MIDDLEBURY — Otter Creek Audubon’s sixth annual Cabin Fever Lecture Series for winter 2013 will kick off this Thursday evening. All events take place at 7 p.m. at Ilsley Library in Middlebury on the second Thursday of each month between January and March. They are free and open to the public.
On Thursday, Jan. 10, local birding legend Warren King will recount his years of working with seabirds in a program titled “From Christmas to Easter: Seabirds of the Pacific Islands.” King worked as an ornithologist for the Smithsonian Institution, which published his book “The ICBP Bird Red Data Book: The Endangered Birds of the World in 1980.” He was an environmental educator for the Keewaydin Environmental Education Center in Salisbury for 13 years. He received the 2002 Vermont State Award of the New England Wildflower Society and the 2005 Charles H. Callison Award from National Audubon for volunteer service.
On Feb. 14 Mike Winslow will introduce attendees to “Owls of Vermont.” Seven species of owls are known to breed in Vermont and another four species are rare winter visitors. Learn how to tell them apart with both visual and auditory clues. Winslow has surveyed owls for the Middlebury and Ferrisburgh Christmas bird counts and for the Vermont Breeding Bird Atlas. He is the staff scientist for the Lake Champlain Committee and the author of “Lake Champlain: A Natural History.” He is the recipient of the Steven Young Environmental Award given by Audubon Vermont.
On March 14 birding guide Susan Roney Drennan will present “Albatrosses and Their Interactions with Longline Fisheries.” Drennan will introduce the beauty and grace of albatrosses that inhabit the Southern Ocean, the practice of longline fishing, how it affects the albatrosses, and some possible solutions to minimize these effects.
Drennan has enjoyed a lively career. She served for many years as editor-in-chief of Audubon’s ornithological publication, American Bird, and Audubon’s vice president for ornithology. She is recipient of the Bushnell Distinguished Birder Award and the prestigious Arthur A. Allen Medal, awarded to individuals who have dramatically advanced ornithological knowledge through their writings, publications, teaching and inspiration. She is the author of numerous papers, scientific/popular articles and books, including “Where to Find Birds in New York State: The Top 500 Sites,” “The Birder’s Field Notebook,” and “The North American Birder’s Library Lifelist.”
Editor’s note: Otter Creek Audubon reminds local educators that the organization is accepting applications for funding for environmentally oriented field trips. Applications are due this Wednesday, Jan. 9. For more information visit ottercreekaudubon.org and view the Dec. 4 post in the Latest News section.