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Keynote Speaker: Greg Miller

Above:Greg Miller

We are thrilled to have Greg Miller join in our festival this year, and to feature him as our keynote speaker at the Gathering of Wings Banquet!

In 1998, Greg did a Big Year in an effort to see as many species of birds as possible in one calendar year. He and two other birders broke the 700 mark. Their individual stories, as well as the interactive competition, are documented in Mark Obmascik's book, The Big Year: A Tale of Man, Nature and Fowl Obsession (Free Press, 2004, $25). The book made the USA Today's Best Books of 2004, New York Times Best Seller #35, and it was an Amazon Top 100 Seller for weeks.

In the newly-released movie, The Big Year, which is loosely adapted from the book, Steve Martin (center), Jack Black (right) and Owen Wilson portray friendly rivals who dedicate a year of their lives to following their dreams. Black plays Brad Harris, a Miller-like character, in this 20th Century Fox film about extreme bird-watching.

The movie is "quite accurate, right down to the embarrassing details," said Miller, who was the movie's birding consultant for three weeks of filming last May in Vancouver. Miller read the script to check every bird reference and made some suggestions to the filmmakers.

Greg has been birding for almost 50 years and has birded in all 50 states. He was formerly on the board of directors for Southern Maryland Audubon Society and the board of directors for the Ohio Ornithological Society.

Greg is looking forward to coming to Chico and sharing his love of birding. He has offered to lead some of our festival fieldtrips, so watch for those and register early.

Please join us in welcoming Greg to Chico for OUR big year!


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