Keynote and Headliners 2018

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Festival Keynote: Greg Miller
DIY Big Year
Saturday 5:30pm – 9:30pm / Duneland Falls Banquet Center

Have you ever wanted to do a Big Year but you don’t have the time or money to do it? Or maybe you have no desire to go after a world record, but you would like to set your own personal record. Where do you go? How do you start planning?  Greg Miller has birded in all 50 states and much of Canada during his 50 years of birding. In 1998 Greg traveled 130,000 miles to try to see as many species of birds in one calendar year as possible. He passed 700 species -- an achievement many birders aspire to in a lifetime. His accomplishment, immortalized in The Big Year, by Pulitzer Prize winning author Mark Obmascik, and the full-length motion picture inspired by the book, is a birder’s must have.  Learn Greg’s tips for your next big adventure!  Add the festival keynote dinner, presentation, and silent auction to your registration for $26.

Festival Headliner: Dr. Ken Brock
The Amazing Birds of the Indiana Dunes
Thursday 11:30am – 12:30pm / Indiana Dunes Visitor Center

The Indiana Dunes is host to one of the greatest bird diversity’s in the Midwest. Among the top ten sites in the entire Great Lakes, the Indiana Dunes shoreline is a rich mosaic of interesting and unique habitats, that support over 370 bird species. Ken Brock, aka the bird man of Indiana, will guide participants through the amazing places found along the southern shore of Lake Michigan and a sampling of the specialty bird species you should be on the lookout for during the festival. Ken will offer his secrets to the greatest birding hotspot in Indiana the first day of the festival. Don’t miss it!

Festival Headliner: Jeff Canada
Experience Migration with the Warbler Guide!
Friday 11:30am – 12:30pm / Indiana Dunes Visitor Center

Warblers are some of the most highly sought-after birds each year at the festival.  This hands-on headliner presentation will explore the many uses and features of the new Warbler Guide App. We’ll will focus on the app but will also include information about the Warbler Guide book, website and foldout guide. At home and in the field, The Warbler Guide (Tom Stephenson & Scott Whittle) is an excellent tool to help you with those difficult Warbler ID’s and for helping beginning birders to learn how to ID Warblers in the field. As our gift, everyone attending the festival this year will receive a copy of the Warbler Guide foldout in their welcome bag.

Festival Headliner: Paul Bannick
A Year in the Lives of North American Owls
Saturday 11:30am – 12:30pm / Indiana Dunes Visitor Center

Award winning photographer Paul Bannick is presenting a new program featuring video, sound, stories from the field and several dozen new images from his new book: Owl: A Year in the Lives of North American Owls. Paul uses intimate, yet dramatic images to follow owls through the course of one year and in their distinct habitats.  Audiences will witness the four seasons on territory, as each stage in an owl’s life is chronicled through rare images: courtship, mating, and nesting in spring; fledging and feeding of young in summer; dispersal and gaining independence in fall; and, finally, winter’s migrations and competitions for food. All 19-species found in Canada and the United States are featured in photos, video and narrative throughout the book, with a special focus on the Northern Pygmy-Owl, Great Gray Owl, Burrowing Owl, and Snowy Owl.

Festival Headliner: Evie Kirkwood
The Folklore of Birds
Sunday 11:30am – 12:30pm / Indiana Dunes Visitor Center

Throughout history, cultures have attributed legends and stories to the feathered creatures around them. From the quirkiness of crows, to the savviness of swallows, Evie Kirkwood, Executive Director for the St. Joseph County Parks (IN), will take a lighthearted look at folklore that often provides insight to bird behavior and adds a different dimension to our enjoyment of birds.