Monday, December 28, 2020

Northern Goshawk

LAS member Jason Lillegraven shared the following image of a Northern Goshawk, which spent time yesterday in his backyard on the south side of Laramie. 

 Northern Goshawks typically hunt birds and small mammals, including crows, squirrels, and rabbits, both within the forest and along the forest edge. They often perch in trees while watching for prey; this Goshawk appears to be using the fence for that purpose!  The Audubon Guide to North American Birds (the source for the information provided above) has more photos and information regarding this fascinating predator.

If you have photos or information regarding birds of interest in the Laramie area, please feel free to share them with us!

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Bird Count - Watch for These Birds!

Laramie had a successful Christmas Bird Count on Saturday, with a record number of birders braving the wind and cold or loyally watching their feeders.  Lists were compiled by our organizer, Shay Howlin, during a Zoom meeting, which, although fun, was no match for the potluck held during previous years.  

Pine Grosbeaks (photo courtesy of Chris Dewey)
The volunteers documented 39 species and almost 4,000 individuals.  In addition to the species counted on Saturday, a tally is kept of all species observed during Count Week.  Below is a short list of common species that we did not see.  If you have seen any of these birds within 7.5 miles of Laramie since last Wednesday (December 16th), or see one between now and Tuesday (December 22nd), please let Shay know (; if you have seen other, less common species, feel free to let her know about those birds, too.  Please include information regarding the date and location.

American Kestrel
Great Horned Owl
Belted Kingfisher
Northern Shrike
Steller's Jay
Clark's Nutcracker
Horned Lark

Monday, December 7, 2020

121st Annual Christmas Bird Count - Volunteers Needed

The Laramie Audubon Society will again take part in a 100-year-old Christmas tradition, the annual Christmas Bird Count. Volunteers are welcome to join in the count with the LAS chapter as it conducts the Albany County Christmas Bird Count on Saturday, December 19. This will be the 43rd count of the Albany County circle. Volunteers are needed to help count every bird present in the 15-mile diameter circle around Laramie on the day of the count. All levels of bird watchers, including feeder watchers, are welcome. 

The National Audubon Society has provided guidelines to run a COVID-19 safe and socially distanced CBC. All volunteers for the Albany County circle need to pre-register or attend one of two drop-in zoom calls to receive a route assignment. There will not be any in-person meetings prior to the count. Contact Shay Howlin (307-286-1972; for information and to register. 

 Volunteers are the backbone of the Christmas Bird Count and are encouraged to participate despite changes to the format. As usual, some teams will walk, while others will drive through their territory. All participants will be required to wear masks or social distance during the count. Carpooling is only permitted for existing family or social pod groups. 

 Virtual compiling will take place at 6 pm on the day of the count. Electronic submission of data forms will be encouraged to facilitate the compiling event. Please contact Shay Howlin if you would like to be assigned a route early, would like forms for feeder watching, or have any questions.  Click here to download the data form. (the link will take you to MediaFire, the company that hosts LAS's document downloads; Media Fire will prompt you to click a blue button near the upper right corner of the screen.)

Female Red-flanked Bluetail, Laramie, November 2019
(photo courtesy of Laurel Armstrong)