York County Audubon presents "Lake Baikal—Beautiful Birds, Bad Beer, and Buddhist Babushkas," with Lena Moser from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 18, at Mather Auditorium at the Wells Reserve at Laudholm.

Lake Baikal, also called the “pearl of Siberia,” is a truly astonishing place. It is Earth’s deepest lake, holding a fifth of the world’s fresh water. At 25-30 million years old, it is also one of the most ancient geographical features on the planet. Perhaps this is why the lake’s water alone is home to 1,500 plant and animal species, 80% of which are found nowhere else on Earth.

Diverse habitats around Lake Baikal — from expansive shorelines and mountain ranges to taiga forests and steppe meadows — attract numerous birds. Some sought-after species include Siberian Blue Robin, Daurian Jackdaw, Amur Falcon, Siberian Thrush, Booted Eagle, and the endangered Yellow-breasted Bunting and Swan Goose. Mammals such as Long-tailed Ground Squirrel, Siberian Chipmunk, and the endemic Baikal Seal are also a treat to see. And, of course, no trip to Siberia is complete without its human highlights, as culture, cuisine, and comedy weave themselves into a rich tapestry of local tradition.

This July, YCA board member Lena Moser co-led a birding tour to Lake Baikal with Wildside Nature Tours. Join Lena for an entertaining evening of photographs and stories as she recounts her journey to the remarkable region.