Keynote Speaker

Robert DeCandido

Since 1999, Dr. Robert DeCandido has made many research trips to Asia, primarily to study bird migration, particularly raptor migration. In autumn 1999 with Deborah Allen, I first visited the Himalayan Mountains in Nepal to watch the east to west migration of Steppe Eagles and several vulture species traveling from Mongolia and China and heading toward Saudi Arabia and Africa. When a civil war erupted in Nepal in 2000, I was not able to return until 2011 – when my research resumed – and continues to this day. In the meanwhile, in spring 2000-01 we studied the spring migration of birds returning to the Asian mainland (Malaysia) from Sumatra. In 2003, I spent much of the year in Eilat, Israel where I helped band 10,000 or so birds, and watched the raptor migration there. In autumn 2003, I helped discover a bird migration site of global significance in Thailand. For more than a decade, I studied the southbound migration of 25+ raptor species (and 500,000+ migrants), along with bee-eaters, Pacific Swifts and others. In winter/spring 2005, I spent several months in the largest preserve in Sabah, Borneo studying the birds, insects and plants of that Malaysian state. Publications about Asian birds from our research along with colleagues in Asia have appeared in The Journal of Raptor Research, The Wilson Journal of Ornithology, Forktail, Ardea, BirdingAsia, and The Journal of the Yamashina Institute of Ornithology. However, though all of this foreign research may seem impressive, Deborah Allen and I are most proud of our work in NYC. Since 1992 we have been leading bird walks in Central Park (see ), and conducted many research endeavors as well. We have studied the night migration of birds from atop the Empire State Building – including the first study of night hunting Peregrine Falcons; we have studied American Kestrels nesting on buildings in Manhattan and the other boroughs of NYC; and we have written about the eight owl species that winter and breed in New York City parks, and the long-term changes in the flora of the Big Apple. Popular and scientific articles about our Asia and New York City research are free and available upon request.

Flight identification of Accipiters in Thailand
Khao Dinsor, Thailand – Migration
Jatayu: The vulture restaurants of Nepal
Migration of Steppe Eagle in Nepal

Banquet: January 27, 2018 @ 6 pm

Presenters and Guides

DEBORAH ALLEN Accomplished photographer and natural history writer, Deborah Allen has photographed more than 600 species of birds, including more than 350 species in North America. She has also traveled extensively, photographing birds in Costa Rica, Malaysia, Thailand, Israel, and Nepal.

LYNN BJORKMAN Lynn Bjorkman has a BA and MA in English from the BYU, teaching English for 37 years.  He was the adult leader of 11 year old scouts in three different cities.  He loved this for it took him out into the mountains to hike and instill the love of nature into his scouts.  You will find Lynn out biking the trails whenever he has free time.  Lynn and his wife served a two-year LDS Mission in Taiwan learning some of the Mandarin language and a whole lot about the people there.  Lynn and wife Donna moved to St. George in 2004.  He keeps busy volunteering at Zion National Park and with NAMI, and REACH4HOPE and currently busy with the St. George Family Search Library as well as the Winter Bird Festival.
Field Trip:  Biking, Birding, Binoculars

MARILYN DAVIS Marilyn Davis started birding whilst working at Zion National Park.  She has organized and actively participates in the Red Cliffs Audubon since 1996.  Marilyn writes weekly articles, “Artist and Birds,” for her local paper.  She routinely engages in schools and outdoor nature presentations for youth and their parents, while staying active in the Desert Wildlife Festival and implemented the Winter Bird Festival with city employee, Josh Oldham, in 2003.
Presentation: Jr. Birder Program

KEITH DAVIS Keith Davis began his birding experience through participating in the Christmas Bird Counts with his wife in 2001.  He consistently gathers information about bird life and participates in school activities, outdoor nature programs, and indoor historical presentations for students and adults.  Keith enjoys feeding a plethora of bird species in his one-acre yard.
Presentation: Student Art Awards, “Water in Flight”

KERMIT EARLE Kermit Earle loves the many opportunities southern Utah offers to everyone who comes here.  He has become friends with mountain, desert, and birder bikers — enjoying each new found place.  Kermit (the Frog) Earle would like to share his experiences with others.
Field Trip:  Biking, Birding, Binoculars

CHRISTIAN EDWARDS A Utah native, Christian Edwards received his BS in Zoology from Weber State University and his MS in Biological Sciences from Fort Hays State University. He has worked as a Virgin River Native Aquatic Biologist for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources since 2009. His work includes native fish monitoring, riparian habitat restoration, and monitoring of an endangered bird species, the Southwestern Willow Flycatcher. Christian is also an adjunct instructor of Biology and Ornithology at Dixie State University, where he has been teaching for seven years.
Field Trip:  Southwestern Willow Flycatcher Habitat Improvement and Conservation & Seegmiller Pond

CASEY JONES Casey Jones is a horticulturist who works as a curator at the Demonstration Gardens. He conducts landscape and gardening workshops for the public, and is an excellent birder, offering tips to entice birds to inhabit your yard.
Presentation:  Desert Landscaping and Gardening

JOHN KELLAM John is the wildlife biologist for the BLM/St. George Field Office, administering Red Cliffs and Beaver Dam Wash National Conservation Areas, and has a broad background in wildlife research/management working with threatened and endangered species in North America and the Tropical Pacific.
Field Trip:  Grafton/Springdale & Search for Vermillion Flycatcher

LUCY ORMOND Deep in my soul, there has always been a love for birds for as long as I can recall.  At age ten, I was a Junior Audubon member. We built birdhouses. I thought birds migrated from northern Utah to southern Utah and back every year. A pair of binoculars was a retirement gift and I began looking at birds. My “ah-ha” moment was with the reading of “Living on the Wind – Across the Hemisphere with Migratory Birds,” by Scott Weindensaul. I was hooked! Now birding is my passion – no, my obsession! I’ve traded bicycling around the world for birding around the world. My greatest joy is leading the weekly “What’s Flyin’ in Zion” birding walks for Zion National Park.
Field Trip:  Zion National Park

JUDY SCHATTNER Judy Schattner has a background of birding in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and has led bird walks for the New River State Park.  Judy and husband Joe moved to St. George in May 2016 to be closer to family.  She loves identifying, discussing, and watching birds any time, even in her backyard.  Judy enjoys meeting new birders.
Field Trip:  Horse Park in Bloomington

SETH TOPHAM Seth Topham is an environmental consultant with Stantech Environmental Consulting Company.  He has degrees in Biology and Global Information Systems Operations from Southern Utah University.  He has been a resident of St. George, Utah, with a keen interest in wildlife since first grade.  His research on Desert Tortoises earned him a first place finish in the Zoology component at the International Science and Engineering Fair.  He was selected to share his research in London England, at the Youth Science Fortnight.  Seth has an acquired expertise in the identification of native plants and animals, and is sought after as a field biologist and naturalist.  He is also an accomplished photographer.  With an interest in birds since his youth, he has amassed an extensive image library of local birds in their natural habitat.
Field Trip:  Gunlock

MARSHALL TOPHAM Marshall Topham was born and raised in Southern Utah. He obtained his bachelor’s degree from Southern Utah University, where he majored in Zoology with minors in Botany and Chemistry. He earned a master’s degree in Entomology from Utah State University. His love for the desert and teaching brought him back to Nevada, then Arizona, and now Utah. An educator by profession, he taught Biology and served in public school administration for 40 years; retiring in 2013. Marshall has been very involved with community, serving on numerous boards and committees for federal, state, and local entities. He currently serves on the Technical Advisory Committee for the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve. A life-long bird enthusiast and educator, he continues to teach (Environmental Science) at Dixie State University.
Field Trip:  Santa Clara River (Tukupetsi); Red Hills Golf Course

GORDON WARREN Gordon Warren has always been a guy on the go.  He was a teacher of speech, drama, debate, and English for 32 years, then retired and taught more around the world, including Japan, Malaysia, and the United Arab Emirates, with lots of side trips to interesting countries in those areas.  He enjoyed getting to know the people and the cultures of the different beautiful places in this big world.  Gordon and his wife, Judy, retired here to St. George in 2002 to enjoy the red rock country.  You can find Gordon out biking on paved trails or mountain bikes tracks all over the area, hiking, bird watching, camping, or playing his Native American flutes in canyons.
Field Trip:  Biking, Birding, Binoculars