During the evening lectures, we present you an array of interesting guests, leading raptor specialists and conservationists. We are proud to present you Dr. Keith Bildstein
, USA). As director of the oldest raptor migration sanctuary, he will relate their history with the importance of and benefits gained from protecting migrating raptors worldwide. Alejandro Onrubia
, Spain) will highlight the possibilities of monitoring raptors from migration watch-sites throughout Europe. Erwin van Maanen
, the Netherlands) will introduce you to the tradition of Sparrowhawk-trapping in the region and its issues. Andrea Corso
(Messina & CIR
, Italy) will help you "Advance in sexing and aging Western-Palearctic Raptors" with a presentation and a workshop. Dr. Keith L. Bildstein
Dr. Keith L. Bildstein is the Sarkis Acopian Director of Conservation Science at Hawk Mtn. Sanctuary in Pennsylvania, USA. He has published more than 100 scientific papers with an emphasis on raptor ecology and conservation and has received global recognition for his work as a leading specialist in the field. Several of his review books and guidelines for conducting migration research are standard references for raptor conservationists and researchers. Apart from his influence in research dr. Bildstein continues to make great contributions to the development of grassroots organizations and upcoming conservationists working for the conservation of migratory raptors worldwide. As young scientists, many of todays active raptor researchers were trained at the unique internship program in conservation science at Hawk Mtn. Sanctuary developed by dr. Bildstein. His work has marked the field of raptor ecology and conservation for a long time to come and we are proud to present dr. Bildstein as a speaker on the Batumi Bird Festival. He will introduce us to their history of the first raptor migration sanctuary and relate it to the importance of and benifits gained from protecting migrating raptors worldwide.
Alejandro Onrubia was born in Valladolid, northern Spain in December 1966. He achieved his degree in Environmental Biology from the University of Leon. Currently he’s working on a PhD on ecology of migratory birds and recent changes in migratory patterns. Already for 24 years, he has been professionally involved in numerous studies and projects related to nature conservation and wildlife management, in several Universities, Environmental Consulting and NGOs. He is an expert on capturing and marking wildlife; 28 years as an expert bird bander accredited by the Spanish Ministry of Environment. Member of the Scientific Committee on Avian Influenza for the Basque Government and Professor of the Spanish Game School of the Spanish Hunting Federation. He assisted in 110 courses, conferences and scientific meetings, national and international, related to environment, made 190 contributions to scientific or informative in various publications and did over 150 talks and lectures in various masters, courses, seminars and conferences. Currently he works as coordinator of the Bird Migration Monitoring Program in the Straits of Gibraltar in the Migres Foundation, entity promoted by the regional Government of Andalucia. During his lecture, Alejandro will illustrate the power of migration watch sites for monitoring raptor populations and discuss the importance of trans-european cooperation.Erwin van Maanen
Erwin van Maanen is trained as environmental scientist and conservation ecologist. He has studied the ecology of raptors and owls since early childhood, starting with research into the population ecology of Northern goshawk and Eurasian sparrowhawk in the early 1980s, as part of a research team led by Dr. Paul Opdam in the Netherlands. He is also an expert on the identification of feathers of European and Australian owls and raptors. With his good friend Lexo and other members of GCCW he performed wildlife surveys in other parts of Georgia, discovering the occurrence of previously unknown (disjunct) populations or breeding and wintering locations of red-footed falcon, rough-legged buzzard, lanner falcon, eastern imperial eagle, and barn owl.
Erwin pioneer researched the Adjaria-Imereti raptor flyway and other inland flyways in Georgia, together with Alexander (Lexo) Gavashelishvili, Irakli Goradze and Sophiko Akhobadze. Erwin was instrumental and dedicated in promoting raptor conservation in Georgia in arranging a partnerships with BirdLife International, catalyzing further research into the 'Batumi bottleneck' and opening dialogue with the Adjarian Falconry Association about promoting proper falconry practice and dissolving the abominable shooting of raptors, a culturally and deeply ingrained problem yet to be fully solved. This resulted in the article in Bird Conservation International (2001; volume 11) about “Trapping and hunting migratory raptors in western Georgia”.
As a specialist in this field, he will introduce you to the tradition of falconry and Sparrowhawk-trapping in the region and associated problems. This is a story of passionate nature conservation and another plight for the importance of the raptor flyway, in particular for safe passage of migratory birds in Georgia, also in recognition and remembrance of its advocates and those who have died in the process.Andrea Corso
Andrea was born at Catania, Scily in August 1975. Birdwatching was his main occupation for the last 25 years, with a focus on migration, taxonomy and identification. He has become one of the leading voices in birdwatching and conservation in Italy today. A prolific writer, he is author of the Avifauna di Sicilia and has written or co-authored a further 300 or so other books, papers and articles - covering everything from bird migration, identification and taxonomy to the status and distribution of birds within Italy and Europe!
He is specialized in the identification and ageing of Eurasian raptors. He started studying raptor migration when he was only 12 year old in Messina, Italy. Later on he explored other raptor-migration hotspots such as Israel, Tunisia, Kazhastan, Gibraltar, Falsterbo, Bosphorus, etc. Last year we had the honors to welcome him as a counter of our BRC-team. During the many hours of observing migrating raptors, he studied their flight behavior, field characters, variation in plumage, moult and age. We are delighted that he will share his experience again, during the Batumi Bird Festival. He will help us ‘Advance in ageing and sexing Western Palearctic Raptors’ with a seminar and we’ll put the theory in practice during his workshop at one of our count stations.