Murmurations & Exaltations: Birds and Birding in a Changing World

Murmurations & Exaltations: Birds and Birding in a Changing World

March 2nd, 2024 - March 2, 2024 7:30am - 12:00pm

Dyck Arboretum of the Plains
177 West Hickory
Hesston, KS 67062
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Register by February 28!

The Arboretum and the Kauffman Museum, North Newton, are collaborating to host a half-day spring symposium on Saturday, March 2. Entitled “Murmurations & Exaltations: Birds and Birding in a Changing World,” the event will be held in the Arboretum’s Prairie Pavilion.

Cost of registration is $25 for non-members, and $20 for both Dyck Arboretum and Kauffman Museum members. Additional information and online registration is available at

The day will begin with Kauffman Museum’s “First Saturday Bird Walk” with Gregg Friesen at 7:30 am, and will be held at the Arboretum. The bird walk is open to the general public as well as symposium registrants. The symposium officially opens at 8:00 am with a “Spark Bird Breakfast” in the Arboretum education center. Opening remarks by Brad Guhr and Lorna Harder will follow in the Pavilion at 9:00 am.

As keynote speaker, Chuck Otte, retired Geary County extension agent and well known Kansas birder, will present “The State of Kansas Birds.” At 10:00 am, Dr. Jean Woods, assistant professor of biology at Bethel College, North Newton, will present “Museum Bird Specimens: Studying the Past to Save Birds.” Dr. Jackie Augustine, executive director of Audubon of Kansas (AOK) will give the final presentation at 11:00 am, “Are Birders Replacing Hunters?” which addresses conservation funding and the growing hobby of birdwatching. Katie Schmidt, Arboretum horticulturist will briefly introduce “Native Plant Birding Bundles,” exclusively available to symposium attendees at the Arboretum’s spring FloraKansas Native Plant Days.

“Murmurations & Exaltations” coincides with the unveiling of Kauffman Museum’s Special Exhibit, “A Day with the Birds: Community Science and the Audubon Christmas Bird Count.” It is one of a number of events scheduled this spring to both raise awareness of the sharp decline of North American bird populations and to inspire and encourage participation in community science projects. These projects continue to inform and improve bird conservation efforts across North America.

Additional information is available at