There’s something about getting a really good look at another species that is so healthy for our own. SEE-North Science and Environment Education Center, located in Harbor Springs, is holding its inaugural Bird’s Eye View conference this month for those wanting to hone their skills painting and photographing birds.

SEE-North’s NorthWings program helps people better know the raptors, songbirds and other migratory birds indigenous to Northern Michigan. But when the nonprofit lost their state funding two years ago, they found creative ways to get new private donations. “My goal,” says executive director Cindy Blasius, “is to create smart, fresh, solid natural science programs that add value into the community.”

For SEE-North’s one-weekend bird bonanza, nature photographers and artists will converge at Boyne Highlands Resort to teach workshops on composition, techniques, sketching and painting equipment, and preparing and marketing photographs. Bird lovers can catch migratory birds en route during kayaking and biking excursions, plus there will be pure birding and elk viewing field trips.

Bill Schwab, renowned Detroit-born photographer of both urban and natural landscapes, is the keynote speaker. And NorthWings raptor specialist Alison Falldin is offering 60-minute, one-on-one portrait sessions with any of the group’s eight rehabilitated birds of prey (including a golden eagle, hawks and owls). “It’s very rare for photographers to get a chance to be with raptors for so long, up close,” says Blasius. Schedule the “sitting” inside or out on a perch in the woods.

Get your bird and nature fix September 25–27, 2009, at Boyne Highlands Resort in Harbor Springs. Register online at SEE-North,, or call 231-348-9700.

More fun ideas in the Harbor Springs Region