The photo immediately below is of an American Kestrel brought to the Adams County, Ohio Amish Birding Sympoisum by Raptor Inc. The symposium attracts a good mix of Amish and English, as this photo shows a crowd gathered around the birds from Raptor Inc.
The symposium was held over the weekend and annually attracts a great slate of speakers from a who's who in the bird world. Click here to see the line-up from this year. It really is a great event and I hope to see some of you there next year. The symposium is held in the Wheat Ridge community building which is equipped with gas lights. This is one of the lights, which do a great job of illuminating the building along with keeping it toasty.
The spacious community building fills all sorts of functions from potlucks to children's plays to some basketball. Note the basketball nets hanging above the symposium audience.
These community buildings are becoming increasingly common in Amish settlements, but they are not without some controversy. In addition to the potlucks and plays, some Amish communities will use them for funeral visitations. The Amish have traditionally worshipped in their homes and traditionalists fear these buildings could be a first slide down the slippery slope towards abandoning that custom. Below is a photo of one of Raptor Inc's Great Horned Owls, warily eyeing the large audience in attendance.