The Waterbird Society is composed of biologists, researchers, conservationists, students, and others interested in the behavior, ecology, and conservation of waterbirds. The organization is administered by four officers and nine council members elected from the Society’s membership, which includes people from 31 countries. The Society is a member of the Ornithological Societies of North America (OSNA) and a contributing member of many other scientific societies worldwide, including American Bird Conservancy and The Ornithological Council.

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Recent News:

September 11, 2015

40th Annual Meeting

Call for SYMPOSIA, WORKSHOPS, and notice of Meeting.

New Bern, North Carolina, 20-23 September 2016. The Waterbird Society will hold its 40th Annual Conference and General Meeting in New Bern, North Carolina, from 20-23 September 2016. This announcement is a call for anyone who would like to propose a Symposium or Workshop for this meeting. If you are interested, please contact Clay Green by 1 February 2016. A symposium may be a full day (~14 presentations) or half day (7 presentations). Likewise, workshops can be a full day, half day, or a couple of hours. At present, we have accepted a proposal for a Symposium and Workshop on the Biology and Conservation of Herons of the World.

Because the Waterbird Society is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2016, we are planning a celebration of the first 40 years of the Society, complete with displays of the Society’s early formative days, so please make plans to join us in New Bern.

Meeting information, including details on the New Bern Riverfront Convention Center, field trips, accommodations, and special events will be posted on the Waterbird Society web site ( in November 2015.

Daily early morning and evening birding trips will be offered, as well as longer field trips on 24 and 25 September.

Historical New Bern, a city of approximately 30,000 people, is located at the confluence of the Trent and Neuse rivers as they flow into the Pamlico Sound, bordered by the Outer Banks chain of barrier islands; it is a water wonderland! We look forward to seeing you in New Bern in 2016.

December 19, 2014

Abstracts Published

Abstracts of the joint Waterbird Society and International Wader Study Group Conference in Wilhelmshaven 2013 are now published (online and printed):  Wader Study Group Bull. 121 (2), 2014, p 39-101.

There is a link to these abstracts which are citable:

November 6, 2013

Kevin G. McCracken named inaugural Kushlan Chair in Waterbird Biology and Conservation at University of Miami

Evolutionary geneticist Kevin G. McCracken has been named the inaugural Kushlan Chair in Waterbird Biology and Conservation at the University of Miami.

McCracken, currently a professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, will serve a dual appointment as associate professor in the Department of Biology at the College of Arts and Sciences and in the Division of Marine Biology and Fisheries at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. He was selected via a months-long international search, and will be joining the UM faculty in January 2014.

McCracken has published more than 75 journal articles and has received grants from the National Science Foundation and Fulbright scholarships to study molecular mechanisms of hypoxia resistance in high-altitude waterbirds in the South American Andes. Hypoxia occurs when the body or a part of the body is deprived of oxygen supply, and it is the cause of “altitude sickness” in humans.

“Dr. McCracken’s appointment as the first Kushlan Chair in Waterbird Biology and Conservation marks a significant advancement in UM’s long-time leadership in ornithology and science in the tropics,” said Dean Leonidas G. Bachas of the College of Arts and Sciences. “His exemplary work on waterbirds complements our efforts in interdisciplinary science research.”

“The Kushlan Chair position provides a great opportunity for the Rosenstiel School to develop research and education programs in Waterbird Biology, an expertise the school lacked and is yet a very important aspect of the marine ecosystem,” said Dean Roni Avissar of the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. “We are excited that Dr. McCracken is joining our faculty.”

McCracken’s research interests lie at the intersection of population biology, genomics, and physiological genetics. He has also performed many other studies focusing on waterbirds as intercontinental carriers for pathogens like influenza and on the systematics of waterbirds including ducks and herons.

“I was drawn to the University of Miami by its reputation, proximity to my study sites in Latin America and history of tropical biology research in places like the Everglades, which abound with all kinds of different waterbird species,” McCracken said. “After fourteen years in the subarctic, my family and I are really looking forward to the adventure and geographical, cultural, and biological contrast of living in the subtropics in one of the worlds’ most dynamic and greatest cities.”

The Kushlan Chair in Waterbird Biology and Conservation was established in 2012 through a generous endowment from three-time University of Miami alumnus Dr. James A. Kushlan, during the University’s Momentum2 campaign. Dr. Kushlan is a writer, scientist, educator, and conservationist. He is recognized for his expertise in the biology and conservation of waterbirds and wetlands and in the strategic management of not-for-profit conservation and educational organizations. Dr. Kushlan serves as co-chair for the College of Arts and Sciences Momentum2 campaign and as member of the college’s visiting committee. He also serves on the boards of the Everglades Foundation, Zoo Miami Zoological Society of Florida, History Miami, and Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.