Sunday, May 29, 2016

Upcoming field trip: Dawn chorus at Happy Jack

Please join Tim Banks this Saturday, June 4, as he leads a birding trip along the Happy Jack Trails to see what forest birds can be found. Many birds are back and singing on their breeding grounds, including various flycatchers, warblers, and other goodies. This will be a more walking-intensive trip than some of our others, so bring suitable hiking gear.

We will meet at 6 am at the Summit Rest Area. Bring binoculars, water, etc. Be sure to gas up ahead of time. It is about a 20 minute drive from Laramie to the Summit area.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Upcoming field trip: Hereford Ranch

Our next field trip is this Saturday, May 21. Note that we'll leave at 7 am (one hour earlier than usual) because we will head to the Hereford Ranch on the east side of Cheyenne. Shawn Billerman will lead the search for songbirds. The riparian areas at the Hereford Ranch host an incredible array of expected migrants and often deliver a few rarities!

Again, meet downtown at Coal Creek at 7 am to caffeinate and carpool. We will be back to Laramie by noon--if you can only join us for part of the time, be prepared to drive your own vehicle.

All Laramie Audubon field trips are free and open to the public; families are welcome. This trip is a particularly nice one for beginning birders. Bring binoculars, water and snacks, and dress for the weather.
Yellow-rumped Warbler at Hereford Ranch. Photo (c) Shawn Billerman.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Upcoming field trip: Arapaho NWR

Saturday, May 7: Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge near Walden, Colorado, in North Park. Meet at 8:00 a.m. at Coal Creek Coffee, 110 E. Grand Ave., in downtown Laramie, to caffeinate and carpool. The drive to Walden is about one and a half hours via Hwy 230 to Walden CO with stops along the way at Sodergreen Lake west of Laramie and Walden Reservoir in Colorado.

We will look for shorebirds and waterfowl in breeding plumage, raptors and grassland birds. We may get lucky and see the Western Grebes in courtship display running across the water at Walden Reservoir. At the refuge, there is a hiking/interpretive trail through wetlands where we are apt to see swallows, wrens, warblers, and perhaps a moose. Be sure to bring plenty of snacks and water since this is a lengthy trip. It is possible to eat lunch in Walden after the field trip. We should return to Laramie by 2pm. The trip leader will most likely be taking a different return route on Jackson County Road 6E (gravel). Participants in their own vehicles are welcome to leave at any time.

Trip Leader: Vicki Henry, 307-760-9518. Call if you have questions. Be sure to program the leader’s phone number into your cell phone in case you get separated from the rest of the caravan. Fill your tank ahead of time if you are taking your own vehicle.

Western Grebes doing their courtship display. Photo (c) Steve Zamek, used with permission.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Audubon: the film

Laramie Audubon is happy to announce that it is co-hosting two screenings of a new film about the life of John James Audubon. The film will be shown in the Berry Center at 5 pm on Wednesday, May 4 and at 2 pm on Saturday, May 7.

The Audubon Society is named after John James Audubon, a pioneer of both North American birdlife and realistic wildlife illustration. Audubon's work strongly influenced following ornithological work as well as the conservation movement. Check out the website for the film to view a movie trailer and learn more about Audubon himself.

If you have some time to get lost in John James' beautiful art, National Audubon has digitized the illustrations from Audubon's Birds of America and you can browse them here.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Spring Exploration, 23 April

Laramie Audubon will have a table at the Spring Exploration event this Saturday from 12 - 4 pm at Territorial Prison. Catherine Symchych will have bird-related activities for kids, and we'd be happy to see adult members and friends there as well!

For more info on the event, click here.

Volunteers needed for nest monitoring at Hutton Lake NWR

Brian Waitkus repairing older nest boxes at Hutton.
Laramie Audubon Society has installed 21 nest boxes at Hutton Lake National Wildlife Refuge. These boxes will be used by Tree Swallows and possibly Mountain Bluebirds or House Wrens. We need volunteers for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology Citizen Science Project NestWatch. This will involve checking nest boxes every 3-4 days (or once per week) in the mid-afternoon and completing a data sheet online. You must be certified as a nest-watcher. This is easy to do by going online to NestWatch's nest monitoring protocol. LAS will be numbering and mapping the boxes prior to monitoring for easy identification on the data sheets.

If you would like to volunteer, you may sign up for one week or many weeks. You may sign up for a few, many or all of the nest boxes. Hopefully, we can get enough people involved to make it less time consuming for the observers. This will require quite a bit of walking since the refuge is now closed to vehicular traffic except along designated roadways. You will also need a mirror attached to a long handle (back-scratchers at Dollar Tree are one dollar!) to see inside the boxes to count the eggs. The nest boxes are located along the perimeter fencing of the refuge. The refuge is located about 7.5 miles southwest of Laramie. We would like to begin monitoring in mid-May.

Please call Vicki Henry at 307-760-9518 or email her at vickis@uwyo.edu with your interest or questions. Vicki will be coordinating volunteers for the scheduling of observation dates.

One of the many nest boxes built by Eagle Scout Bradley Wahlgren and installed at Hutton last fall.