Coffee with the Birds Events and Information

by | Feb 16, 2024 | Parks Department, Programs & Education, Special Event

Update: January 2023

Coffee with the Birds – 2023/2024 Events

Enjoy a hot cup of coffee and some baked goodies as you watch the birds at the feeders and discuss various birding topics with a naturalist. Bring your bird questions, curiosities and stories, and don’t forget your favorite mug!  There are 2 sessions of Feeder Watching to choose from (see schedule below) and a Birding Tidbits “bite-sized” presentation on topics ranging from local birding information and bird identification to natural history and stories of birding adventures.  Don’t miss them as these short presentations are sure to be entertaining and informative.

*We are providing both in-person and Livestream options!

General CwB Schedule

9:30 – 10:20: In-Person & LIVESTREAM Feeder Watching Session
10:30 – 11:00: Birding Tidbits Presentation
11:10 – 12:00 Feeder Watching Session 2 – In-Person Only

*For each in-person session there will be about up to about 35 seats available in the Wildlife Den.  Once the room is full, we ask that you use the overflow area in the Great Room.  You’ll have a view of feeders at the window and a Naturalist will be available to assist.


March 16, 2024 CwB Event

LIVESTREAM AVAILABLE!

Tune in below (or subscribe to our new Ottawa County Parks YouTube Channel) to view the feeder watching session.

Goes LIVE at 9:30am on Saturday, March 16th, 2024

Birding Tidbit LIVESTREAM Presentation:  Bird Profile:  Cape May Warbler

Goes LIVE at 10:30am on Saturday, March 16th, 2024

This year’s photo contest winner that graces the Mug Club mugs is of a Cape May Warbler and thus is the focus of this “Species Profile” presentation. Why is it named after Cape May, NJ? How do I identify it? What are the habits and characteristics that make it unique among warblers? Tune in to find out these things and more! Thanks Jeanne Stoddard for taking the wonderful winning photo!

LIVESTREAM AVAILABLE THANKS TO RICK VELDMAN with KESTREL IMAGERY

How can you support his work?  See below!

Kestrel Imagery has invested a significant amount of time, energy, and money into developing their current setup. As a passionate supporter of CwB, they have generously offered their services at a rate far below market value. If you would like to contribute and help support their work, please consider making a donation at the following link:

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/kestrelimagery

—————————————————————————————-

Upcoming CwB Event Dates & Tidbit Topics

March 16, 2024 – Bird Profile:  Cape May Warbler

——————————————————————————————————————————————

Past 2023/24 Season CwB Livestreamed Events:

February 17, 2024 CwB Event

Feeder-watching Livestream

Birding Tidbit LIVESTREAM Presentation:  Birding Story:  Winter Birding in the U.P.

Join Curtis on a birding adventure to the nether-regions of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula…during the bleak and frigid winter season.  What’s there to see?  And why in winter?!  You’ll find out what unique birds there are to find, where to look for them and why it’s so worth it to go!

January 20, 2024 CwB Event

Feeder-watching Livestream

Birding Tidbit LIVESTREAM Presentation:  Bird Identification: Hawks in my Yard

Do hawks take part in feeding at your bird feeders?  While having them at our feeders can feel like a mixed bag, hawks have to eat to survive, just like the rest of the birds.  So what hawks typically visit feeders?  And how do I level the playing field to protect the other birds?  We’ll take a look at these topics and aim to increase your appreciation for these amazing avian predators!

December 9, 2023 CwB Event

LIVESTREAM was NOT available for the 12/9/23 Coffee with the Birds Event
Due to a variety of factors, we are unable to provide a Livestream for this event.  We plan to provide Livestreaming for the remainder of the season.  Stay tuned for more information in January.  We apologize for the inconvenience.

VIDEO:  Birding Tidbit Video Presentation

Birding Tidbit Presentation:  2023 Photo Contest Winner Stories

Even though there is no Livestream for this event, there still will be a Birding Tidbits presentation.  The 2023 Photo Contest Winners video will be available starting Saturday morning!  The link below will go live at 9:30am on Saturday, 12/9/23 so it will be available to watch during the In-Person CwB Event.

2023 Mug Club Photo Contest – Winner’s Photo Stories

The 2023 Coffee with the Birds Mug Club Photo Contest had 85 entries!  Unfortunately, we could only choose 5 winners, and only 1 Grand Prize winner to go on our 2024 Mug Club Member mug.  To highlight the amazing winning photos, we’ve interviewed all 5 winners: Jeanne Stoddard, Lucas Timmer, Carl Manning, Andy Byerly and Ryan Bebej.  We asked them to give us a glimpse into the story behind their amazing photos.  Enjoy!

2023 Photo Contest Winner & 2024 MUG REVEAL LIVESTREAMED EVENT

On 11/21/23 at 7pm we revealed the Photo Contest winner and 2024 Mug Club mug in person at the Nature Center and Livestreamed on YouTube. Thank you to everyone who joined in for the event and to those who entered the 2023 Photo Contest! We received 85 excellent entries and our panel of judges once again had a difficult job selecting the winners. Congratulations to the winners!  You can view them HERE or by clicking the photo contest link above.  You can order your 2024 Mug Club Membership and mug online for $25 HERE or by clicking the Mug Club Member logo above.  Thank you for your support!

For more information on Coffee with the Birds and the Mug Club go to: https://news.miottawa.org/cwb/ or http://www.miottawa.org/birding

To see the video of all 85 entries watch the video below!

Enjoy this slideshow video of the record 85 entries for the 2023 Coffee with the Birds Mug Club Photo Contest. All photos were taken between 11/1/22 and 10/31/23 in Ottawa County, Michigan. Thank you to everyone who entered the 2023 Photo Contest! We received many excellent entries, and our panel of judges had a difficult job selecting the winners. You can view the winning photos and this HERE!   The winner is featured on the 2024 Mug Club Member mug! Click this link for more details on how you can get your own membership and mug! https://news.miottawa.org/cwb-mug-club/

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Archived Coffee with the Birds Events (2022-2023)

– 3/18/23 Coffee with the Birds Livestreamed Event

Birding Tidbit Presentation:  Bird Profile – Cedar Waxwing

Get a full introduction to the identification, life history and other curiosities of this enigmatic bird which was also featured in the winning photo of the 2022 Photo Contest and on the 2023 Coffee with the Bird mug!

– 2/11/23 Coffee with the Birds Livestreamed Event

This month, since the in-person presentation will be dealing with a portion of the new Birding Alaska video, I decided to just use that video as the Tidbit.  This link will go live on Saturday, 2/11/23 at 8am, so it will be available to watch after the livestream Feeder Watching session is over.  I hope you enjoy!

– Birding Story:  Birding Alaska with Curtis & Mike – Part 4:  Denali Highway & Fairbanks

Click image or title above to watch the video

Now a week into their trip, Curtis & Mike make their way to explore the wild and remote Denali Highway before heading to Fairbanks with a lead on searching for an elusive Alaskan owl.  Their efforts pay off in majorly epic ways on this stretch of the trip.  Just how so?  Watch to join the adventure!

For Parts 1-3, visit the Birding Alaska with Curtis & Mike Video Playlist

1-21-2023 Coffee with the Birds Livestreamed Event

Birding Tidbit – Bird ID:  Using the Merlin Bird ID App

This month instead of reinventing the wheel with another video, I decided to choose several videos already available on this subject.  If you want to learn more about how to use the Merlin Bird ID App, watch the videos below!  Click the titles to take you to the link on the web, or watch right here embedded on this website by clicking the video image.

Cornell Lab of Ornithology Demonstration

Learn how to use Merlin’s features to help you identify the birds you see and hear. We’ll walk you through how to use Sound ID, Photo ID, and Merlin’s Explore features.

Badgerland Birding:  How to use the Merlin Bird ID App (Photo/Call ID): A Beginner’s Guide

The Merlin Bird ID App can be a great tool if used properly, or a nightmare for eBird reviewers. Learn how to use all the features and how to use them properly in this video.

Merlin Bird ID app now identifies bird sounds

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s free Merlin Bird ID app can now identify bird sounds. Merlin can recognize the sounds of more than 400 species from the U.S. and Canada, with that number set to expand rapidly in future updates.

12-10-2022 Coffee with the Birds Livestreamed Event

If there are technical difficulties, check the @MIOttawa YouTube Page

Birding Tidbit – 2022 Mug Club Photo Contest – Winner’s Photo Stories

The 2022 Coffee with the Birds Mug Club Photo Contest had 95 entries! Unfortunately, we could only choose 5 winners, and only 1 Grand Prize winner to go on our 2023 Mug Club Member mug. To highlight the amazing winning photos, we’ve interviewed all 5 winners: Mike Bergeon, Chris Sprik, Lonny Garris, Carl Manning & June Kuiper. We asked them to give us a glimpse into the story behind their amazing photos. Enjoy!

2022 Photo Contest Winner & 2023 MUG REVEAL LIVESTREAMED EVENT

On 11/22/22 at 7pm we revealed the Photo Contest winner and 2023 Mug Club mug in person at the Nature Center and Livestreamed on YouTube. Thank you to everyone who joined in for the event and to those who entered the 2022 Photo Contest! We received 95 excellent entries and our panel of judges once again had a difficult job selecting the winners. Congratulations to the winners!  You can view them HERE or by clicking the photo contest link above.  You can order your 2023 Mug Club Membership and mug online for $25 HERE or by clicking the Mug Club Member logo above.  Thank you for your support!

For more information on Coffee with the Birds and the Mug Club go to: https://news.miottawa.org/cwb/ or http://www.miottawa.org/birding

To see the video of all 95 entries watch the video below!

Enjoy this slideshow video of the record 95 entries for the 2022 Coffee with the Birds Mug Club Photo Contest. All photos were taken between 11/1/21 and 10/31/22 in Ottawa County, Michigan. The winner will be featured on the 2022 Mug Club Member mug! Click this link for more details on how you can get your own membership and mug! https://news.miottawa.org/cwb-mug-club/ Thank you to everyone who entered the 2022 Photo Contest! We received many excellent entries, and our panel of judges had a difficult job selecting the winners. However, a winner has been selected and the 2023 mugs have been ordered! You’ll have to read below to see when the winner will be revealed. In the meantime, enjoy this slide show video of all the entries put to music. For more information on birding and Ottawa County Parks, visit: https://www.miottawa.org/Parks/birdin…

Archived Coffee with the Birds Events (2021-2022)

A huge thanks to our Volunteer Rick Veldman, who make this event possible by handling all the tech work and equipment behind the scenes!  You can find out more about Rick and his video businesses at the the links below:

Kestrel Imagery:  Aerial Video and Photo Services

That Others May Know:  Capturing the Wisdom of Parents and Grandparents in Video Format.

www.kestrelimagery.com     www.thatothersmayknow.com

3/12/22 – Coffee with the Birds Event

Livestreamed Video (3/12/22 @9:30am)

Birding Tidbit – Bird Profile:  Red-headed Woodpecker

Known for its flashy colors, animated behavior and “quirky” calls, the Red-headed Woodpecker is an entertaining and interesting bird.  This video provides a brief overview of their natural history and its interesting, human-connected story of conservation and survival in the past and into the future.  Watch to find out more about this unique woodpecker species!

02/12/2022 Coffee with the Birds Event

Livestreamed Video (2/12/22 @9:30am)

Birding Tidbit – Birding Story:  Ptarmigan Again?

Have you ever experienced the rewarding feeling of finding a bird after spending a lot of time & effort to do so? Once this happens, it can sometimes seem like that bird starts popping up everywhere! Other times that bird vanishes again, leaving us to wonder if we’ll ever see it again. Follow birding friends Curtis & Mike on this tale of their experiences over the years looking for a special bird called a Ptarmigan.

01/15/2022 Coffee with the Birds Event

Livestreamed Video (Live 1/15/21 at 11:10 am)

Birding Tidbit: Winter Waterfowl Identification

In this video we’ll take a look at some of the waterfowl species unique to winter in Ottawa County and you’ll get some practical tips on how to identify them and when/where you can go to search for them.

Here are the links to the videos mentioned in this presentation:

The Goldeneye ID Challenge – Can you bag the Barrow’s?! 

Virtual Bird Walk – Maplewood Park 3/26/2020

Long-tailed Duck up close diving and preening 

Long-tailed Duck synchronized diving flock on Lake Michigan

12/11/21 Coffee with the Birds Event

Livestreamed Video (Live 12/11/21 at 9:30 am)

Birding Tidbit:  The Stories Behind the Winning Photos

For this year’s Coffee with the Birds Mug Club Photo Contest, we thought it would be fun to hear the stories behind the the taking of the 5 winning photos. So we interviewed all 5 winners in order to share these stories with you. Each story is about 2 minutes long and the video concludes with the Grand Prize winner’s story. Enjoy!

2021 Mug Club Photo Contest Video

Enjoy this slideshow video of the 71 entries for the 2021 Coffee with the Birds Mug Club Photo Contest. All photos were taken between 11/1/20 and 10/31/21 in Ottawa County, Michigan.  The winner will be featured on the 2022 Mug Club Member mug!  Read below for more details on how you can get your own membership and mug!

Thank you to everyone who entered the 2021 Photo Contest!  We received many excellent entries and our panel of judges had a difficult job selecting the winners.  However, a winner has been selected and the 2022 mugs have been ordered!

2021 Photo Contest Winner & 2022 REVEAL EVENT!

Livestreamed Video (Live 11/23/21 at 7:00 pm)

This year we revealed the Photo Contest winners & 2022 mug LIVE, ONLINE, before the first CwB Event on December 11th.


Archived Programs from 2020/2021 Coffee with the Birds

3/6/21 Coffee with the Birds LIVESTREAM Event

Livestreamed Video (Live 11/23/21 at 9:30 am)

Birding Tidbit:  Bird Profile – Tufted Titmouse

*click the image or link below

Bird Profile – Tufted Titmouse

For more information and informative links pertaining to the topics discussed, link to the Event Discussion Resources Website.

2/13/21 Coffee with the Birds LIVESTREAM Event

CwB Questions, Sightings & Stories Submissions

Notable birds seen during this event…

Common Redpoll (3:55; 33:20)

Downy & Hairy Woodpeckers TOGETHER! (29:48, 32:43)

American Robins (34:45)

Pileated Woodpecker pair! (1:06:25)

Topics discussed during this event include…

Winter Bluebirds & Robins (20:10)

Great Backyard Bird Count (40:50)

Barrow’s Goldeneye sighting and ID (56:20)

Bird Feeder Overview (1:31:45)

Spring Birding Programs (1:35:25)

Door Prize Drawing (1:38:35)

Birding Tidbit Presentation:  Ovenbird, Teacher of the Woods

Join Naturalist Curtis Dykstra on a journey to discover the world of the Ovenbird through the lens of his personal experiences. Discover the human connections this bird has through culture, conservation and even personally through emotions, embedded in a long history of experiences in nature. Along the way you’ll discover what being a “Teacher of the Woods” truly means.

*During the CwB event we had some technical difficulty streaming the video of this presentation, so while it exists here @  1:05:07 -interrupted by Pileated Woodpecker- resumes at 1:16:26, you can watch the presentation in better quality here, posted directly to YouTube.  Note that this presentation is accessible on this shareable link only and is not available publicly.

For more information and informative links pertaining to the topics discussed, link to the Event Discussion Resources Website.

1/9/21 Coffee with the Birds Livestream Event

Due to technical difficulties, the event starts at 6:30 so you may choose to skip ahead to that point.

If you missed out, it’s not too late!  Whenever it’s convenient for you, feel free to click to watch & enjoy the birds at the feeders and hear different bird topics discussed!  Bird sighting highlights include (click time links to view) Red-bellied Woodpecker (4:08, 40:15), American Goldfinches (16:08), Dark-eyed Junco (19:40), Northern Cardinal (36:00), American Tree Sparrow (42:43).  Bird discussion topics included an update on this winter’s finch irruption (19:0521:10), Great Horned Owl (28:43) & Bald Eagle (1:11:32) activity, feeding suet to birds (32:59) a rare Smew in Allegan (51:00) and more!

Birding Tidbit Presentation:  Snowy Owl Identification

*click the image or link below

Snowy Owl Identification

For more information and informative links pertaining to the topics discussed, link to the Event Discussion Resources Website.

12/5/20 Coffee with the Birds Livestream Event

Photo Contest, Mug Reveal, Local Bird Club Expo

If you haven’t watched the event yet, it’s not too late!  Highlights include (click time links to view) the photo contest & mug reveal (17:18), 3 species of woodpeckers (29:00 – 36:00) & “Cassiar” Junco sighting (37:50 and 41:02)

Birding Tidbit Presentation:  Local Bird Club Expo Videos

Local Bird Club Expo Videos

For more information and informative links pertaining to the topics discussed, link to the Event Discussion Resources Website.

Stay UP-TO-DATE with the Birding Update email list!

To stay up to date on these events and anything else bird-related, sign up for the Birding Update email list!  “Newswire!” newsletter emails are sent monthly and “Quick Look” emails are sent when information needs to get out in a more timely manner.

JOIN Birding Update Email List

Ottawa County Birding information Page

For more bird-related information and links to resources visit the Ottawa County Birding Information Page

Stay Connected with Ottawa County!

Sign up for emails or text alerts and receive updates from Ottawa County.