Reminder! Audubon Presentation on Tuesday, February 20th

The effects of anthropogenic and environmental stressors on nesting raptors: Lessons for Wyoming“.  Featuring guest speaker Cameron Nordell.  7:00 p.m. Cottonwood Room, Laramie County Public Library.   

Cameron worked extensively with Ferruginous Hawks breeding in the Canadian prairies (lots of man-made stressors in the oil and gas fields) and Peregrine Falcons in sub-arctic Canada (few man-made stressors). He is a graduate student at the University of Wyoming. The program is free and open to the public.

No-host dinner at 5:00 p.m. at 2 Doors Down.  Call Mark and Barb (634-0463) if you wish to join us for dinner.

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Audubon Dates To Remember: February

Days are beginning to get longer and soon spring migration will begin!  (We’re counting the days!)  What better way to celebrate the coming of spring then joining your local Audubon Chapter for great events?  More details in the February newsletter!  Alpine Aster

  • February 20th – The effects of anthropogenic and environmental stressors on nesting raptors: Lessons for Wyoming“.  Featuring guest speaker Cameron Nordell.  7:00 p.m. Cottonwood Room, Laramie County Public Library.   No-host dinner at 5:00 p.m. at 2 Doors Down.  Call Mark and Barb (634-0463) if you wish to join us for dinner.
  • February 24th – Field Trip to Wyoming Hereford Ranch.  Leave from Lions Park parking lot at 8:00 a.m.  Carpooling may be available.  Dress for the weather.  Please contact George Cardon for more information at 307-634-5269.  (Make sure we know that you are attending so we can reach you if plans change due to weather).

Many more events are listed in our February newsletter, including the Great Backyard Bird Count (February 16-19), the Cheyenne Country Club Survey (February 23rd) and the Cheyenne High-Plains Audubon Board meeting (February 27th).

Events for March, April, and May are also listed!  Some very special events are coming this spring … don’t miss them!  See our newsletter for details.  

The Migratory Bird Act – Under Attack! Your help is greatly needed.

You may have seen the letter to the editor in the February 1st edition of the Wyoming Tribune Eagle by Cheyenne High Plains Chapter President Barb Gorges about the attack on the Migratory Bird Treaty Act by our own Wyoming Representative Liz Cheney.

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Sandhill Cranes, Kearney, NE

The Audubon Board approved signing onto a letter created by the National Audubon Society protesting these attacks. Now we need your help – and please act today.  Our birds can’t wait!

  • Write letters to the editor.  Use this Audubon Fact Sheet to help you become familiar with the issues at stake.
  • Call Representative Liz Cheney at 202-225-2311. 

It is easy – when someone nice answers the phone, just tell them who you are and that you support preserving the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and disapprove of attacks on it, including HR 4239.  You will not be questioned for additional information but your comments COUNT!

And our partners at Audubon Rockies tell us that the number of people calling and writing makes a difference.  Audubon can then talk to legislators and tell them that their constituents care.  Your voice matters!  If you would like more details, contact Daly Edmunds, Audubon Rockies Policy and Outreach Director at dedmunds@audubon.org.

ABOUT MBTA: Passed in 1918, the MBTA protects birds by making it unlawful to kill, bunt, sell, or possess most native species of birds in the U.S., along with their nests, eggs, and feathers, without a permit.  This conservation law turned the tide and is credited with saving millions, if not billions of birds, and numerous species from extinction, such as the Wood Duck and Snowy Egret.  Today, there are new threats to birds and the places they need, making this law extremely important.

WHAT HAS AUDUBON SO FIGHTING MAD:  In December, the Trump administration released a legal opinion that the incidental take of birds is NOT prohibited under the law and will not be enforced.  In the Congressional House of Representative, as part of H.R. 4239 (the SECURE American Energy Act), WY Rep. Liz Cheney added language that would amend the law to no longer cover incidental take. These changes would gut the MBTA by giving a free pass for bird deaths from industrial activities, such as oil waste pits and oil spills, and would end decades of practice by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by removing the authority to address incidental take. Other legislation would chip away at the MBTA, including a bill that would end its protections for certain species (S. 935).

Our birds matter and this is just plain wrong!

Field Trip to Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge – January 27th

Join us for a mid-winter field trip!  We will tour the visitors center and look for bison, prairie dogs, bald eagles, other raptors and other winter wildlife.

Bison
Bison at Rocky Mountain Arsenal NWR by Barb Gorges

We leave from the Lions Park parking lot at the Children’s Village at 8 a.m. Carpooling may be available. We will drive south on I-25 to the Arsenal. We should return by 1 p.m., but if you drive, you can leave whenever you need to.

Bring water and your lunch, if you like. Please contact Mark for more information, 307-287-4953, and to be on the list of participants to be notified of any change in plans due to weather.

Reminder – first presentation of 2018! January 16th – Wyoming Toad Reintroduction

Wyoming Toad reintroduction progress with Jason Palmer and Heidi Meador 
5 p.m., No-host dinner with guest speakers at Qdoba, 1958 Dell Range Blvd.
Presentation begins at 7 p.m., Cottonwood Room, Laramie County Public Library, 2200 Pioneer Ave.

Jason Palmer and Heidi Meador are biologists with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Jason has managed the Wyoming Toad captive breeding project for 15 years.  The talk will focus on changing the release strategy over the last three years to help them try to reach their recovery goals. This change has included a expansion of the captive breeding facility at the Saratoga Fish Hatchery.

As always presentations are free and open to everyone.  Join us for the first Cheyenne-High Plains Audubon presentation of 2018 – and start your year off right! 

Christmas Bird Count Reminder! Be a Citizen Scientist on December 30, 2017

Whether you have 15 minutes to watch birds out your window or hours to walk the count area with the group or on your own, help us with the Cheyenne Christmas Bird CountNovice birdwatchers welcome.  Christmas Bird Count Map 2017

There are several ways to participate.  More details for all activities are included in the December newsletter posted on the website.

  1.  Be a field observer with a group.  Meet at the Downtown Post Office lobby (2100 Capitol Ave.,) by 7:30 a.m. on Saturday.  Dress for the weather!  Bring a pencil, notepaper and hot beverage, binoculars, and a field guide.  We will split up and cover multiple sites.
  2. Observe on your own.  Look for birds anywhere within the count circle.  See more details about how to record your finds in the December newsletter.
  3. Watch your feeder (as long as you live within the count circle – an area defined by a 15-mile diameter circle centers on the Capitol building in downtown Cheyenne).  Record only the maximum number of species seen at any one time.  You can watch for 15 minutes or several hours – your data counts!

Join us for the Tally Party and Potluck.  Held at the Westgate Activity Center, 5519 Gateway Drive at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday.  Bring your results and a food contribution to share.  Directions and details in the December newsletter.

Questions?  Call Mark Gorges at 634-0463.

Audubon Dates to Remember: December

As mornings grow colder and neighborhoods light up the nights with holiday decorations, remember our bird friends with food and water if you are able.

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Northern Flicker

December brings several opportunities to count our feathered friends, at your home and around the region.  Here are a few dates to remember in December.

December 17th: Guernsey/Ft. Laramie Christmas Bird Count.  Meet on Sunday at 7:30 a.m. at Lions Park on the south parking lot by Children’s Village.  This will be an all-day birding event.  Be sure to contact Mark Gorges (307-287-4953) if you want to join us so that we can contact you if plans change.  More details are provided in the December newsletter.  We will be back to Cheyenne at about 4:00 p.m. – unless we decide to have dinner en route.

December 29th: Cheyenne Country Club Survey at 8:00 a.m.  You must register to participate in this survey.  Contact Chuck Seniawski at 638-6519.

December 30th: Cheyenne Christmas Bird Count and Tally Party.  You can participate in three ways.  You can be a field observer with a group, you can bird on your own, or you can be a feeder-watcher.

For those who wish to bird with a group, meet at the Downtown Post Office lobby by 7:30 a.m.  Volunteers will be divided up to several sites around the city.  The count will take several hours.

If you choose to bird on your own, make sure to read the December newsletter so that you know the radius of the count circle.  Whether you travel to a specific site or watch  your feeder, the location must be within the count circle.

Then join us at the Tally Party that evening at 5:30 p.m. at 5519 Gateway Drive.  Bring your data (see a tally sheet provided with the December newsletter) and enjoy food and good birding company!

For more information about any of the bird count activities, contact Mark Gorges at 634-0463.  Many more details available in the December newsletter!

Audubon Dates to Remember in November

As the days cool down, the sun sets earlier, and we have fewer hours to enjoy watching birds, Audubon invites members and guests to join their friends and neighbors for special programs and hikes throughout the winter season.

Remember – the spring migration is just around the corner!  SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Dates to remember in November:

  • November 18th (Saturday) – Field Trip to the Front Range Lakes 8:00 a.m.  We will leave from Lions Park parking lot by the Children’s Village.  We will be driving south to reservoirs in the Wellington region.  You can expect to be home by 1:00 p.m.  Please be sure to contact Mark (307-287-4953) if you wish to join this trip.  We want to know who is planning on attending in case plans must change due to weather.
  • November 21st (Tuesday) – Sage Grouse Update with Audubon Rockies Director of Policy and Outreach, Daly Edmonds.  The program begins at 7:00 p.m. Cottonwood Room, Laramie County Public Library.    Background:  The Bureau of Land Management has opened a formal comment period to review the collaborative Greater Sage-Grouse management plans that were adopted in 2015 after years of work from nonprofit organization, state governments, federal agencies, and stakeholders such as ranchers. The comment period, through November 27th, is part of a process that could weaken or eliminate the plans.  On this night, you will learn about the issue and also what you can do to provide public comment to the BLM.  We need your voice!
  • November 24th (Friday) – Cheyenne Country Club Survey at 8:00 a.m.  Contact Chuck Seniawski (307-638-6519) if you wish to be part of this survey.  All are welcome but arrangements must be made with the Country Club for golf carts for the survey.
  • November 28th (Tuesday) – CHPAS Board Meeting, Laramie County Library, Windflower Room.  New board members are needed – please join us if you can.

Greater Sage Grouse Public Meeting Coming to Cheyenne

Read Audubon’s October 05, 2017 press release about the Greater Sage Grouse here

An important opportunity to influence the Bureau of Land Management’s determination regarding the Greater Sage Grouse is coming to Cheyenne.

 

The date is Monday, November 6th from 4-7 p.m. at Little America Hotel on Lincoln Way.  The only other meeting held in Wyoming will be at the Pinedale Field Office on November 8th from 4-7 p.m.

Why do we care?  Well-researched and thoughtful plans were already in place for Greater Sage Grouse protection, as well as the protection of the lands iconic to the American West.  These plans were the result of substantial input, lengthy discussion, and included many partners.  Under the current administration, efforts are underway to dismantle this historic conservation effort. We can not let this happen and YOUR VOICE COUNTS!

To help Audubon members learn more about conservation efforts for the Greater Sage Grouse and the lands that they need to survive (which are also the home to many other species of birds and mammals), several resources are available and listed below.  If you can not attend the hearing in November, you can still write to your legislators and make your opposition known.  Questions?  Contact Daly Edmonds, Director of Policy and Outreach for Wyoming and Colorado at dedmunds@audubon.org.

Greater Sage Grouse Resources

Bureau of Land Management: https://www.blm.gov/press-release/blm-invites-public-meeting-sage-grouse-conservation-plans

National Audubon: http://www.audubon.org/conservation/issues/greater-sage-grouse

Audubon of the Rockies: http://rockies.audubon.org/internal-tagging/public-policy

PBS – The Sagebrush Sea: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/sagebrush-sea-full-episode/12341/

 

 

Tuesday, October 17th – Great Plains, great birds: grassland obligate songbirds of the Northern Great Plains

Audubon members and friends, we invite you to hear Jacy Bernath-Plaisted from Bird Conservancy of the Rockies present at 7:00 p.m. (Cottonwood Room) on Tuesday, October 17th, at the Laramie County Public Library.

The talk will offer an introduction to these little known species (Baird’s Sparrow, Grasshopper Sparrow, Sprague’s Pipit, and Chestnut-collared Longspur), discuss the broader trends of decline in North America’s grassland songbirds, and provide an overview of Bird Conservancy’s monitoring activities related to these species in Montana and North Dakota.

Chestnut-collared Longspur photo courtesy of Audubon Guide to North American Birds. 

A no-host dinner with be held at Hacienda Guadalajara, 317 E. Lincoln Way.  Call Mark and Barb (634-0463) if you want to join us for dinner.