Keynote Speaker & Dessert Reception


Greg Miller

Friday, April 25, 2014
6:30pm - 9:00pm

Cottonwood Recreation Center
150 S. 6th St.
$20 Dessert and Program

We are excited to bring Greg to the Verde River Valley for this special occasion. Join us for an evening of entertainment, delicious desserts and the opportunity to learn.

“My Big Story”

"My presentation is a selection of stories about how I got started birding with my dad, how I came to do a big year, stories from The Big Year, then how it became a book and a movie, and finally, stories about what it was like to be a bird consultant for the movie and to meet the stars. I include what it has been like in the last year since the movie came out, too."

"I have been birding since... umm... well I can't remember because I was too young. It was my father that got me into birding at an early age. I have been birding for over 50 years and have birded in all 50 states and much of Canada. And I have always been smitten by the birding bug. I love to get outside and go find birds. Every trip out is an adventure! In 1998 I zigzagged across the continent - traveling 130,000 miles while trying to hold down a full time job at a nuclear power plant - to try to see as many species of birds in one calendar year as possible. It was an incredible experience passing the 700-species mark - an achievement many birders aspire to in a lifetime."

"But there was competition. Two other birders, Sandy Komito and Al Levantin also did Big Years the same year as me and also broke the 700-mark. Our competitive quests are documented in the 2004 non- fiction book, The Big Year, by Pulitzer Prize winning author Mark Obmascik. Twentieth Century Fox made a full feature motion picture inspired by the book! It has A-list actors Jack Black, Steve Martin, and Owen Wilson and a really strong support cast. It was produced by Ben Stiller and directed by David Frankel (who also did Marley & Me and The Devil Wears Prada). It was truly a treat to watch the movie being made and to have a part in the creation of a story for the silver screen. I currently live in Sugarcreek in the heart of Amish Country in Northeast Ohio."


Mission: The Verde Valley Birding & Nature Festival provides a unique recreational experience to anyone interested in the natural world and fosters awareness of the importance of habitat for the enrichment of all life in the Verde Valley.
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