We asked our team at Audubon North Carolina to share some of the things they are looking forward to at the 2013 Annual Meeting. You can still join us for this great event. It's just $75 to attend the 3-day event in Raleigh, May 31 - June 2. Register and get all the details here. First up, our Coastal Biologist Lindsay Addison shares some of the highlights of the field trips offered this year!
Since I'm the coastal biologist, I spend most of my time at work on the coast and I get to see all kinds of great waterbirds, from migrating sandpipers to nesting egrets. However, when annual meetings roll around, they're a great opportunity for me to expand my horizons and visit some different birds.
In 2011, I got to listen to a Cerulean Warbler singing in on Blue Ridge Parkway and crane my neck back to look for a Black-throated Blue Warbler. This year offers a variety of forest birds, plus special opportunities such as a chance to observe bird banding and nesting Wood Ducks.
I also always enjoy the chance to meet people from around the state who share an interest with birds. It's best when meeting other Audubon folks is combined with a great field trip.
But maybe the most unique options are the tours of the Museum of Natural Science's collections. I was lucky enough to receive a tour of the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at UC Berkeley in 2010, and our guide pulled out specimen after specimen. From a stuffed Wandering Albatross the size of a Labrador retriever to a hippopotamus skull, it was an amazing place to explore. The highlight--and the most sobering part--was realizing that we could ask to see extinct species. There was a drawer of Ivory-billed Woodpeckers, quite a few Passenger Pigeons, and a flock of Carolina Parakeets, all neatly cataloged and labeled, carefully stored, and poignantly lifeless. Although it's impossible not to feel sad, and cheated of the chance to enjoy these species in life, getting to see preserved examples makes it easier to imagine them as they were, and makes what happened to them more real and more immediate. For the opportunity to explore species from around the world and through time, getting to view a museum's collection is not an opportunity to be passed up.