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Ruth,
I'm replying via the listserve because I'm sure others are interested, too.

It's been a while since I've been to an ABA convention, but I doubt much has changed (and change isn't needed).

ABA conventions and conferences are great ways to learn about an area you haven't birded, meet like-minded birders from all over the country, and to find a lot of birds.

Field trips may be by van or full-sized busload.  Yes, that's a lot of people.  Far more people than one would normally want to have on a single field trip.  

That said, my experiences on ABA field trips have all been positive, despite large numbers of participants on some.  The leaders are top of the line in competence and there are enough of them to deal with large groups.  The participants are all avid birders and know how to behave.

Recent experiences with fewer people, but a mixed group at a state park in the Rio Grande Valley were frustrating nightmares in birding by comparison.

Yes, ABA conventions are definitely worthwhile experiences in bird finding, in sharing birding time, and in learning!

Edge Wade
Columbia, MO
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On Jan 25, 2009, at 11:23 AM, Ruth Grant, MD wrote:

Dear Mo Birders,
I'm considering attending an ABA convention in Vera Cruz during the fall raptor migration.  I'd appreciate hearing from other birders who've attended ABA conventions in the past.  How crowded are the field trips?  Are they generally a worthwhile experience?
You can respond directly to me at
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Ruth Grant
Greater Ozarks Audubon
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The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
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The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
List archives: https://po.missouri.edu/archives/mobirds-l.html