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IAS Spring Gathering
May 4 @ 7:00 am - 6:00 pm EDT$7 – $42
Join us at the IAS Spring Gathering!
The Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary welcomes everyone to enjoy a weekend of birding, learning, and great fellowship with friends. Stay the weekend and experience the best of spring migration. The MGBS is the flagship property owned by the Indiana Audubon Society, Inc. With over 700 acres of property, participants can walk the many trails, enjoy welcoming back the migrating birds, and celebrate spring! Camping is available for IAS members free of charge in the MGBS campground and lodging can also be found a short distance away in Connersville. All formal events will be held on Saturday.
The Gathering Events on Saturday
6:00AM – 7:00AM HOT COFFEE, PANCAKES, BACON, FRESH FRUIT MARKLE BARN
Please join us while we start the day with a warm breakfast of pancakes, oatmeal, bacon, eggs and fresh fruit in the Markle Barn overlooking the ponds. Bird friendly coffee and juice will also be provided.
6:30AM – 10:00AM MOUNDS SRA MIGRANTS BIRDING TRIP
IAS Executive Director, Brad Bumgardner, will take a willing early contingent of birders to explore the southern end of Brookville Reservoir and the sloped woodlands of Mounds SRA. Participants will caravan approximately 30 minutes to seek out the neotropical warblers, vireos, thrushes, and other birds hidden in the both early and older successional forests along the reservoir.
7:00AM – 10:30AM WHITEWATER MEMORIAL STATE PARK BIRDING TRIP
The north side of Brookville Reservoir can be good for long distant scans for shorebirds, birds of prey, and many aerial bird species. Participants joining IAS board director Richard Garrett will stop by Quakertown SRA first to seek out Osprey and Black Vultures before finishing the morning seeking migrants in the state park. Total commute time about 30 minutes.
7:30AM – 10:00AM WONDERFUL WARBLERS OF MARY GRAY TRIP
Nearly all of Indiana’s regular 36 species of warblers have been found at Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary. IAS board director April Raver will seek out as many warblers as possible on this morning venture through the woodlands, wetlands, and prairies of the sanctuary. The trip will end at the wetland for those wanting to watch bird banding.
7:30AM – 10:30AM BIRD BANDING AT THE WETLAND WITH AMY WILMS
Amy Wilms will band birds at the wetland. First net run will occur at 7:30 AM. Note, the morning bird hike will end at the banding station in time for the first net check. It is not only the coolest thing to have a bird in the hand, but it is also cool to watch Amy handle and band them. Please visit the station and enjoy feathered friends up close. Come and go as you please.
10:30AM MARY GRAY SCAVENGER HUNT WITH KIM EHN
The Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary is a diverse property with many hidden gems found throughout the forests, wetlands, and prairies. Meet Kim near the Large Shelter to take part in a little scavenger hunt to get to know the property more. Great for those visiting for the first time!
11:00AM BUTTERFLIES OF INDIANA- BROOKS HALL
IAS Board Member Matt Beatty will give a presentation on the incredible diversity of butterflies that can be found in our state. Topics will include identification, ecology, and why birders can benefit from paying some attention to these other winged critters.
12:00PM LUNCH AT THE BARN
Join us at noon or beyond for a great lunch! Lunch is provided by the Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary Committee and is included in your weekend registration costs.
1:00PM – IAS BOARD MEETING IN THE BARN
Our board of directors will meet for one of three annual meetings. The public is welcome to sit in.
1:00PM INDIANA’S HIDDEN BARN OWLS- BROOKS HALL
Assistant nongame bird biologist Amy Kearns will talk about barn owl identification, status in Indiana, and the DNR’s 35 year old barn owl nest box program, including the most recent survey results from the 2017 nesting season.
2:00PM BIRDS AND BUTTERFLIES WITH MATT BEATTY
Matt Beatty is both an IAS board director and Nature Conservancy conservation practicioner and loves exploring more than birds. Join him for an afternoon hike in search of all things with wings, both birds and butterflies. Meet at the Large Shelter.
2:00PM THE MAKING OF AN INDIANA PARADISE: FALLING SPRINGS BIRD SANCTUARY- BROOKS HALL
What happens when two dedicated conservationists seek out and find the potential for their little slice of heaven? You get the birth of a great birding destination that John and Karen Lindsey have chosen to share with the birding community. Explore the caves and ravines that gave birth to the Falling Springs Bird Sanctuary in this special program.
3:00PM INTERACTIVE BIRDING FUN WITH KIM EHN
Join Kim Ehn for an hour of fun adult games and contests to challenge your avian knowledge and celebrate the adventure of birding. Bring your willingness and sense of humor. All other supplies will be provided. Meet in the Barn.
3:00PM 90 MILES SOUTH: THE AMAZING BIRDS OF CUBA – BROOKS HALL
Birding inspires us to travel the country and world in search of amazing places and spectacular birds. Brad Bumgardner invites you to see the beauty of an island paradise just 90 miles south of Miami, and why IAS is leading it’s third fully booked birding tour there in 2020.
4:00PM BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY 101 – BROOKS HALL
Learn how to manipulate the settings on your camera to capture stunning bird photos. This workshop includes an indoor presentation about the basics of camera settings like shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. Then, we will go outside and practice taking to pictures of birds of Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary. Presented by IAS board director Rhiannon Thunell.
6:00PM DINNER AND KEYNOTE PRESENTATION:
50 YEARS OF INDIANA’S DEDICATED NATURE PRESERVES!
The 1967 Nature Preserve Act has in just over 50 years, provided Indiana with an amazingly diverse set of natural places. From Indiana’s first dedicated nature preserve at Pine Hills, to the most recent in the Mary Gray Nature Preserve, we now have over 280 nature preserves that set aside a look at early Indiana, but also a great place to find birds. Join the Division of Assistant Director, Tom Swinford, for a fun look at what we have in our own great state.
8:30PM MARY GRAY’S 3 OWL SEARCH
All three year round resident owls make their home at Mary Gray. Audubon night owls will seek out our nocturnal residents in a final hour search into the growing twilight this evening. Bring bug spray, a light jacket, and a flashlight for the walk back and join us into the darkness.
Early Bird Adult: $32.00 (includes all programs, lunch, and keynote dinner)
Early Bird Youth: $20.00 (includes all programs, lunch, and keynote dinner)
Regular Adult: $42.00 (includes all programs, lunch, and keynote dinner)
Regular Youth: $25.00 (includes all programs, lunch, and keynote dinner)
Add Breakfast Saturday: $7.00
*Early bird rates through April 14. Youth rates apply to all children 17 years of age and under.
WHERE TO STAY
CAMPGROUND: The Sanctuary has a primitive campground for use during your stay (at no additional cost). Pit toilets are located in the campground. Water and modern restrooms are nearby and will be available for your stay.
WOODRIDGE INN: The Woodridge Inn is located about 20 minutes away if visitors prefer to stay in a hotel. Depending upon your room choice, rates are between $80-$95 per night. Contact the hotel directly by calling 765-825-4800.