The 2016 American Birding Expo
This past weekend, a few of the Caligo Ventures and Naturalist Journeys staff ventured to Columbus, Ohio, for a weekend of bird related fun. We had a great time at the American Birding Expo at the Grange Insurance Audubon Center!
Caligo’s Susanne Apitz flew in from Portal, Arizona; Naturalist Journeys’ senior guide Greg Smith flew in from California; and guide Dave Ramlal from the Asa Wright Nature Centre flew all the way from Trinidad. They joined father/daughter duo Bob Faber and Julie Fannon who drove in from different parts of Ohio. This was the first meet-up for many of our staff, and we hit it off.
The Audubon Center is in the heart of Columbus on the Scioto River. The Center’s beautiful, quiet grounds offer terrific city views and serve the community well. It was nice to see runners, cyclists, and dog walkers using the trails and taking advantage of an urban oasis.
And as for the expo, the Center was the perfect venue. Large enough to hold two vendor tents and an activity tent, as well as indoor areas for breakout sessions, optic displays, and more. Perfect to host 85 exhibitors from more than 40 countries (our neighbors included China, Honduras, and Trinidad and Tobago)!
Friday’s weather was hot and humid, but the rain held and we saw new faces, as well as folks who’d already traveled to the Asa Wright Nature Centre with us. We hope you like your hats with the new Scarlet Ibis logo!
Saturday saw a steady stream of people, from serious birders to folks looking for something to do on a Saturday afternoon.
Finally, Sunday was Family Day at the American Birding Expo. We saw a lot of interesting characters, including a cardinal mascot (talk about HOT) and a woman on stilts that reminded Dave and our Trinidad Tourism Development Corporation neighbors of Carnival. Additionally, we saw many young birders who exploring the expo with parents and siblings ― great to see such interest at a young age.
Additionally, Caligo Ventures and Naturalist Journeys donated two prizes to the Expo Conservation Raffle: A day of guided birding in Portal, Arizona, and $500 in Travel Bucks to spend with Caligo Ventures in Trinidad and Tobago. And what a surprise, Steve Landes of Columbus won both! Steve told us he’s really been wanting to bird in Trinidad and Tobago, so we’re happy to help make his goal a reality.
Aside from a bit of rain here and there, the weather held for us and we enjoyed a pleasant, albeit hot, weekend at the American Birding Expo. We most enjoyed meeting new people, networking with peer companies, getting new ideas, and bouncing ideas off each other. Also, a few in our group enjoyed time in the Short North area of Columbus, having delicious dinners at The Hubbard Grille and The Pearl. It was great to see the area so busy and vibrant!