The 11th European Ornithologists’ Union Conference

The EOU 2017 was held in Turku, Finland on 18th – 22nd August. It felt somehow nostalgic to once again return to my home university, University of Turku. And it felt a bit odd to have this big international conference there in the lecture halls where I’ve listened lectures as a biology student, PhD candidate and postdoc. There was a renovation going on in the Natura building of the university, but that caused only minor inconvenience.

There were in total 406 participants from 36 countries, so this was a very good sized conference. Big enough to meet lots of new people but small enough that you didn’t miss anything important. I say it already now in the beginning of this post: this was one of the best conferences I’ve been to. Everything was organized well, food was good and plenty of interesting presentations. What else is needed? 🙂


There was also a competition among the participants. Most had in their tag a text “participant” (as I did) but few had there name of some bird species. You were supposed to “twitch” these persons and discuss with them, for example about that specific bird species. This was a lot fun. I talked at least with whinchat, barn owl, cuckoo, oystercatcher.


I had a poster and a two-minute poster pitching talk at the conference. It was about how insectivorous birds see insect-induced cues of pines. I had never had a pitching talk before, but it went well. I think I used only 1+ minutes for the three slides. And I had plenty of people at my poster asking questions during the poster session.


There were six + one plenary talks (Timo Vuorisalo had his talk at the opening meeting) and they were all excellent.


During the oral presentations there were talks in five different lecture halls, and you could change those between the talks. There was always two minutes time, and it was indicated by beautiful Finnish music (Finlandia by Jean Sibelius or Myrskyluodon Maija by Lasse Mårtensson). I listened to talks of various topics. I have picked here my tweets of some of them. You can find more tweets from the conference with the #EOU2017 hashtag.



On Monday 21st August was the excursion day. There were several choices where you could go, and I picked Hanko bird observatory. The reason was that I had never been in Hanko before. We were lucky with a beautiful weather, and also some migration (sparrowhawks, grey plovers, arctic skuas, tree pipits, kestrels, marsh harriers etc).


The conference ended with a conference dinner at Brewery Restaurant Koulu on 22nd August. They served delicious food and there was a lot mingling and discussions with various drinks. Thanks to all the organizers for an excellent conference! 🙂


© Elina Mäntylä (, 4 September 2017

One thought on “The 11th European Ornithologists’ Union Conference

  1. Pingback: Tritrophic experiments with plants, herbivorous insects and birds – Part 10: Birds can both see and smell systemically herbivore-damaged pines | From Plants to Birds

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