program. This program deals with a wide range of projects that deal directly with the propagation and conservation of our native flora. This also includes the recovery projects of endangered and critically imperiled plants. Brian also travels extensively to study both flora and fauna of the world. Leading trips to the Galapagos, Kenya, Argentina, Madagascar, with the next trip to Antarctica in 2023.