aba events

IFO: The Cradle of American Ornithology

The Cradle of American OrnithologyWhen: March 26-30, 2014
Philadelphia, PA
How Much: $TBA
16 people
Instructors: George Armistead, Bert Filemyr & Ted Floyd
Contact George Armistead ([email protected]) for more info on this event, (800) 850-2473, X260.
Download: Bird list

The City of Brotherly Love is the birthplace of our nation, but also the birthplace of bird study in North America. Join Pennsylvania natives Ted Floyd and George Armistead as they retrace the steps of luminaries such as Audubon, Wilson, Cassin, Say, and Bond (yes, James Bond!), among others. We’ll examine the rich history of this area and of course go birding too, as this IFO program visits a variety of birding and historical sites.

Birding at Barnegat Light, NJ. Note the flock of shorebirds against the rocks (below Patti's hand) contained over 100 Purple Sandpipers.

Birding at Barnegat Light, NJ. Note the flock of shorebirds against the rocks (below Patti’s hand) contained over 100 Purple Sandpipers.

Philadelphia is a great base for birders, and the month of March is the bridge from winter to spring on the mid-Atlantic coastal plain, and our visit is timed to take advantage of this. While covering the hallowed grounds of our birding forefathers, we shall search for signs of spring such as the first Ospreys, nesting Bald Eagles, and the “peenting” and twisting of an American Woodcock in display. And, symbols of winter shall persist too, with Purple Sandpiper, Great Cormorant, and a great array of seaducks and gulls providing targets to search for and pick through. Join us for a 5-day jaunt to Philly, a city chock-full of history, culture, good eats, and great birding.

Reserve your spot now, call (800) 850-2473 or email Nancy Hawley ([email protected]).
See the summary blogpost from our 2013 Cradle of American Ornithology IFO Program.

The archives at the Academy of Natural Sciences are home to many historical treasures.

The archives at the Academy of Natural Sciences are home to an abundance of historical treasures.

Other pre/post-trip attractions:

Philadelphia is the 5th most populous city in the U.S., hosting many attractions in addition to those featured in this IFO program. For those wishing to extend their visit beyond the IFO program, there are excellent historical sites such as Independence Hall and Valley Forge, and great museums including the Franklin Institute, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the new Barnes Foundation, the Rodin Museum, and the Mütter Museum, among many others. For people who enjoy food there is a tremendous array of dining options.


George Armistead is a lifelong Philadelphian, an associate at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, and the events coordinator for the ABA. A birder since the age of 9, few people know the city and its birds the way George does. Though he has guided trips on all seven continents, there is nothing he enjoys more than sharing his hometown with fellow birders. (Just be careful not to disparage his beloved Philadelphia Phillies too much!).

Bert Filemyr Bert Filemyr is an active birder both in the Delaware Valley and throughout North America.  He has birded extensively in 49 of the 50 states, as well as many of the Canadian provinces. Retired from his teaching career, he pursues his passion for birding while researching topics related to early American ornithology.  He currently serves as treasurer and webmaster of the Delaware Valley Ornithological Club (DVOC) and was a member of the championship Nikon/DVOC World Series of Birding Team, the Lagerhead Shrikes. He recently co-authored, along with Jeff Holt, “The Composite Prints of Audubon’s Birds of America”.

Ted Floyd grew up in Pittsburgh, then did a stint in Philadelphia during his early adulthood. While there, Ted did a memorable Philadelphia big year (which you’ll hear about!) and was broadly engaged in the fascinating birding subculture of the City of Brotherly Love. Ted is the author of more than 100 magazine and journal articles, and is the author of three recent books, including an ABA title, Let’s Go Birding! While a fan of all kinds of birding, Ted is especially fond of listening to the nocturnal flight calls of migrating songbirds.

This IFO will be based at:
The Holiday Inn Express
Philadelphia Penns Landing
100 N. Columbus Blvd
Philadelphia, Pa 19106
(P) 215. 627.7900 (F) 267.639.3009

Parking at the hotel is $25/day. There is free shuttle service from the hotel to Center City Philadelphia, including to restaurants and historical sites; but not to/from the PHL airport. (Taxi service to/from PHL is about $35 one-way, incl. 20% tip).


Day 1 (Weds):

Meet & greet dinner at 7pm

Day 2 (Thurs):

6:30am—depart for Tinicum NWR

1130am—depart for lunch in town

1:15pm—depart for Acad. Nat. Sci. of Phila. visit

4:15pm—depart for American Woodcock search

6:45pm—picnic dinner

Day 3 (Fri):

5:30am—depart for Barnegat, breakfast in route

Noon—restaurant lunch on NJ shore

2pm—bird Brigantine NWR

5pm—return to Philly

Day 4 (Sat):

7am—depart for Bartram’s Garden

11am—depart for lunch.

1:30pm—visit Mill Grove, Audubon Center

6:45pm—Farewell dinner

Day 5 (Sun):

6:30am—Morning birding at site TBD in Philly area

11am—Arrive at Philadelphia Airport

(schedule flights home 1pm or later)