This is my first KOS Fall Meeting.
What do I need to know?
If this is your first KOS Fall meeting, don't worry! We've all been there before. Here's what you need to know.
The fall meeting of the KOS is the official annual meeting for the society. Saturday is filled with paper presentations about birds regarding research done by students, professors and members at large. There are also a couple of business meetings to conduct the required business of the society. But don't worry - these meetings aren't long or cumbersome. They are mainly giving reports about the current status of the society, electing officers, and just general reports
Friday: Many participants leave home early so they can bird along the way. Some years there are even special "pre-fall meeting" field trips conducted. Regardless, there is a social time on Friday evening where you can meet other participants and enjoy some refreshments and talk with other birders about birds!
Saturday: Saturday is a full day. After a brief welcome we dive right into papers presented by the authors and researchers. At the end of the morning session there is a short KOS business meeting and then a break for lunch. After lunch there is the Birdwatchers Hour where birders can bring photos (on a flash drive) and share their bird photos of both Kansas birds and birds from trips outside of Kansas. This is always a fun time as everyone gazes jealously at what other birders were able to see over the past year. Then we go back to more papers. At the end of the afternoon we have another short business meeting and that wraps up the afternoon. In the evening there is a banquet (casual dress) where we will present a few awards, hear the listing of the 10 best birds of the year and then listen to an always entertaining banquet speaker.
Sunday: Finally on Sunday morning we get back to birding! We'll bird until noon and then gather for lunch and a compilation of the birds seen not just that morning but any others seen anytime during the weekend. You can order a box lunch when you register or grab a bite at your preferred fast food facility and join us for the compilation. Once the compilation is over everyone slowly departs to head home, often on a rather circuitous Birder's Direct Route!
Field trips are held in virtually all kinds of weather although we do discourage birding if there is a lot of lightning around, simply for personal safety. Heavy rain has been known to drive folks inside while the weather clears. But light rain, fog or wind usually doesn't stop us!
There are usually large copies of the county checklists, for the counties we are visiting available on Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday compilation. Attendees are encouraged to mark what species were seen in what counties so that a county by county detailed list for the Friday to Sunday noon birding period can be compiled as well!
Your first fall meeting may seem overwhelming. Just dive in, don't be shy, introduce yourself and have fun. We're all at the meeting to go birding, have fun and interact with other folks that understand your passion for birding.
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact Chuck Otte or any other of the KOS Board Members.
Written by Chuck Otte, July 2019