This year’s conference theme is Birds as Bridges. Being a joint conference between the American Ornithological Society (AOS) and the Society of Canadian Ornithologists/Société des ornithologistes du Canada (SCO-SOC), we felt it important to acknowledge the living link that birds represent between our respective societies through our shared research and conservation interests, but also because of the link they represent between our two countries and others through their awe inspiring migrations and population distributions that span geo-political borders. Birds also help link ornithologists with the broader birding and natural history community, through our shared passion for observing birds. Birds connect science with Indigenous traditional knowledge, and people from all walks of life have a passion for birds. In short, birds connect us all.
This year’s conference theme is fitting for London, Ontario, Canada, as London is located on the Thames River (originally the Deshkan Ziibi or Antler River), which is traversed by many bridges. The bridge in the logo is the Blackfriars Bridge, a provincially recognized historic structure, just west of downtown London. The Blackfriars Bridge was built in 1875 by the Wrought Iron Bridge Company from Canton, Ohio, representing another link between Canada and the U.S. Between 2013 and 2021, the bridge underwent extensive restoration activities and perhaps serves as a reminder of our responsibility as an ornithological community to maintain and restore our avian “bridges” for future generations.
Our beautiful logo was designed by Jamie Kapitain of KAP Design, Inc. and features three imperiled species, from left to right, are the Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus), the Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica), and the Least Bittern (Ixobrychus exilis). All three species are currently at risk both provincially in Ontario and federally and remind us that our work as an ornithological community, whether basic or applied, has an important role to play in the conservation of these species and others. And finally, our logo highlights our commitment to Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusivity, where BRIDGE symbolizes Belonging, Respect, Inclusion, Diversity, Growth, and Equity as we unite around our love of birds.