Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Field Trip - Saturday, September 12th

We will meet at Hutton Lake National Wildlife Refuge on Saturday morning (Sept. 12th). Although the lakes have been shrinking through the summer, there are still some ducks and shorebirds being reported via eBird.

Please pre-register by emailing us at laramie.audubon@gmail.com and bring/wear your mask as well as the usual water, sun protection, snacks, and birding supplies. New policy: LAS will only share spotting scopes that are equipped with camera viewers; we are currently uncertain whether we will have any such scopes at this field trip.

Directions to Hutton Lake National Wildlife Refuge: If coming from Laramie, head south on 3rd Street/ US-287, turn right onto County Road 22 (toward the cement plant), then turn left onto Sand Creek Road (parallel to railroad tracks - many people have missed this turn and mistakenly entered the cement plant parking lot). Stay on Sand Creek Road for about 8 miles, then turn right at the National Wildlife Refuge sign. Meet at the parking area just inside the fence, adjacent to the Refuge's information board.

(Photo of American Avocets courtesy of LAS member Liz Young)

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Fall Event Schedule

Please see the Events page of this blog for Laramie Audubon's Fall 2020 schedule.  In consideration of Covid-19, we've made some changes to our typical protocols.  Please be sure to wear a mask and be mindful regarding social distancing at all LAS events.  Due to potential risks associated with carpools, our Fall schedule focuses on birding spots within or close to Laramie.  In addition, we are REQUIRING people to pre-register for field trips by emailing us at laramie.audubon@gmail.com so that we can plan for the anticipated group size.  Depending on the group sizes at our initial trips, we may set size limits for the later trips.  

The Fall field trip schedule kicks off at 8 a.m. on Saturday morning (September 5th) at Greenhill Cemetery's south gate near the corner of Willet and 19th Streets.  

Friday, April 17, 2020

All In-Person Events Cancelled Through June 30, 2020

Consistent with the policy of the National Audubon Society, we are cancelling all in-person events through June 30th.  We hope that you are able to get out on your own to bird this Spring and encourage you to participate in on-line birding education and citizen science.  Now is a great time to begin (or continue) eBirding (https://ebird.org/home). 

From time to time we will be posting additional resources here or on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Laramie-Audubon-Society-281490288527648/.  If you have a preference regarding platforms (i.e., this site vs. Facebook), please let us know by leaving a comment.  Looking forward to running into you at a local hotspot or during a fall migration field trip! 

Recent Local Highlights:
  • Peregrine Falcon (Laramie River Greenbelt)
  • Virginia Rail (Spring Creek Pond [i.e., small beaver pond east of LaPrele Park, adjacent to the cul-de-sac)
  • American Pipet (LaPrele Park)
  • Common Loon (Lake Hattie)
  • return of the Yellow-rumped Warblers!

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Events Cancelled through April 30

Consistent with the actions of the National Audubon Society, the Laramie Audubon Society chapter is cancelling all in-person events through the end of April.  Please stay tuned - we are in the process of developing "virtual" birding events to keep us interacting together as a group while still protecting our community from the spread of COVID-19.  If you have ideas regarding virtual events, we encourage you to communicate them either via a "comment" on this blog or by email (laramie.audubon@gmail.com).  

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Evening Program Cancelled (March 25th)

Due to precautions associated with the coronavirus, coupled with the University of Wyoming closures, the Laramie Audubon Society has decided to cancel the evening program that was planned for next Wednesday evening.  One of our members suggested that we might enjoy the following video regarding bees (the topic of the cancelled program), in lieu of the in-person talk:


And here are some additional videos from other Audubon Rockies chapters:

Inside Birding:  Size & Shape  10 min.Chickadees & Climate 2 min.Eagle, Falcon, Owl - Birds of Prey  23 min.Nutcrackers, White Bark Pine and Climate Change 12 min.   

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Owling Trip - Saturday. March 7th

On Saturday evening's trip to the Snowy Range, we will target species that have been found in the vicinity over the past several years, such as Boreal Owls. Expect to hike or snowshoe for 2 - 3 miles.  We will depart at 6 pm from Coal Creek Coffee downtown (110 E. Grand Avenue).  Please bring plenty of warm clothes, footwear suitable for snow, and your own water, snacks, and binoculars. 

Sunday, March 1, 2020

4th Annual Bird Hop a Bird Watching and Social Treat.

Twenty birders assembled at Coal Creek Coffee downtown Laramie on Saturday to carpool to Centennial and Albany for a relaxed bird watching Leap Day morning. The largest draw yet for the LAS 4th Annual Bird Hop, the day did not disappoint.

First stop was Centennial, where about half the group wandered into the backyard of the Bear Bottom Grill & Bar and along the tiny back streets of town, while the other half crossed the street to the area around the Library. We viewed Steller's Jays, Black-capped Chickadees, Magpies and a couple Downy Woodpeckers. And the feeders at the Bear Bottom and across the road offered up a feast for a plethora of rosy finches!

The carpool then moved along Dinwiddie Road to Albany Lodge. Along the way were spotted a Rough-legged Hawk and a Raven. Unfortunately the feeders were not out and stocked this year, and there were no birds to be seen around the Lodge, but all enjoyed a hearty breakfast and good company before heading back to Laramie.

Magpie peeking through from nest

Gray-crowned Rosy finch

The group at breakfast

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

4th Annual Bird Hop Field Trip: Saturday, February 29th

Brown-capped Rosy Finch
This trip will feature relaxing feeder-watching in Centennial and Albany.  We'll wander throughout those two communities and then bird watch from the windows of the Albany Lodge while enjoying a no-host breakfast and good company. 

The group will meet in Laramie at Coal Creek Coffee Downtown (110 E. Grand Avenue) at 8:00 a.m. Saturday morning and then carpool/caravan to Centennial.  Birds that have been seen in Centennial in February (based on historic eBird data) include Pine and Evening Grosbeaks, Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers, Brown-capped and Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches, and both Mountain and Black-capped Chickadees.  

Also, please remember that tomorrow (Wednesday) night is our February evening program, featuring Grant Frost and Andrea Orabona (both Wyoming Game and Fish Biologists) presenting information regarding Burrowing Owls, Long-billed Curlews, black-footed ferrets, and other species of interest: 6:30 pm for refreshments and bird chat in the UW Berry Center street-level foyer; 7 pm for the presentation in the adjacent, street-level auditorium.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

February Evening Program - Burrowing Owls, Curlews, and More!

Burrowing Owl (photo courtesy of Grant Frost)
Join us for our next evening program: Wednesday, February 26th in the Berry Biodiversity Conservation Center.  The Berry Center is located at the corner of 10th and Lewis Streets on the University of Wyoming campus.  The evening will begin at 6:30 p.m. with refreshments and Bird Chat in the street-level lobby.  At 7:00 p.m. we will migrate into the adjacent auditorium for the talk. 

Grant Frost, a Wyoming Game and Fish Department wildlife biologist stationed in Cheyenne, will give a presentation on some of the species that the department is surveying or studying that are of great interest, including long-billed curlews, burrowing owls, black-footed ferrets, and others that he has helped studied throughout the state. 

Joining Grant will be Andrea Orabona, WGFD's statewide nongame bird biologist from the Lander office, to talk about an ongoing study radio tracking Wyoming's burrowing owl migration and wintering areas.  Andrea collaborates with Courtney Conway (University of Idaho) and with research partners in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.  The burrowing owl is a Species of Greatest Conservation Need in Wyoming.  Andrea will discuss the need for this project, its objective, methods, and results.

Due to on-going construction on campus there is no longer a parking lot in the immediate vicinity of the building, so budget a little time for finding on-street parking in the surrounding area. 

3rd Annual Art Show - Call for Artists

The Laramie Audubon Society (LAS) will sponsor our 3rd annual art show from April 3-May 1, 2020 at the University of Wyoming Berry Biodiversity Conservation Center. LAS would like to extend an invitation to artists to submit 1-2 works based on your own experiences and interactions with the natural world.  

All natural history subjects are welcome and all forms of media accepted.  LAS anticipates this show to be a celebration of nature interpreted by new as well as veteran artists.  There will be a reception at the show on Wednesday, April 22 from 5:30-7:00 pm.  Come and enjoy refreshments and meet many of the exhibiting artists.

Artists may drop off works on Friday, April 3 from 2:00-6:00 pm.  Please have your work ready to hang, including a reliable wire or hook on the back of your two-dimensional piece.  LAS will hang two-dimensional work and install three-dimensional work.  Artists are responsible for any technology needed to show work.  There may be limits on what is feasible, so if you have needs including electricity, please contact Samantha at laramie.audubon@gmail.com

Artists may sell their work through direct contact by buyer to the Laramie Audubon Society.  The University of Wyoming does not conduct any sale of art shown at the Berry Biodiversity Conservation Center.  Artists are responsible for any state and federal taxes.  If you do sell your art, a donation of 10% of the sale will go to the Laramie Audubon Society. 

LAS welcomes both novice and experienced artists to participate.  Please share this announcement with other artists and art lovers! 

This year we are requesting that artists submit a registration form by Tuesday, March 21st - this will facilitate organizing the show and will make drop-off more efficient for both artists and LAS.  The form may be submitted via email or may be mailed.  If submitted electronically, we will require a signature when you drop off your work.  We've enjoyed the variety of local art at the two previous shows and are excited to be able to host a show again this year.

Registration form:  open link; then click the green "download" button near the upper-right corner
LAS email address:  laramie.audubon@gmail.com
LAS mailing address:  P.O. Box 878, Laramie, WY  82073
Contact for additional information: Samantha: laramie.audubon@gmail.com

Monday, February 10, 2020

Winter Tracking Trip Summary

The winter 2020 snow track outing with Gary Beavais occurred on February 1 in the Medicine Bow Forest along Sand Lake Road.  With great weather five people accompanied Gary to learn about animal tracks and the winter behavior these animals.  A Red Breasted Nuthatch and a Mountain Chickadee were spotted, as were the tracks of a Dusky Grouse.  Mammal tracks observed were rabbit, mouse, squirrel, fox/coyote, moose, and many weasel tracks. A great day was had by all participants.

Photos: Winter snow trackers, Mouse tracks, Dusky Grouse track with wing print during takeoff

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Small Grants Program

In keeping with our mission, Laramie Audubon Society offers small grants for conservation, scholarship, and outreach.  Conservation grants include conservation and restoration projects as well as scientific re- search.  Scholarship grants include attendance at conferences, workshops, or summer camps.  Outreach grants support projects that increase knowledge and appreciation for birds, other wildlife, and habitats.  There are no geographic restrictions for projects, although we focus on funding projects around Wyoming and western North America. 

Grants will generally be awarded for no more than $500 and are awarded bi-annually.  Deadlines are March 31 for summer/fall grants and October 31 for winter/spring grants.  Notifications will be sent out within 4 to 6 weeks.  See laramieaudubon.blogspot.com/p/small-grants-program.html for full details on grant application requirements and stipulations of the grant.