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 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.

Upcoming talk: UW Raccoon Project

Photo by Flickr user Triker-Sticks CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
University of Wyoming Raccoon Project: Ecology and Behavior of a Misunderstood Species

Please join us on Wednesday, April 27 to learn about a highly adaptable urban carnivore found right in your own backyard – the raccoon! Sarah Daniels, a graduate student in the Animal Behavior and Cognition Lab, will give an overview of the University of Wyoming Raccoon Project (UWRP), raccoon natural history, and ongoing/upcoming local research with these critters. You may think you know the raccoon, but Sarah will show you there is much more going on with these guys than their trash-eating abilities!

Please note that we will meet in a different location than usual, Classroom Building 215. You can park along 9th Street, but space is often limited. We recommend parking near the Berry Center as usual and walking south to the Classroom Building.

Bird chat with refreshments will begin at 6:30 pm and the talk will begin at 7:00 pm.

The talk is free and open to the public!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Upcoming field trip: Hutton Lake NWR

Yellow-headed Blackbird. Photo (c) Shawn Billerman.
Libby Megna will lead us to Hutton Lake NWR once again this Saturday, April 23. We should see waterfowl, shorebirds, raptors, and songbirds.We will also take some time to monitor the swallow nest boxes on the fences around Hutton.

Meet at Coal Creek at 8 am to fuel up on coffee. We should be back to Laramie by noon or so, but of course you can leave early if you drive your own vehicle or arrange with carpool buddies. Bring binoculars, a spotting scope if you have one, snacks/drinks and dress for the weather.

Friday, April 15, 2016

CANCELLED field trip: Sage-Grouse lek

Dawn at the lek. Photo by Libby Megna.
UPDATE: Due to the forecasted inclement weather through the weekend, and the winter conditions that have already started, we have decided to CANCEL our trip to the sage-grouse trip on Saturday, April 16. We have decided not to reschedule the trip this time. Hopefully we have better luck next year.

UPDATE: The trip has been postponed to April 2 due to the snowstorm and resulting poor road conditions.

This Saturday, March 26 On April 16, weather permitting, we will head out to a Greater Sage-Grouse lek. Come and watch these iconic birds strut their stuff on their display ground. Meet at 6 am at the Eppson Senior Center parking lot, at Curtis St. and 3rd St. We will carpool to the lek at 6:10 am sharp.  The early start is totally worth it--there's nothing like being audience to dozens of male Sage-Grouse calling and dancing to attract mates.

Female Greater Sage-Grouse. Photo © Shawn Billerman.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

April Board Meeting

We will hold a board meeting this Thursday, April 14 at 6:30 pm in room 227 of the Berry Center. Our board meetings are open to the public, so if you are interested in the behind-the-scenes of the Laramie Audubon Society, feel free to join us.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Upcoming field trip: Hutton Lake NWR

Western Meadowlark. Photo (c) Shawn Billerman.
Yours truly (Libby Megna) will lead a trip to my favorite Laramie Plains birding spot, Hutton Lake National Wildlife Refuge, on Saturday, April 9. The refuge is one of the best places to bird this time of year--we should see lingering ducks, shorebirds, grebes, raptors, and recently arrived songbirds. Migration is in full swing, so we are likely to find some surprises.

We will meet at Coal Creek Coffee at 8 am to preemptively caffeinate and carpool. Please bring binoculars, a spotting scope if you have one, field guides, and snacks and drinks. Be prepared for windy conditions. Our trips to Hutton usually last a few hours, but anyone is free to leave early if they bring their own vehicle.

Hutton and Hoge Lakes. Photo by Libby Megna.