Monday, February 25, 2019

Trip Report - 2019 Annual Snow Tracking Trip

The 23rd of February 2019 animal snow tracking field trip to Chimney Park led by Dr. Gary Beauvais was attended by 19 individuals on skis or snowshoes.  Moose, fox/coyote, squirrel, snowshoe hare, and mouse tracks were located even though light overnight snow covered older animal tracks.  This variety of wildlife gave the group a sample of how the animals moved across the snow environment.  Gary spent the day discussing forest and winter ecology of the area including how the recent fire will alter the future forest composition.  Mountain Chickadees were heard while a brown tree creeper and hairy woodpecker were observed.  On the way traveling to and from Chimney Park a road killed mule deer was observed being fed upon by a bald eagle, a golden eagle and at least 20 ravens and 10 magpie.

Evening Program - Short-eared Owls

Wednesday evening (February 27th), Zoe Nelson will update LAS on the results of the Western Asio Flammeus Landscape Study (WAfLS).  WAfLS is a citizen science project designed to gather information to evaluate the population status of Short-eared Owls.  Such information is needed by conservation practitioners who want to design management actions that will reverse Short-eared Owl population declines.  This eight-state program engages citizen scientists to gather critical survey data, enabling a rigorous assessment of the status of the species.  Zoe is the Wyoming state coordinator for WAfLS. 

Arrive early for Bird Chat (and refreshments!) starting at 6:30 p.m. in the ground floor lobby of the Berry Center. The talk itself begins at 7 p.m. in the adjacent ground floor auditorium (Room 138). The Berry Center is located on the University of Wyoming campus at the corner of 10th and Lewis Streets. Note that the parking lot across the street from the Berry Center is no longer available, so please plan to park on the adjacent streets.    

Photo (Northern Pygmy-Owl) courtesy of Shawn Billerman.  LAS is always looking for great bird photos to use in this blog and on our Facebook page - if you have some, please let us know!

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Winter Tracking Trip - Saturday, February 23rd

Gary Beauvais, Director of the Wyoming Natural Diversity Database, will lead us on a snowshoe/cross-country ski trek through forest and riparian areas at Chimney Park (destination is snow-dependent) on Saturday, February 23rd. During this 11th anniversary of Gary’s field trip we’ll learn how to identify winter animal tracks and unravel the many mysterious signs that are written into the winter snow. We will also be shown/updated on the existing knowledge of the natural history of the winter environment.

We will gather at Coal Creek Coffee (downtown - 110 E. Grand Ave.) at 8 a.m. before leaving for the field trip. Expect to be back to Laramie at approximately 1 p.m. (those with their own transportation may leave at any time). Chimney Park is a USFS site and requires a $5 per carload fee for parking. Alternate/backup date in case of bad weather is March 2.

Please email us at if you have questions about any field trips.