Friday Speaker & Presentation
Sandy Komito: Top North American Bird Lister
Sandy Komito will speak to us about his travels and of course Big Year listing.
Big Year competitors of 1998 were the subject of a book, The Big Year, by Mark Obmascik. Three birders, Sandy Komito, Al Levantin and Greg Miller, chased Komito’s prior record of 721 bird species. In the end Sandy Komito kept the record, listing 745 bird species plus 3 submitted in 1998 and later accepted by state record committees for a revised total of 748 bird species seen in a single year. The book was adapted for the 2011 20th Century Fox film The Big Year starring Steve Martin as Al Levantin, Jack Black as Greg Miller and Owen Wilson as Sandy Komito.
Saturday Speaker & Presentation
Scott Mehus Education Director: National Eagle Center
The National Eagle Center is a world-class interpretive center located on the banks of the Mississippi River in Wabasha, MN. We are home to five rescued eagles, four bald eagles and one golden eagle. The Upper Mississippi River Valley is home to hundreds of bald eagles. Many choose to build their nests in the tall trees along the river valley. Hundreds more bald eagles arrive here in the winter months, as the Mississippi River remains open around Wabasha year round. In 1989, National Eagle Center began as EagleWatch, Inc. as a group of volunteers sharing with visitors to Wabasha views of wintering bald eagles from an outdoor observation deck along the river. We have grown a lot since that time. In 2000, we opened year-round in a small storefront downtown and welcomed our first two Eagle Ambassadors, Harriet and Angel.