Sunday, January 13, 2019

Drew Pearson Arnold, 1947 - 2018

The Laramie Audubon Society was saddened to learn of the recent death of Drew Arnold.  Drew joined the LAS board in 2000, within the first year of its organization in May 1999. In 2002 Drew was elected President of LAS and after serving in this position for two years then served as Vice President through 2005. 

While giving much of his time working on the various issues that came before Laramie Audubon during these years, Drew championed, in coordination with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, access to and protection of Hutton Lake National Wildlife Refuge.  Following his service on the board, Drew continued to support LAS and, when possible, continued to bird the Laramie area. 

According to the obituary published in the Laramie Boomerang, in 1989 Drew was diagnosed with progressive multiple sclerosis: "In 2011, needing full time care and warmer weather, Drew made a bold move to Mexico.  While in Mexico, Drew continued to have tremendous impact on the people around him and transcended his physical limitations with a genuine faith and commitment to live life fully to the end.  He added to his life list of 1,100 birds, helped to found a Christian school and [helped] fund raise for local kids to attend, advocated for wage increases of the workers at Los Labradores (and saw their salaries double), mentored and discipled many and played host to a steady stream of visitors." 

Drew died on November 8th, 2018 in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.  A full obituary has been published in the Laramie Boomerang:

Saturday, December 1, 2018


The Laramie Audubon Society will again take part in a 100-year-old Christmas tradition, the annual Christmas Bird Count. Volunteers are welcome to join in the count with the LAS chapter as it conducts the Albany County Christmas Bird Count on Sunday, December 16.  This will be the 41st count of the Albany County circle. Volunteers are needed to help count every bird present in the 15-mile diameter circle around Laramie on the day of the count. Novices are welcome, and will be paired with more experienced bird watchers.

Volunteers can call ahead (307-286-1972) or meet at Coal Creek Coffee (110 E. Grand) at 7:30 am on the day of the count to get data forms and team assignments. Some teams walk, while others drive through the territory. Volunteers will reconvene at The Grounds Internet and Coffee Lounge (171 N. 3rd St.) at 12:00 pm to drop off morning reports and regroup for those continuing in the afternoon.

Volunteers should wear warm, layered clothing and boots, and bring water, snacks and binoculars if you have them. Feeder watchers are also welcome.  Volunteers are invited to a chili supper where results will be compiled beginning at 4 pm the home of Shay Howlin. Potluck items welcome, but not required.  Please contact Shay Howlin if you would like to be assigned a route early, would like forms for feeder watching, or have any questions (307-286-1972;

If you miss this event (or can't get enough birding in December!) considering heading to Cheyenne for the Cheyenne High Plains Audubon Society's Christmas Bird Count on December 29th! 

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

November Newsletter, Including Election Overview

The November 2018 newsletter is now available.  If you are planning to vote at the meeting tonight (Wednesday, Nov. 28th), you may want to read the article regarding the election and the potential new board members.  (see Newsletters/Reports page) (Ferruginous Hawk photo courtesy of Shawn Billerman)

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Evening Program - Small Grants Recipients and Elections (Wed. 11/28, 7 pm)

Please join us this coming Wednesday, November 28 for talks by two of our most recent Small Grants recipients.  Stephanie Winters, MS student in the Ecosystem Science and Management Department at will discuss Linking soil ecology with vegetation management to optimize restoration efforts of ponderosa pine after wildfires.  Paul Dougherty, PhD student in the Program in Ecology will discuss his research regarding avian hybrid zones.
In addition, we will be voting for new board members during this meeting. Only current LAS members are eligible to vote.   

As usual, we will meet in the Berry Center auditorium.  On-street parking near the building is free; note that the parking lot formerly located across the street from the Berry Center has been removed.  Bird chat and refreshments begin at 6:30 pm, and the talks will begin at 7:00 pm.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Laramie Plains Field Trip, Saturday, November 10th (8 a.m.)

Meet us at Night Heron Books and Coffeehouse (107 E. Grand Avenue) for a trip around the Laramie Basin.  We'll hit various hotspots for fall migrants and winter resident birds, with a focus on raptors, waterfowl and grassland birds. 

Departing at 8 a.m., we hope to have the carpool caravan return to Laramie by noon.  Those with their own transportation are, of course, free to head home earlier!  Minimal walking, but lots of camaraderie on this trip!

Remember the warm clothes, snacks, water, sunscreen, binoculars, etc.

(Mountain chickadee photo courtesy of Shawn Billerman)

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Evening Talk: Cassia Crossbill - Wednesday, October 31, 6:30 p.m.

LAS welcomes Craig Benkman, Professor in Zoology and Physiology, University of Wyoming on Halloween at the Berry Center (corner of 10th and Lewis Streets) - Bird Chat and Snacks at 6:30 p.m. with Dr. Benkman's talk at 7 p.m.

What is so special about the Cassia Crossbill? The absence of red squirrels can account for many unique features of the South Hills and Albion Mountains, Idaho, including why the Cassia Crossbill evolved there, why it is considered a distinct species, and even why certain birds are so abundant and perhaps why the pine beetle outbreak was not as extensive as elsewhere. Dr. Benkman will discuss these findings and others that he and his associates have uncovered over the last 20 years studying the Cassia Crossbill.     (PHOTO: Female Short Hills Cassia Crossbill, courtesy of Craig Benkman)

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Hutton Lake Nest Box Work Trip - Saturday, October 27th (8 a.m.)

We're heading to Hutton Lake National Wildlife Refuge Saturday (October 27th) to clean out the nest boxes.  The Girl Scouts of Laramie have been monitoring the boxes all summer, reporting the results to Cornell's national NestWatch program (  We'll open each box to remove the nest materials and make simple repairs, where needed.  This is great chance to learn about the program and do a little birding at Hutton. 

Meet at Night Heron Books and Coffeehouse at 8 a.m. to coordinate carpools and get a snack. Bring warm clothes, water, WORK GLOVES, a scraper/putty knife (don't worry if you don't have one - we'll have extras), and binoculars.  Many people will likely remain at Hutton to bird after the work is complete - we'll plan the carpool groups to suit various schedules!