Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Upcoming talk: Small grants updates

Please join us this coming Wednesday, October 25 for three talks by our most recent Small Grants recipients. Jesse, Courtney and Rebecca received LAS funds to help with their research and outreach efforts. See below for descriptions of their projects.

As usual, we will meet in the Berry Center auditorium. Parking adjacent to the building is free after 5 pm. Bird chat and refreshments begin at 6:30 pm, and the talks will begin at 7:00 pm.

Communicating Science: Lessons from the Field Surveys Podcast by Jesse Alston

Jesse will tell us about the new podcast he started with the help of an LAS outreach grant--Field Surveys.  Field Surveys is an ecology and conservation podcast that takes listeners behind the scenes of how ecology and conservation really get done.

Living on the edge: Bird diversity on a grassland/sagebrush ecotone in Thunder Basin National Grassland by Courtney Duchardt

The Thunder Basin National Grassland, situated along the transitional zone ('ecotone') between the Great Plains and sagebrush steppe, is an extremely diverse place. Shaped by disturbances including fire and black-tailed prairie dog grazing, it is home to a surprisingly diverse community of birds including greater sage-grouse, mountain plovers, burrowing owls, and lark buntings (and about 90 more!). Courtney will present a little about the natural history and species diversity of the region, as well as her own research in this amazing landscape.

State of Emergency: Reducing the impacts of natural disasters through restoration by Rebecca Upjohn

Natural events, like hurricanes and wildfires, are essential parts of most ecosystems.  As ecosystems are altered through climate change, invasive species and human intervention, the frequency and intensity of these events increases, causing exceedingly more damage to human infrastructure and vital ecosystem services and functions.  Restoration ecology plays an important role in developing methods to address these underlying issues, reverse damage to critical habitats, and reduce the impacts of future events.

Photos courtesy of Jesse, Courtney, and Rebecca.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Upcoming trip: Nest box cleanup

Grass, feathers, and poop left behind in a tree swallow box.
Photo by L Sanders

All of the birds using our nest boxes at Hutton and the Territorial Prison have fledged their nests, and the boxes need to be cleaned out for next year.  We have a couple of boxes to install at Hutton as well to replace boxes destroyed by cows this summer.  After we finished cleaning out boxes at Hutton, feel free to stick around to bird the lakes!

A tree swallow box in use at Hutton NWR.
Photo by L Sanders

We will meet at 8 am at Night Heron Books & Coffeehouse to carpool. Bring clothes to get dirty, close toed shoes (for cactus!), something to scrape out the boxes with if you have it (like a putty knife), and binoculars. Dress for the weather and bring water and snacks. We plan to be back in Laramie by 11:45 am; if you can only join us for part of the time, be prepared to drive your own vehicle or coordinate with carpool buddies.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Upcoming trip: Plains Lakes

We will head to the Plains Lakes this Saturday, October 14. Hopefully we will find a variety of duck species across Blake's Pond, Twin Buttes, and Lake Hattie. Plus, raptor diversity out on the plains is almost always excellent.

We will meet at 8 am at Night Heron Books & Coffeehouse to carpool. Bring binoculars, a scope if you have one, and field guides. Dress for the weather and bring water and snacks. We should be back to Laramie around noon; if you can only join us for part of the time, be prepared to drive your own vehicle or coordinate with carpool buddies.

Birders of all levels are welcome! Our trips are free and open to the public.


Monday, October 2, 2017

Call for board members

Dear Laramie Audubon members & friends,

As you are probably aware, Laramie Audubon is dependent on the financial support of its members and on the interest of members and friends in our programs, field trips, and other activities. What you may not be as familiar with is the behind-the-scenes work that is done by volunteer board members to keep the organization operational. Board members serve two-year terms, which typically begin in November. This fall we have room for several new board members.

Anyone who is a member of Laramie Audubon, interested in our mission, and willing to donate time to the organization may be a board member. Board members are expected to attend board meetings (approximately three per year) and at least some of our programs. Otherwise, involvement is quite flexible. We generally take a divide and conquer approach!

Three of our board members are retiring this fall and one is on sabbatical, so we are looking for at least four new board members. We have specific vacancies which need to be filled:
1) Membership coordinator – manage database of members, send renewal reminders, coordinate with treasurer
2) Publicity chair – advertise events to our email list, ensure that events are advertised in the Boomerang, compile event descriptions for the newsletter/blog
3) Newsletter co-chair – work with newsletter editor to compile newsletter four times a year, write articles for newsletter or solicit articles from others

We are also looking for folks who are interested in being “odds-and-ends” board members, willing to fill in as needed for various activities: to arrange speakers, lead field trips, contribute articles to our newsletter or blog, or spearhead an outreach program in the community. If you would like become a board member to add a new facet or outreach project to Laramie Audubon, that’s an option as well--we are happy to hear your ideas!

If you are interested in becoming a board member for Laramie Audubon, please let us know at Provide a description of relevant experience or interests, explain what you would bring to the board, and note if you would like to fill a position listed above. We will distribute your description to LAS members so that they can be informed when they vote on board members in November. If you have questions before committing to be a candidate, please feel free to direct your concerns our way. If you join the board, your first commitment would likely be a board meeting in December; however, if you would like to get involved sooner we can bring folks aboard as interim members.

Libby Megna
LAS Secretary

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Upcoming trip: Rock Creek Canyon

We will travel to a birding hotspot at the north end of Snowies this Saturday, October 07. During fall migration, the morning flight of birds up Rock Creek Canyon can be really spectacular.

Because it is a bit of a drive to the canyon, we will meet at 7 am at the Eppson Senior Center to carpool. Bring binoculars and field guides, dress for the weather, and bring water and snacks.

Wilson's Warbler