IAS Spring Gathering 2020- CANCELLED
May 2$7 – $32
THE 2020 SPRING GATHERING HAS BEEN CANCELLED
Join us at the IAS Spring Gathering 2020
May 2, 2020
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 – 8:00AM 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 – 11:00AM BROOKVILLE LAKE MIGRANTS AND NESTING EAGLE TRIP
April Raver 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 migrants and stop by the active eagle and osprey nests of the area.
7:00AM – 11:00AM 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 – 10:30AM WARBLER BLITZ OF MARY GRAY
Nearly all of Indiana’s regular 36 species of warblers have been found at Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary. IAS executive director, Brad Bumgardner will seek out as many warblers as possible on this morning venture through the woodlands, wetlands, and prairies of the sanctuary. We’ll focus on ID traits as well as we seek them out.
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. 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!
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 THE RETURN OF TRUMPETER SWANS TO INDIANA- BROOK’S HALL
In 2017, Trumpeter Swans returned to nest in Indiana for the first time in modern record keeping. Learn more about these giant, state endangered birds and their conservation history in the Midwest. We’ll also look at the current status and future breeding around the state with Indiana DNR non-game biologist, Adam Phelps.
2:00PM PROTECTING INDIANA’S PUBLIC LANDS – BROOK’S HALL
Indiana Land Protection Alliance is Indiana’s statewide alliance of member land trusts, conservation organizations and conservationists advancing land conservation for public benefit. Jim Dehner, executive director, will discuss the organization’s existence, since 2000, and the work being done around the state.
Afterwards, a caravan tour will take participants the MGBS west end to tour the new Mary Gray Nature Preserve, dedicated in 2019.
3:00PM 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.
3:00PM FROM BILL TO TAIL: THE BIRTH OF INDIANA’S BIRDING TRAIL – BROOK’S HALL
Birders continues to be one of the largest expanding tourism demographics. One critical aspect of all successful birding tourism destination is a comprehensive trail stringing together the diverse birds, natural sites, and beauty found within a region. Explore how Indiana’s new statewide birding trail serves as a gateway to conservation and adventure. The program will highlight the process of site selection, partners, and the potential for use in a variety of geographic regions.
4:00PM BIRDING WITH CAMERAS: TO SHOOT OR NOT TO SHOOT – BROOK’S HALL
Exciting developments in photo-technology present challenging issues to those who bird with cameras in hand. Many issues are synonymous with basic birding; others are unique to photography. Discussion of technical and ethical considerations of bird photography will be addressed with the goal of reaping personal rewards while ensuring the safety of our cameras’ targets. Presented by Shari McCollough.
6:00PM DINNER AND KEYNOTE PRESENTATION:
ROSE & MONTY: THE PIPERS THAT STOLE OUR IMAGINATION AND HEARTS
“Monty and Rose” tells the story of a pair of endangered piping plovers that successfully nested at Chicago’s Montrose Beach in the summer of 2019, the first of the species to nest in Chicago in 64 years. Join documentary creator Bob Dolgan as he tells the story of these unique pair of birds that united a city, and see the short, independent documentary that chronicles these special birds and an unpredictable series of events including a proposed music festival that propelled the birds to national headlines.
8:45PM 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.
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.
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: $39.00 (includes all programs, lunch, and keynote dinner)
Regular Youth: $25.00 (includes all programs, lunch, and keynote dinner)
Add Breakfast Saturday: $7.00