Our keynote speaker is Laura Erickson of Duluth, MN. She is the 2014 recipient of the American Birding Association’s prestigious Roger Tory Peterson Award, has been a scientist, teacher, writer, wildlife rehabilitator, professional blogger, public speaker, photographer, American Robin and Whooping Crane Expert for the popular Journey North educational website, and Science Editor at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. She’s written eleven books about birds, including the ABA Field Guide to the Birds of Minnesota, National Geographic Pocket Guide to Birds of North America, the best-selling Into the Nest: Intimate Views of the Courting, Parenting, and Family Lives of Familiar Birds (co-authored by photographer Marie Read); the National Outdoor Book Award-winning Sharing the Wonder of Birds with Kids; 101 Ways to Help Birds; and The Bird Watching Answer Book for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. She’s currently a columnist and contributing editor for BirdWatching magazine. Since 1986 she has been producing the long-running “For the Birds” radio program for many public radio stations; the program is podcast on iTunes. She lives in Duluth with her husband, mother-in-law, two indoor cats, and her little birding dog Pip.
Laura's Best Bird EVER! - Have you ever had such a perfect look at a bird, or watched it in such perfect circumstances, that you thought it had to be the best bird ever? Laura Erickson has found herself saying exactly that on many occasions, from special glimpses at abundant chickadees to her one and only glimpse at one of the rarest birds on the planet, the Horned Guan. Some of the birds she’s seen in her travels to four continents made the grade, but so did some of the special individuals she’s seen in her own backyard. Sometimes looking for the best bird ever can open our minds and hearts to much, much more.