High Desert Speaker Series: Local Birder Shares His Wealth of Knowledge in Next Series Event

The Oregon Natural Desert Association’s High Desert Speaker Series continues in Bend on March 15 at 7pm when Chuck Gates, founding board member of the East Cascades Bird Conservancy, will present details of the lives and behaviors of the many fascinating birds that call Oregon’s high desert home.
Registration is now open for the popular speaker series. The event is free and open to the public, and guests are asked to reserve seats using Eventbrite at http://bit.ly/ChuckGatesHDSS. Doors open at 6:30pm at the Old Stone Church, 157 NW Franklin St.
In its second year, the series has moved to Bend’s historic Old Stone Church for its greater seating capacity, yet the first two events sold out weeks ahead of time. Guests are encouraged to act quickly, as seats go fast.
“After the runaway success of last year’s series, we knew we wanted to expand the program for 2016,” said Brent Fenty, ONDA executive director. “There’s so much in the desert to explore – from wildflowers to human history to where to hike and fish – and it’s clear people are excited to learn more about what’s sometimes a lesser-known area of the state.”
Since his first outing in 1988, Birds of Oregon’s High Desert presenter Chuck Gates has been birding almost every day. He helped develop birding checklists for all 36 of Oregon’s counties and maintains a local database of bird sightings which is submitted to Cornell University’s eBird database.
A retired science teacher, Gates earned a degree in Biology Education from Southern Oregon State College. He will put his passion for education and birds into a presentation that will equip birdwatchers to experience the wonders of birding in the Oregon high desert, while highlighting the need for the conservation of vital bird habitat. The event, presented in partnership with East Cascades Audubon Society, is sure to inspire a birdwatching adventure and encourage a commitment to protect the places these birds inhabit.
The series’ grand finale in April will feature a special presentation by Gena Goodman-Campbell, ONDA’s Central Oregon Wilderness Coordinator. With almost a decade of experience working to protect special desert places in Bend’s backyard, Gena’s expertise in local desert wilderness will give you the inside scoop on where to go to experience their beauty and wonder for yourself as well as what you can do to protect them for future generations.
The Oregon Natural Desert Association is a Bend-based nonprofit organization that has worked to protect, defend and restore Oregon’s high desert for almost 30 years. We work to protect stunning, ecologically significant areas in the Central Oregon Backcountry, John Day River Basin, Greater Hart-Sheldon Region and the Owyhee Canyonlands. Learn more at ONDA.org or about the event at ONDA.org/HighDesertSeries.

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