Join us on Tuesday, September 18th for “Bee Smart – Water Smart”!

Monarch Butterfly.
Monarch Butterfly on Butterfly Bush, BOPU Habitat Hero Garden, September 2018

Join us for the first presentation of the 2018-2019 season with our own Dena Egenhoff from the Board of Public Utilities as she presents on the importance of wise water use in Cheyenne at 7:00 p.m. in the Cottonwood Room, Laramie County Public Library, 2200 Pioneer Avenue.  All are welcome!

Learn more from a landscape view on water sustainability and creating a better world from birds to people.

Dena has 20 years experience in the water world. Her experience include water quality regulations, solid and hazardous waste, groundwater remediation, hydrology, water conservation and short-term and long-term hydrological watershed trends.

We will also have a short presentation by Tara-Jones Alley, one of the teachers who was awarded a grant from the chapter for an environmental education project.

No host dinner with the speaker at Anong’s, 620 Central Avenue, Cheyenne, WY.  Please call Chuck Seniawski, 307-638-6519, if you plan on dinner.

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Dates to Remember in September

Bee-Smart-05The first program of the 2018-2019 season of the Cheyenne-High Plains Audubon Society will be held on Tuesday, September 18th will feature Dena Egenhoff from the Cheyenne Board of Public Utilities.  Join us at 7:00 p.m. in the Cottonwood Room of the Laramie County Public Library.  Dena will tell us about “Bee Smart, Water Smart“, a program to help Cheyenne residents use water wisely while attracting pollinators and wildlife.

Dena has 20 years experience in the water world. Her experience include water quality regulations, solid and hazardous waste, groundwater remediation, hydrology, water conservation and short term and long-term hydrological watershed trends.

There will be a no-host dinner at Anong’s before the program.  Please call Chuck Seniawski at 307-638-6519 if you plan to attend dinner.

September 22 – Birding at the Wyoming Hereford Ranch at 8:00 a.m.

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Western Kingbird, Courtesy of Mark Gorges

We leave from the parking lot between the Childrens’ Village at the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens and the new picnic shelter, 710 S. Lions Park Drive, at 8 a.m.

We will drive to the Hereford Ranch just east of Cheyenne where we will be looking for assorted late migrants passing through
and birds coming into the area for the winter. Bring water, clothes for changing weather, and a snack or lunch if you want.

Sign up with Grant Frost at 307-343-2024 so that we can let you know if the trip is canceled for some reason. Car pooling may be available. Let Grant know whether you will need a ride or if you can offer a ride. We should be done by noon.

September 25th – Board Meeting 7:00 p.m. in the Windflower Room at the Laramie County Library.  All are welcome!

September 28th – Cheyenne Country Club Survey 8:00 a.m.  Contact Chuck Seniawski to take part of this or to be on his email notice listing.  Chuck’s phone is 638-6519.

Yampa Valley Crane Festival – something for everyone

The Yampa Valley Crane Festival in Steamboat Springs CO (August 30 – September 2nd) was enjoyed by individuals of all ages and levels of birding experience.  For children, HawkQuest was there with raptors including a Bald Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, Barn Owl, and Great Horned Owl.  Staff and volunteers were available to teach about these birds of prey and to impart the important message of conservation to young attendees.

Participants also enjoyed a screening of “Free Like A Crane”.  This North American premiere was about crane migration from Estonia to Ethiopia.

Other Saturday Festival highlights included numerous bird walks and other events (registration required), “Optics 101 – Choosing the Right Binocular For You” and the key-note speaker Anne Lacy, Coordinator of Crane Research for the International Crane Foundation.

The drive to Steamboat Springs in early September was another highlight.  Colors are just beginning and promise to be spectacular as the month progresses.  Be sure to visit this lovely area before the snow begins!

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Photo by Patricia McDaniel, September 2018, near Walden, CO.  

 

Yampa Valley Crane Festival This Weekend!

sandhill-cranes2Why not take advantage of cooler weather, see the colors beginning to change in the mountains, and visit the Yampa Valley Crane Festival in Steamboat Springs and Hayden Colorado this weekend?   Welcome the cranes as they migrate south for the winter.

The festival began today, August 30th, and runs through Sunday, September 2nd.  Most of the events are free, thanks to sponsors, donors, partners and volunteers.

For more information about the festival and a full schedule of events, please click on “Schedule“.

August Dates To Remember

August is here and fall is in the air!  The Cheyenne-High Plains Audubon Society is gearing up for a wonderful fall season of outings, speakers, and birding news.  Here are some dates to remember in August.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESAugust 18th: Field Trip to Turtle Rock, Pole Mountain.  We will leave from the Cheyenne Botanic Garden’s Grand Conservatory parking lot at 8:00 a.m.  Please note that the Forest Service does have an access fee for each vehicle.  Bring water, clothes for changing weather, and a snack or lunch if you wish.  The hike is about 3 miles including up and down hills.  We should be back to town by 2:00 p.m.

We ask that all attendees contact Grant Frost (307-343-2024) so that we can let you know if the trip must be canceled.  We may be able to help with carpooling – please let Grant know if you need or can share a ride.

August 28th: CHPAS Board Meeting and pot-luck dinner at Barb and Mark’s house.  We welcome anyone who is interested in working with our Chapter.  If you wish to attend, please contact Barb or Mark at 307-634-0463.

August 31st: Cheyenne Country Club Survey 7:00 a.m.  Contact Chuck Seniawski to take part in this survey.  Chuck’s phone is 638-6519 or chuckski@aol.com.

$$$  Chapter Member Dues renew in August $$$  If you have been a chapter member in 2017-2018, you will receive an invitation to renew for the 2018-2019 season. People who have already renewed for the 18-19 year will not get the renewal notice. 

Dues are still $12 per household, but we are always happy when members make an additional contribution.  Your continued support helps to defray the cost of our presentations and provides important support in areas like conservation and environmental education.

If you are not currently a member and would like to join (or if you lost your renewal notice), send in your dues along with your name, mailing address and email addresses for anyone in your household who would like to be a member to. We hope you will chose to receive your monthly newsletter by email.

Bring your dues and information to a meeting or mail them to:

Cheyenne-High Plains Audubon Society
P.O. Box 2502
Cheyenne, WY 82003

Advocacy Alert! Public Comments needed by August 2nd – Sage Grouse Land Management Plans

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National Audubon Society.  Greater Sage-Grouse.  Photo by Tom Koerner/USFWS

Audubon of the Rockies, our regional office, is working with the National Audubon Society to protect Sage Grouse Lands throughout Wyoming and Colorado.  We recently had an advocacy victory when the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was passed with no sage-grouse riderGovernor Matt Mead was instrumental in persuading federal lawmakers not to include the sage-grouse rider in this defense bill.  Many Audubon members also worked tirelessly to contact their legislators about this important environmental issue.  Thank you all!  For more information about this bill see Audubon’s official statement available here:  The Sage-Grouse is Not A Threat to America’s Military.

Now we have another challenge to sage-grouse land management plans.  The Department of the Interior is considering weakening protections for sage-grouse on federal lands in Wyoming, breaking a deal that was made with Western stakeholders in 2015.  A formal public comment period has been opened and the deadline to comment is Thursday, August 2, 2018.

National Audubon has made it easy for you to comment.  Follow this *link* to the Audubon Action Center to learn more about the issue and to submit your comment.  Audubon provides a draft to help you learn about and comment on this issue, but please personalize your message if you can.  You can talk about your viewing of sage-grouse, your interest in keeping Wyoming lands protected, or any other personal detail.  Your personal note within the email will make it more valuable as we work to protect this fragile environment.

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Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge with Rabbitbrush in bloom

So we have one sage-grouse ecosystem win … but the fight continues.  Please comment today.

Your voice matters as we work to protect the natural beauty of Wyoming for our children and their children.  

 

Habitat Hero – Volunteers Needed!

habitat-hero-graphicCalling all Habitat Heroes!  Your help is needed on Monday, July 30th and/or Tuesday, July 31st to plant a Habitat Hero demonstration garden at the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens.

We will be planting in the morning, at 7:30 a.m., on both days, until noon or until the weather is too hot.   All you need to bring is a hand trowel.   If you have watering cans and can bring them, this would be a help too.

If you can help, please contact Barb Gorges at 307-287-4952.  If you can’t join us until Tuesday, please call first in the (unlikely) event that we finish planting on Monday.

What will we be planting?  Yarrow, Maximilian sunflowers, Blue mist spirea, Rudbeckia hirta, Coreopsis lanceolate, Penstemon eatonii, Gaillardia grandiflora, Aquilegia hybrida, Milkweed, and more!   All are welcome to help – experienced and beginners alike.  If you have questions, call Barb for more information.

 

 

Governor Matt Mead declares 2018 “Year of the Bird” in Wyoming

On Monday, July 9th, Governor Matt Mead declared 2018 “Year of the Bird” in Wyoming.  Governor Mead said “People from all over the world visit Wyoming, in part, for its wide open space and alluring landscapes…It is with partners like the National Audubon Society, who believe in collaboration, that we can ensure these special places and the bird species that live in them, are here for future generations to experience“.

We could not agree more!  Read more about his proclamation on the national Audubon website here.

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From left to right: John Kloster-Prew (Deputy Executive Director, Audubon Rockies), Governor Matt Mead, Alison Holloran (Executive Director, Audubon Rockies), and Kathy and Ted Rittle (Laramie Audubon Society members).  

July Events to Remember

Summer is upon us and birding continues!  Join us for these educational and enjoyable events in July.  You do not have to be an *expert* birder to attend our field trips or events.  We welcome novice birders and serious birders alike!

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A Hummingbird joins us for lunch at Miller Lake, 2016

Miller Lake Pot-Luck Lunch and Birding Event: July 21, 8:00 a.m.

Would you like to enjoy an idyllic day relaxing by a mountain lake?  This special field trip gives Audubon members the opportunity to visit Miller Lake, near Fox Park in the Snowies.  You will enjoy good food, good friendship, and great birding!

Bring a dish to share – hot dogs and hamburgers will be provided.  Bring folding chairs too and please be prepared for the weather.  There is no charge for attendance but those interested must call Grant Frost, Field Trip Chair at 307-343-2024 so that we know how many to expect and to help us reach you in case plans change.  Rides may be available – please let Grant know if you need a ride.

CHPAS would like to thank Don and Belinda Moench who are generously hosting the July field trip at their cabin.

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Birding at Miller Lake, 2016

Board Meeting: July 31, 7:00 p.m. Windflower Room, Laramie County Public Library.  Anyone is welcome to attend these meetings and CHPAS continually looks for members interested in serving on the Board of Directors.

Cheyenne Country Club Survey: August 3, 7:00 a.m.  This is a change from the typical last Friday in July.  Contact Chuck Seniawski to take part at chuckski@aol.com or call at 638-6519.

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Miller Lake, 2016

 

Of Prairie Birds and Rattlesnakes

On Saturday, June 16th, about 15 dedicated birders ventured north-east of Cheyenne for a Prairie Bird Adventure tour led by new Field Trip Chair Grant Frost.  What a great day!  This novice birder gained 8 new “life” birds and while a full list of birds viewed that day will be provided in the July newsletter, we wanted to share some highlights of the day.

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In search of Sandhill Cranes. Photo Courtesy of Lorie Chesnut

One of our first stops on the trip was to observe the Cassin’s sparrow.  We saw a number of these plain brown little birds flying up from the sage in a “skylarking” display.  In the same area (Road 47 near Hawk Springs), we also heard Grasshopper Sparrows and saw Common Nighthawk.

Further down the road, our caravan stopped to see this Prairie Rattler who was clearly annoyed but cooperatively posed for a few photos before slipping away into the brush.

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Prairie Rattler.  Photo Courtesy of Greg Johnson

Other highlights for this birder included a male and female Blue Grosbeak, Lark Bunting, Eastern and Western Kingbird, and a Say’s Phoebe.

But near the end of the trip, we were fortunate to see several Burrowing Owls.  Two were hunting in a Prairie Dog town and later, as we were heading home, a third elegantly posed for us on a fence post right by the road.  Could we really ask for more?

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Burrowing Owl. Photo Courtesy of Greg Johnson