Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Do conservation efforts pay off?

Bees are making a comeback in parts of Europe, according to a study in Ecology Letters.

Much of the news about biodiversity these days is gloomy. But over the last couple of decades, some countries have adopted environmentally-friendly policies to bring species back. Now the question is: Did those programs work?

Find out here at Conservation Magazine.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Hutton NWR & Chimney Rock Field Trip--Sat, June 1st

Sat., June 1. Hutton Lake National Wildlife Refuge & Chimney Rock.  Check out the improvements to the national wildlife refuge and view waterfowl, songbirds, shorebirds and raptors.  There will be opportunities to get out and walk the trails.  Then, head west to Chimney Rock to see White-throated Swifts, swallows, Prairie Falcons and other cliff-dwellers.  Better pack a lunch for this trip.  Trip leader is Hank and his phone number is 307-760-4058 if you have any questions.

Laramie Audubon field trips are free and open to the public and birders of all levels.  Families are welcome. 

Meet at Coal Creek Coffee at 8am to caffeinate and carpool.  Bring lots of snacks, water, binoculars, field guides, scope if you have one.  Be sure to gas up ahead of time.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Hereford Ranch Trip Summary

Saturday morning 7 folks from Laramie traveled to the Wyoming Hereford Ranch in Cheyenne. We had a decent day of birding. The highlight was a male Scarlet Tanager which stayed in a couple trees long enough for us to have great views and take some nice photos. Our whole trip list is below.

Hereford Ranch:
Gadwall  1
Mallard  3
Swainson's Hawk  2
Eurasian Collared-Dove  16
Mourning Dove  4
Great Horned Owl  1
Belted Kingfisher  1
Downy Woodpecker  1
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)  1
American Kestrel  1
Western Kingbird  12
Red-eyed Vireo  1
Blue Jay  4
Bank Swallow  5
Barn Swallow  3
Black-capped Chickadee  1
Mountain Chickadee  1
Red-breasted Nuthatch  1
House Wren  3
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  1
Swainson's Thrush  2
American Robin  15
European Starling  20
Yellow Warbler  5
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's)  1
Song Sparrow  2
Lincoln's Sparrow  1
White-crowned Sparrow  1
Scarlet Tanager  1    
Black-headed Grosbeak  3
Red-winged Blackbird  20
Western Meadowlark  4
Common Grackle  22
Brown-headed Cowbird  3
Bullock's Oriole  2
American Goldfinch  25
House Sparrow  4

Hereford Reservoir #1:
Canada Goose  8
Gadwall  30
American Wigeon  2
Mallard  8
Northern Shoveler  8
Green-winged Teal  1
Greater/Lesser Scaup  1
Common Merganser  2
Eared Grebe  15
Western Grebe  30
Double-crested Cormorant  1
White-faced Ibis  1
Killdeer  1
Northern Rough-winged Swallow  2
Bank Swallow  4
Barn Swallow  2
Yellow Warbler  1
Common Grackle  3

Laramie Audubon May 29 meeting cancelled

The special May 29th meeting for Laramie Audubon Society has been cancelled.  Our speakers will be working in the field.  We will commence our public meetings again on Wednesday, September 25th.

There are a few birding field trips left.  Keep checking this website for the dates and locations of our birding events.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Species Lists for Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge Field Trip, May 4, 2013

The weather was perfect for the Arapaho NWR field trip in Walden, Colorado.  On the way we stopped at Sodergreen Lake, west of Laramie, then at Woods Landing, before heading to the refuge.  The species lists follow for each of our stops.  Unfortunately, the refuge was nearly dry.  However, the riparian area along the interpretive trail was flowing strongly with snowmelt.

Gadwall8Sodergreen Lake
American Wigeon4Sodergreen Lake
Mallard4Sodergreen Lake
Redhead8Sodergreen Lake
Bufflehead2Sodergreen Lake
Common Merganser10Sodergreen Lake
Western Grebe4Sodergreen Lake
Double-crested Cormorant4Sodergreen Lake
Great Blue Heron1Sodergreen Lake
Turkey Vulture2Sodergreen Lake
Golden Eagle1Sodergreen Lake
Killdeer2Sodergreen Lake
Ring-billed Gull2Sodergreen Lake
American Kestrel2Sodergreen Lake
Black-billed Magpie2Sodergreen Lake
American Crow4Sodergreen Lake
Horned Lark4Sodergreen Lake
Tree Swallow20Sodergreen Lake
Cooper's Hawk1Woods Landing
Northern Flicker2Woods Landing
Black-billed Magpie2Woods Landing
Tree Swallow10Woods Landing
Black-capped Chickadee2Woods Landing
American Dipper2Woods Landing
American Robin1Woods Landing
European Starling20Woods Landing
Canada Goose2Arapaho NWR--Auto Loop
Gadwall4Arapaho NWR--Auto Loop
American Wigeon2Arapaho NWR--Auto Loop
Mallard4Arapaho NWR--Auto Loop
Blue-winged Teal3Arapaho NWR--Auto Loop
American White Pelican5Arapaho NWR--Auto Loop
Killdeer2Arapaho NWR--Auto Loop
American Avocet13Arapaho NWR--Auto Loop
Willet6Arapaho NWR--Auto Loop
Lesser Yellowlegs2Arapaho NWR--Auto Loop
Wilson's Snipe2Arapaho NWR--Auto Loop
Ring-billed Gull2Arapaho NWR--Auto Loop
California Gull4Arapaho NWR--Auto Loop
American Kestrel2Arapaho NWR--Auto Loop
American Crow2Arapaho NWR--Auto Loop
Common Raven2Arapaho NWR--Auto Loop
Horned Lark10Arapaho NWR--Auto Loop
Tree Swallow4Arapaho NWR--Auto Loop
Sage Thrasher3Arapaho NWR--Auto Loop
Vesper Sparrow10Arapaho NWR--Auto Loop
Savannah Sparrow4Arapaho NWR--Auto Loop
Red-winged Blackbird4Arapaho NWR--Auto Loop
Western Meadowlark2Arapaho NWR--Auto Loop
Canada Goose10Arapaho NWR--Interpretive Trail
Common Merganser1Arapaho NWR--Interpretive Trail
Black-billed Magpie4Arapaho NWR--Interpretive Trail
American Crow2Arapaho NWR--Interpretive Trail
Common Raven2Arapaho NWR--Interpretive Trail
Tree Swallow30Arapaho NWR--Interpretive Trail
Violet-green Swallow4Arapaho NWR--Interpretive Trail
Barn Swallow10Arapaho NWR--Interpretive Trail
Marsh Wren1Arapaho NWR--Interpretive Trail
American Robin2Arapaho NWR--Interpretive Trail
American Pipit1Arapaho NWR--Interpretive Trail
Yellow-rumped Warbler1Arapaho NWR--Interpretive Trail
Savannah Sparrow1Arapaho NWR--Interpretive Trail
Song Sparrow3Arapaho NWR--Interpretive Trail
Dark-eyed Junco10Arapaho NWR--Interpretive Trail
Red-winged Blackbird10Arapaho NWR--Interpretive Trail
Common Grackle10Arapaho NWR--Interpretive Trail
Canada Goose30Walden Reservoir
Gadwall40Walden Reservoir
American Wigeon40Walden Reservoir
Mallard50Walden Reservoir
Blue-winged Teal10Walden Reservoir
Cinnamon Teal20Walden Reservoir
Northern Shoveler4Walden Reservoir
Northern Pintail10Walden Reservoir
Green-winged Teal40Walden Reservoir
Canvasback10Walden Reservoir
Redhead40Walden Reservoir
Ring-necked Duck10Walden Reservoir
Lesser Scaup30Walden Reservoir
Bufflehead10Walden Reservoir
Ruddy Duck10Walden Reservoir
Eared Grebe2Walden Reservoir
Western Grebe40Walden Reservoir
Double-crested Cormorant20Walden Reservoir
American White Pelican10Walden Reservoir
Great Blue Heron2Walden Reservoir
Black-crowned Night-Heron2Walden Reservoir
White-faced Ibis1Walden Reservoir
Bald Eagle1Walden Reservoir
Swainson's Hawk2Walden Reservoir
American Coot50Walden Reservoir
Killdeer4Walden Reservoir
Willet2Walden Reservoir
Wilson's Phalarope2Walden Reservoir
California Gull100Walden Reservoir
Common Raven1Walden Reservoir
Tree Swallow10Walden Reservoir
Barn Swallow4Walden Reservoir
American Robin2Walden Reservoir
Vesper Sparrow10Walden Reservoir
Savannah Sparrow2Walden Reservoir
Song Sparrow1Walden Reservoir
White-crowned Sparrow2Walden Reservoir
Red-winged Blackbird10Walden Reservoir
Yellow-headed Blackbird4Walden Reservoir
Common Grackle20Walden Reservoir

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Video from Arapaho field trip

Duane Short posted a great video of last weekend's field trip to Arapaho NWR. You can watch it on our Facebook page or on YouTube!

Field Trip: Laramie Hot Spots

This Saturday, we will be leading a trip to some of the local birding hotspots in Laramie. As time permits, we will visit the Laramie Greenbelt, LaBonte park, UW campus, and town cemetery. A lot of migrants have returned and more are showing up daily. On this trip we'll see birds from a good cross-section of riparian, shrub, pond, and park-like habitats.

Yellow-headed Blackbird by Shawn Billerman
All ages welcome. Meet at Optimist Park at 7:30 am. Bring water, snacks, binoculars, field guides, and a spotting scope if you have one. Dress for the weather (possible rain).

Optimist Park is located on the west side of Laramie. See our birding map for directions.

Rare and Extinct Birds

As I was catching up on my emails today, I came across two media links about rare birds that I thought our audience might be interested in.

First, a new book was just released by Princeton Press entitled "The World's Rarest Birds." The book is a collaborative effort of Erik Hirschfeld, Andy Swash, and Robert Still and highlights the plight of 515 species around the world. Check it out at:

The second is an upcoming movie called "From Billions to None: The Passenger Pigeon's Flight to Extinction." The movie will be released in 2014 to commemorate 100 years since the death of Martha, the last known Passenger Pigeon. There are number of ways (e.g., contribute $25 and get a free download of the completed movie!) to be involved in their effort to bring this haunting story to light: