Monday, September 22, 2014

Upcoming talk by Charlotte Gabrielsen

 Laramie Audubon Society will initiate its fall speaker program this Wednesday, September 24, with a talk by Charlotte Gabrielsen, entitled “Climate change effects on amphibian persistence in the Plains and Prairie Pothole Region".

Charlotte is a University of Wyoming doctoral student and Laramie Audubon small-grant recipient. She will share her findings regarding wetland drying under various climate change scenarios and tell us how such changes might affect the amphibians that depend on these ephemeral water bodies.

The talk begins at 7 pm at the Berry Center auditorium, but refreshments and mingling will start at 6:30 pm. Laramie Audubon will be hosting this program jointly with the Travelle Chapter of the Izaac Walton League.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Field trip report: Hereford Ranch

This past Saturday six intrepid Auduboners awoke extra early for a pilgrimage to one of the best migrant traps in southeastern Wyoming: the Hereford Ranch.

True to form, the cottonwoods and willows of the riparian areas at the Ranch were hopping with migrants. The vast majority were Wilson's Warblers, but we did turn up an American Redstart and a Cassin's Vireo in company with Plumbeous Vireos. The Eastern Screech-Owl continues to cooperate--he or she is still occupying the willow cavity near the corral next to the parking lot.

We saw 48 species total--plus several Empidonax flycatchers, likely comprising two species. Below is the link to the eBird checklist and the complete trip list.

Wyoming Hereford Ranch

Species List
Canada Goose
Great Blue Heron
Turkey Vulture
Swainson's Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Eurasian Collared-Dove
Mourning Dove
Eastern Screech-Owl
Red-naped Sapsucker
Northern Flicker
Western Wood-Pewee
Empidonax sp.
Say's Phoebe
Plumbeous Vireo
Cassin's Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Bank Swallow
Barn Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
Red-breasted Nuthatch
House Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Townsend's Solitaire
Swainson's Thrush
Hermit Thrush
American Robin
Gray Catbird
European Starling
Northern Waterthrush
Orange-crowned Warbler
MacGillivray's Warbler
American Redstart
Yellow Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Wilson's Warbler
Green-tailed Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Clay-colored Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Lincoln's Sparrow
Western Tanager
Common Grackle
House Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow
Photos by Libby Megna.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Upcoming field trip: Hereford Ranch

Orange-crowned Warbler, Albany Co, WY. Photo © Shawn Billerman.
Our next field trip is this Saturday, September 13th. Note that we'll be leaving from Night Heron Books at 7 am (one hour earlier than usual) because we are heading to the Hereford Ranch on the east side of Cheyenne. Libby Megna will lead the search for songbird migrants; in particular, we should find good sparrows, vireos, and warblers.

Again, meet downtown at Night Heron Books 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. Bring water and snacks, binoculars, a spotting scope if you have one, and dress for the worst weather.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Ed Scholes at UW this week

Ed Scholes, evolutionary biologist and Curator of Video at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Macaulay Library, will be visiting the University of Wyoming this week. Scholes, with National Geographic photographer Tim Laman, recently finished a project documenting all species in the birds-of-paradise family. Check out the Birds-of-Paradise Project for more info and great video of gorgeous birds.

Scholes will give two talks:

Video analysis, specimen imaging and 3D modeling: New perspectives on courtship displays in a bird-of-paradise
     Friday, Sept. 12, 12:10 pm, Berry Center 138
     Part of the weekly Zoology/Physiology Departmental seminar, co-hosted by Biodiversity Institute

Birds of Paradise: Revealing the World's Most Extraordinary Birds
     Friday, Sept. 12, 7:00 pm, Berry Center 138
     Booksigning to follow
     Hosted by the Biodiversity Institute

Additionally, the Biodiversity Institute will show the National Geographic film "Winged Seduction: Birds of Paradise" on Wednesday, September 10 at 5 pm and on Sunday, September 14 at 2 pm.

All events are free and open to the public. 

Click on the image below to download a poster that you can share with interested parties.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Field trip report: Plains Lakes & Hutton NWR

Yesterday's inaugural field trip of the fall did not disappoint: the birds were great, the weather flat-out exceeded expectations, and the company was convivial. The major avian highlight of the trip was a juvenile Sabine's Gull at Lake Hattie. A juvenile Sanderling in fresh, crisp plumage at Meeboer was another group favorite.

Waterfowl are increasing in number on Hutton and Hoge Lakes. Lake Hattie is still relatively devoid of waterfowl but that will change over the next few weeks--and as evidenced on the trip, rare gull season is in session! Several raptor species were conspicuous, especially the Swainson's Hawks, which are amassing before their southward migration.

We saw 73 species total; below are links to the eBird checklists for each hotspot and the complete trip list.

Blake's Pond
Meeboer Lake
Twin Buttes Reservoir
Lake Hattie Reservoir
Hutton Lake NWR

Species List
Canada Goose
American Wigeon
Blue-winged Teal
Cinnamon Teal
Northern Shoveler
Northern Pintail
Green-winged Teal
Lesser Scaup
Common Merganser
Ruddy Duck
Pied-billed Grebe
Eared Grebe
Western Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
American White Pelican
Great Blue Heron
Golden Eagle
Northern Harrier
Bald Eagle
Swainson's Hawk
Ferruginous Hawk
Virginia Rail
American Coot
Black-necked Stilt
American Avocet
Spotted Sandpiper
Greater Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs
Baird's Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Wilson's Phalarope
Red-necked Phalarope
Sabine's Gull
Franklin's Gull
Ring-billed Gull
California Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Eurasian Collared-Dove
Mourning Dove
Common Nighthawk
Northern Flicker
Prairie Falcon
Loggerhead Shrike
Common Raven
Violet-green Swallow
Bank Swallow
Barn Swallow
Marsh Wren
American Robin
Sage Thrasher
European Starling
Chestnut-collared Longspur
McCown's Longspur
Common Yellowthroat
Yellow Warbler
Brewer's Sparrow
Vesper Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Yellow-headed Blackbird
Brewer's Blackbird
Great-tailed Grackle
American Goldfinch
Photos of Auduboners at Lake Hattie by Libby Megna.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Upcoming Field Trip: Hutton and Plains Lakes

Lake Hattie. Photo by Libby Megna.
Join us this Saturday, September 6th as we kick off the fall season with a trip to Hutton Lake NWR and the Plains Lakes. Shawn Billerman will lead us on the search for migrant waterfowl and shorebirds. September 6th is also World Shorebird Day! We'll do our part by submitting data on the shorebirds we observe to eBird.

Meet downtown at Night Heron Books at 8 am to caffeinate and carpool. We expect to be back to Laramie around 1 pm; 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. Bring water and snacks, binoculars, a spotting scope if you have one, and dress for the worst weather.