In July, 430 people from 37 U.S. states and nine nations descended upon Park City, Utah to connect with other Audubon members, bask in avian enthusiasm, and share in the network’s efforts to make the world a better place for birds.
Park City is best known as a ski town, but Audubon members from 87 chapters transformed it into a birding wonderland for the weekend of July 14 to July 17. Numerous field trips—organized and spontaneous—took them into the surrounding mountains to chase Western Tanagers and to the Great Salt Lake to see shorebirds in droves. Each day was packed full of presentations that were informative and useful for members. Topics included how to run a community native plants programs, develop local solutions to climate change, advocate for birds, and be intentional about diversity, equity, and inclusion. (See the full program here.)
Each morning all attendees gathered for a plenary talk, which counted among the convention’s highlights. On the first day, Audubon CEO David Yarnold gave a stirring presentation that reflected the fantastic work being done across the network at a national and local scale. “This is the most effective network for conservation in America. It starts with you,” Yarnold said. The next morning, Drew Lanham, a Clemson University ornithologist (and now an Audubon board member) moved the room during his talk on inclusiveness in conservation. (Listen to his full keynote speech here.)
To get just a taste of the convention, watch the above compilation video, made by members of Audubon’s art department: Mike Fernandez, Camilla Cerea, Christine Lin, and Alana Phan.