Saturday, January 11, 2020

Spring Field Trips and Evening Programs

Northern Pygmy-Owl (Photo courtesy of Cody Porter)
This Spring, the Laramie Audubon Society has a great variety of trips planned - chances to look for owls, mammal tracks, Greater Sage-Grouse, migrating waterfowl, and eastern song birds at the westernmost edge of their migratory range.  Our series of evening programs kicks off on January 29th.  For details regarding the trips and evening programs, fly over to the "events" tab of the blog: https://laramieaudubon.blogspot.com/p/events.html

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Christmas Bird Count: Sunday, December 15

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 15.  This will be the 42nd 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; wolfhowlin@gmail.com).

The National Audubon Society, which coordinates the program, states that "the data collected by observers over the past century allow Audubon researchers, conservation biologists, wildlife agencies and other interested individuals to study the long-term health and status of bird populations across North America. When combined with other surveys such as the Breeding Bird Survey, it provides a picture of how the continent's bird populations have changed in time and space over the past hundred years." (https://www.audubon.org/conservation/history-christmas-bird-count).  According to Wikipedia, the CBC is the old citizen science project in existence!





Friday, November 15, 2019

Natural History of the Laramie Area - Wednesday, November 20th, 7 pm

Red-flanked Bluetail (an Asian species seen on the mainland
of North America on only a handful of occasions) sighted by Cody
Porter in his backyard in Laramie. (photo by Laurel Armstrong)
Careful observation of the natural world is key to unraveling the mysteries of life.  In this presentation, Cody Porter will detail a few of the unexpected patterns he and others have observed in the avifauna of the Laramie area. 

Cody is a PhD candidate in the Program in Ecology at the University of Wyoming, where his research focuses on adaptive radiation and speciation, primarily in red crossbills.  Prior to moving to Laramie in 2014, Cody received a degree in Zoology from Michigan State University. 

Although his research is primarily on crossbills, Cody has a wide range of taxonomic interests, including everything from moths and butterflies to snakes and trees.

LAS will host bird chat and refreshments in the street-level lobby of the Berry Biodiversity Conservation Center (UW campus at the corner of 10th and Lewis Streets) beginning at 6:30 pm and Cody's talk will begin at 7 pm in the adjacent auditorium.  Please remember to allow yourself plenty of time to find a parking space - the 10th Street parking lot and adjacent on-street parking are no longer available due to construction. 

Please note, members wishing to cast paper ballots for Board, those will be available at this meeting.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Laramie Range Hike - Winter Montane Birds.


Many conifers in the Laramie Range are producing large cone crops this year, which means lots of winter birds! 

Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch at a feeder on the northeast
side of Laramie (photo courtesy of Buzz Hettick)
Join us on Saturday, November 9th to look for winter montane birds on a leisurely hike in the Laramie Range.  We will meet at 8 a.m. at Night Heron Books (107 E. Ivinson Avenue) to organize carpools and procure coffee, etc. for the drive to Vedauwoo.  We will walk for a couple of miles along Vedauwoo Road in search of Red Crossbills, Clark's Nutcrackers, nuthatches, woodpeckers, and other winter birds feasting on pine seeds. 

Be sure to dress for snowy conditions and winter weather; although at this time the weather looks promising there is significant snow on the ground.  Also, please bring water, snacks, sun protection, and binoculars (if you have them).  We anticipate being back to Laramie around noon, but those with their own transportation are free to leave sooner or stay longer. 

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Bats!

The topic for the October LAS evening program is Bats of Wyoming.  Join us on Wednesday, October 30th (refreshments and bird chat at 6:30 p.m., followed by the program at 7 p.m.)

Larisa Bishop-Boros, a mammalogist who has been studying threatened and endangered bats in 39 states and 3 Canadian provinces since 2008, will give a brief introduction to the bats of Wyoming: how to tell apart the different species, where you would expect to find them, and generalized life histories.  She will also describe threats to our bats, novel strategies to mitigate these threats, and surveillance techniques. 

Larisa received an M.S. degree from Missouri State University investigating the influence of weather and latitude on bat ecology and reproduction in 12 species, as well as a B.S. from the State University of New York's College of Environmental Science and Forestry comparing acoustic monitoring and echolocation identification techniques of bats.  Larisa moved to Laramie in 2014 and is employed at WEST, conducting research to mitigate bat fatalities for renewable energy development and assisting state agencies with population and white-nose syndrome monitoring.

Programs are held in the Berry Biodiversity Conservation Center auditorium (Room 138).  The Berry Center is located on the University of Wyoming campus at the corner of 10th and Lewis Streets.  Note that there is no longer a parking lot across the street from the building - parking is available on the surrounding streets.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Swallow Nest Box Work Days Postponed

Dear LAS and interested community members,
We regret that because of heavy travel schedules on the part of our nest box monitoring leaders, we will be unable to conduct our scheduled work days this fall at Hutton Lake and the Laramie Territorial Prison.
Please keep an eye out in early 2020 for information on new work days and monitoring opportunities.
Thanks!

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Plains Lakes Field Trip

Despite the cold weather and snow, we will venture out Saturday morning (October 12th) to look for waterfowl and other migrants at the Plains Lakes.  Meet us at Night Heron Books and Coffeehouse at 8 a.m. We'll carpool around the Laramie Valley, stopping at various locales, which may include Gelatt Lake, Blake's Pond, Twin Buttes Reservoir, Lake Hattie, etc.  Bring lots of warm clothes, water, snacks, sun protection, binoculars, and perhaps some dry socks.  We plan to be back to Laramie by noon.