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The Holbrook Insider


Takeaways from the 2017 Audubon Convention

Jul 21, 2017 |


| by Christopher Bensley

This past weekend conservation aficionados gathered for Audubon’s biennial convention in Park City, Utah. Themed “Elevating Audubon," the venue and weather were ideal for learning, networking, collaborating – and birding!

The event brought together the vast network of dedicated chapter, state, national, and international leaders from across all four flyways and was full of camaraderie and networking that only the Audubon Convention can provide with birding as the thread. Birding quiets the mind and makes you focus on what’s around you. Birds are sentinels; we need to listen to what they are telling us.

Maggie Walker, Audubon Board Chair, reminded us that “Audubon is a thread that runs through the fabric of this country, guiding America’s relationship with nature for over a century.” At a time when conservation needs to trump apathy, she cautioned, “We know how to get things done. Don’t mess with bird people."

David Yarnold, Audubon President, gave the keynote with ideas for “What can I do?” citizen science to help in this world at a critical time. This included Audubon programs such as Climate Watch, Great Backyard Bird Count, Hummingbirds at Home, and Christmas Bird Count. Dr. Drew Lanham gave an engaging, thoughtful talk on the importance of inclusiveness and diversity in birding, among other themes. (Watch the keynote here.)

The 4-day convention was full of inspiring speakers, in-depth workshops and discussions, exciting field trips and birding adventures (Utah has more than 450 bird species). In addition to sponsoring and exhibiting at the event, Holbrook participated in a popular session “International Alliances Program: Bird-based Tourism in Latin America and the Caribbean” which featured the bird-based tourism initiative Flyway Expeditions.

At the conclusion of the event, Holbrook awarded a free trip to the Costa Rica Birding Conference as part of a drawing (photo below), won by Jackie Canterbury from Bighorn Audubon. For information on this upcoming conference, see here or contact Debbie Jordan at

Gloria Lentijo and Debbie Jordan