GBBC Guest Speakers

This year the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is from February 12th-15th. We are having a very special guest speaker series on our Facebook Live from February 10th-15th for the event. Logon to Facebook at noon and check in with our page to see some great presenters discuss everything birds! These will be quick and informal, so catch these birders in their natural element and come learn a thing or two. We hope to see you there, but if you miss it, no worries, they will be recorded and will stay on our Facebook page!

Schedule and Speakers

Wednesday, Feb. 10th- Birding on TLC Properties

Bo Howes, TLC Director of Land Protection and Stewardship (West)

Bo started as Conservation Project Manager for TLC in October 2008 and currently holds the position of Director of Conservation and Stewardship. With deep roots in the local community, Bo has successfully identified, initiated, and closed scores of land projects. Bo represents TLC on the New Hope Creek Advisory Committee, a long­time TLC priority area, and has worked with many of the New Hope partners to protect a good portion of that corridor that drains into Jordan Lake. Bo’s favorite TLC preserve is Johnston Mill Nature Preserve for its birds and proximity. The preserve contains a variety of habitats for our feathered friends. He is a past president of the New Hope Audubon Society and is on the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Botanical Garden Foundation.

Thursday Feb. 11th- Bird Anatomy

Joe Donahue, Member of New Hope Audubon Society

Joe is retired, after spending 20 years in the Army and in the Aerospace business.  He refers to himself as an Army brat but he spent most of his youth in Oklahoma. He graduated from Oklahoma State University with a degree in Wildlife Management. Between the military and post military retirement he lived in 10 states and two other countries. He has now lived in Burlington, NC for almost 5 years and does not have any plans of moving.

Friday Feb. 12th- Local Raptors with Raptor Insights

Dr. John Parks, Founder and Director of Raptor Insights

Cassandra Bridges, Program Director, UNC ’20

Eli Bradley, Education Associate, UNC 22′

Matt Jenkins, Education Associate, NCSU PhD in Progress

We welcome the Raptor Insights crew to give a very special talk about local raptors in the Triangle! Joining us will be Dr. John Parks, Founder and Director of Raptor Insights; Cassandra Bridges, Program Director; and the Education Associate Team, Eli Bradley, Matt Jenkins, and Nina Quevedo (not pictured.)

Dr. Parks is a retired Professor of Animal Science, Cornell University. He has worked for over 40 years with raptors as a falconer, rehabilitator, bander, breeder, researcher, educator, and consultant. He was both Founder and Director of the Cornell University Raptor Program from 1990-2016. He founded Raptor Insights in 2017 to mentor area students and in turn provide public education programs about raptors in the North Chatham/ Triangle area using live raptors. 

You can find more about Raptor Insights at their website:

And on Social:

Instagram- @raptorinsightsnc

Facebook- Raptor Insights

Saturday, Feb. 13th- Birding for Kids

Murry Burgess, Associate Wildlife Biologist ®

Murry Burgess is an Associate Wildlife Biologist® and a PhD student at NCSU. She studies the effects of artificial lights on the health and physical development of Barn Swallow chicks. Murry’s early exposure to wildlife came through nature shows and books, none of which ever portrayed anyone who looked like her. Now, Murry is excited for the launch of her children’s nature book series, which features a little Black girl exploring and learning about the outdoors around her. Murry hopes to become a research professor and to continue to be an environmental educator for young kids.

Sunday, Feb. 14th- Backyard Birds

Tom Driscoll, Naturalist

Tom was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1953.  He worked as an environmental scientist for the State of Texas and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for 37 years and retired in 2013.  He has been birdwatching since the early 1980s but became a lister in 1992.

Monday, Feb. 15th- The Importance of Citizen Science

Diquan Edmonds, TLC Education and Outreach Manager

Kayla Ebert, TLC Community Outreach and Education Associate

Diquan and Kayla make up the outreach and education team for TLC and are happy to join to close out the weekend by discussing citizen science projects like the Great Backyard Bird Count, why they are important, and how you can get involved. TLC has many current projects and they are always looking for more. Many of the projects you can often complete in your own back yard. This will be a great time to ask any questions that may have come up through the series, because these two can find the answers (even if they can’t answer them themselves.)

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