June 24th – Library Garden Tour – All You Need To Know About Native Gardens!

Native NancyCurious about all of the activity over the past year on the grounds of the Laramie County Library?  Come by the Laramie County Library for “Hot Summer Nights with Native Nancy” and learn about why native gardens are important and how to start your own!

Join us on Thursday, June 24, at 6:30 p.m. in the southwest library parking lot.  Nancy Loomis will be there to explain the plantings and to advise on how to create your own Native Garden! 

This program is brought to you by the Laramie County Conservation District (LCCD).  Visit LCCD’s website to learn more about the many resources that they bring to our region. 

Wyoming Native Plant Society Annual Meeting – Laramie June 25-27, 2021

2020-08-02--DRC_0355The Wyoming Native Plant Society (WYNPS) meeting will be held in Laramie this year and will offer a number of guided plant hikes in the surrounding area.  Information about activities and the meeting schedule can be found at the following link:  2021 Annual Meeting.

This year the WYNPS returns to Laramie to explore vegetation from the basin to the alpine. Participants will also tour the Rocky Mountain Herbarium to see the largest collection of Rocky Mountain plants in the world! And, University of Wyoming botanists will share some insights on how plants survive the harsh conditions of Wyoming. Tour options will include local endemics Laramie columbine (Aquilegia laramiensis) and Laramie false sage (Artemisia simplex).

Read more about registration for the event at the 2021 Annual Meeting link provided above.

Cheyenne Big Day by Barb Gorges
Photo by Barb Gorges, Lions Park

Cheyenne Big Day Bird Count 2021 – Results

The weather was initially foggy and cool, but Cheyenne’s birding community prevailed! An estimated 30 people participated, submitting 74 bird lists over the day. One hundred thirty six (136) species were identified; a good day for Cheyenne Birders!

Read more about the Big Day results on Barb Gorges blog; Cheyenne Bird Banter. 

Thank you to everyone who came out to contribute!  Questions about how to submit to eBird?  Follow this National Audubon link which will provide you with detail and instructions.  You can always send your question to cheyenneaudubon@gmail.com too. 

Dates to Remember: June

Foothills Audubon Club 2021On June 5, CHPAS welcomed the Foothills Audubon Club from Colorado on their visit to the Wyoming Hereford Ranch.  A large group showed up and fun was had by all.  Our visitors were astounded by the Ranch and so grateful that we have this Important Bird Area (IBA) in our Chapter region.  CHPAS members make good use of this lovely area and are thankful for the Hales generous open-access policy.  This is truly a birdwatchers paradise! 

June 12 – Field Trip to Sybille Canyon

Picture1We will leave from the parking lot next to the Children’s Village at the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens at 7:00 a.m. Plan to caravan; carpooling will be at the discretion of each driver. We will head north on I-25 and west on WY-34, about 88 miles to Sybille Canyon and the Tom Thorn/Beth Williams Wildlife Habitat Management Area.

Continue reading “Dates to Remember: June”

Migration of Wyoming’s Burrowing Owls – A Murie Audubon Society Presentation

burrowing owlOn Thursday, May 20th, at 7:00 p.m., the Murie Audubon Society (Casper, WY) will be holding a Zoom meeting that will be of interest to many of our fellow birders. 

We are pleased to announce the May 20, 2021 program. The presentation itself is a collaborative effort sponsored by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Werner Wildlife Museum, and Murie Audubon Society.

Andrea Orabona is the statewide Nongame Bird Biologist for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s Nongame Program based in Lander and will be presenting the Zoom meeting. She is collaborating on this project with colleague Dr. Courtney Conway from the University of Idaho and his research partners from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

Recent developments in solar-powered GPS technology in the form of smaller transmitters are helping researchers collect data on the elusive seasonal migration and winter ranges of Burrowing Owls that nest in Wyoming during the summer months.  In the past few years, researchers have placed satellite transmitters on Burrowing Owls in western states. Unfortunately, many of those have died or their transmitters have stopped sending locations.  Owls outfitted with the new transmitters from Wyoming, along with other owls from western states and Canadian provinces, will add new data and hopefully new understating about these mysterious little birds.

The Burrowing Owl is classified as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need in Wyoming, making this full annual cycle conservation project extremely important. Andrea will discuss the need for this work, project objectives and methods, and results of Burrowing Owl migration thus far.

Werner Wildlife Museum will host this Zoom meeting as part of their Wildlife Study Series. The Werner programs are normally held at the Werner Wildlife on the third Thursday of each month at 7:00 p.m. and are free and open to the public. Due to social distancing precautions, this program will appear via Zoom on Thursday May 20, 2021.

Join the Murie Audubon Society for this special program!  To Join this Zoom Meeting click on this link:  https://caspercollege.zoom.us/j/96003724591?pwd=eVhDOU9TMTIyRWpOM0lPTmRaTUZlZz09

May Dates to Remember

Greater YellowlegsWelcome Spring!  May is an exciting month for us all, with birds arriving in Cheyenne almost daily as they migrate north to their breeding grounds.  CHPAS is celebrating with a number of events during May.  Here are dates for you to remember – join us! 

May 8, 8:00 a.m. – Joint Field Trip with the Laramie Chapter at Wyoming Hereford Ranch to Celebrate International Migratory Bird Day. 

We will meet at the Wyoming Hereford Ranch Headquarters at 8 a.m. We should be able to find some warbler species as well as migrating thrushes and other colorful migrating songbirds.  

Wear your mask when outside your vehicle with the group. Bring water and clothes for changing weather. We expect to be finished by noon, but you can leave whenever you need to. Please contact Grant Frost at 307-343-2024 if you plan to join us, so that we have a list and can let you know if the plans change for any reason such as bad weather.

May 14, 6:00 p.m. – Book Signing with Nathan Pieplow – Wyoming Hereford Ranch (WHR), 1101 Hereford Ranch Road. 

PieplowOur guest speaker in March, Nathan Pieplow, will join us for a little talk and book signing at the WHR. He will have copies of his “Peterson Field Guide to Bird Sounds of Western North America” available for purchase.

Thanks go to the Hales who are lending us use of the Horse Barn, diagonally across from the office which has a restroom.  Bring your lawn chair. If it is a nice evening, we’ll be out on the nearby lawn. If it is a nasty evening, we’ll be in the hayloft (stair access only). Bring your own refreshments.  You are welcome to arrive early and stay late to do a little birding—WHR is famous, especially among Wyoming and Colorado birders.

May 15, 6:30 a.m. – Annual Cheyenne Big Day Bird Count

Starting at Lions Park, we will cover birding hot spots throughout the Cheyenne area If you want to join us later than 6:30 a.m., please call Mark, 307-287-4953, to get a location update. We also encourage people to report all bird sightings during the 24 hour period beginning at midnight on the free app at eBird.org. The middle of May is the high point of the spring migration of birds to their nesting areas from their winter homes.  Look for more information in the May issue of CHPAS FLYER

May 22, 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.  – Greenway Cleanup

Cheyenne Audubon is hosting a Greenway cleanup event, Saturday May 22 as part of the 30th anniversary of thePerfect Tree Greenway. The public is invited to help. The starting location is the parking lot adjacent to the intersection of Van Buren Avenue and Laramie Street (just north of East Lincolnway and east of its intersection with Pershing Blvd.). Work will proceed to the north along Dry Creek.

Trash bags and light-weight gloves will be provided. Participants should wear sturdy footwear (preferably waterproof) and heavy gloves and bring rakes and hoes, if available, for fishing trash out of the creek. Masks and social distancing are recommended.

May 25, 7:00 p.m. – Virtual Board Meeting

Contact Terry Harper (cheyenneaudubon@gmail.com) if you would like to join us. 

May 28, 7:00 a.m. – Country Club Bird Survey

Contact Chuck Seniawski to take part or to be on his email notice list.  Chuck may be reached at 307-638-6519. 

April Events to Remember

r_Bullocks BeautyWelcome Migration! April is a wonderful month because our feathered friends are passing through this region. One such migrant is the Bullock’s Oriole. We enjoy watching them on our orange feeder. These are easy to make if you don’t already have one. Late April and May are the time what you are most likely to attract these colorful birds.  Sadly, they leave us to head further north and into more wooded areas.

Dates to Remember in April

Saturday, April 17th 5:30 AM – Field Trip Sage Grouse Lek off Rogers Canyon Road.  We will leave from the parking lot on the East side of the Wyoming Game and Fish Headquarters at 5:30 a.m. Plan to caravan, not carpool, north on Horse Creek Rd. then west on Rogers Canyon Rd., a total of about 60 miles one way. There will be some hiking on uneven ground. We hope to catch the grouse on their Lek right after sunrise. On the way back you should be able to do some birding along Rogers Canyon Rd.

Wear your mask when outside your vehicle with the group. Bring water and clothes for changing weather. We expect to be finished by 8 a.m., but you can leave whenever you need to. Please contact Grant Frost at 307-343-2024 if you plan to join us, so that we have a list of those expected and can let you know if the plans change for any reason such as poor driving conditions.

Mullen FireTuesday, April 20th 7:00 p.m. Zoom: The 2020 Mullen Fire and How it Might Change Wildlife Habitat in the Medicine Bow National Forest with Jesse McCarty.  

Jesse McCarty is a Laramie-based wildlife biologist with the forest.  On September 17, 2020, smoke reports were received by the Laramie Ranger District of the Medicine Bow National Forest in the area near Mullen Creek in the Savage Run Wilderness in the Snowy Range Mountains, approximately 35 miles west of Laramie.

The Mullen fire became the largest in the history of the Medicine Bow National Forest. The final acreage was 176,878 acres in Albany and Carbon counties in Wyoming and Jackson and Larimer counties in Colorado. What’s happening to the wildlife? What is the Forest Service doing after the wildfire?   Join us to learn more about the impact of this fire event today and in the future.  You are welcome to join us as early as 6:45 p.m.  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87081305204

Tuesday, April 27th 7:00 p.m. Virtual Board meeting.  Contact Terry Harper (cheyenneaudubon@gmail.com) if you would like to participate.  All are welcome. 

Friday, April 30th 7:00 a.m. Country Club Bird Survey.  Contact Chuck Seniawski to take part of to be on his email notice listing.  307-638-6519. 

March Field Trips and Meetings

red-winged-blackbird_arnold

Many of you attended and enjoyed Nathan Pieplow’s “The Language of Birds”.  We have been asked if the program was recorded and it was not.  We do hope to have Nathan join us in Cheyenne for a book-signing when the weather improves.  In the meantime, Nathan directed us to many resources at The Cornell Lab Bird Academy.  You can explore the companion sound library resources and learn more about how to visualize sounds. 

03.03.212Rowe

We hope that everyone came through Cheyenne’s 31 inch snows with a minimum of discomfort.  Remember that migration has started!  Rowe Sanctuary has a wonderful “Crane Cam” where you can enjoy seeing the Sandhill Cranes coming in at dusk and leaving at dawn.  Did you miss the perfect time of day to see the cranes?  You can roll back the video to watch the morning action or visit the “Gallery” on the site to see photos that have been taken.  Sign in and you can take photos like the one above, downloading them to your phone or computer.  It isn’t like being there but it is a great alternative! 

Field Trip to Bump Sullivan Wildlife Habitat – rescheduled!

This trip was moved from March 20th until Saturday, March 27th because of the blizzard.  We leave at 8:00 a.m.  All other previous instructions apply.  Please call Grant Frost at 307-343-2024 if you plan to attend.  We will not be carpooling but will form a car caravan because of COVID-19.  Important note – there is no gas once we leave Cheyenne, so make sure that your tank is full. 

Virtual Board Meeting – March 23rd, 7:00 p.m.  Contact Terry Harper at cheyenneaudubon@gmail.com if you would like to participate in the meeting or help to plan chapter activities. 

Country Club Bird Survey – March 26th, 8:00 a.m.  Call Chuck Seniawski to take part at 307-538-6519. 

“The Language of Birds” presented by Nathan Pieplow, March 16 7:00 p.m.

Update: Still on for Tuesday, 03/16/2021.  Thanks to Zoom, the snow won’t stop us.  Join us for the great presentation at 7:00 p.m.!

The Cheyenne – High Plains Audubon Society invites the public to a free, virtual presentation on “The Language of Birds” given by Nathan Pieplow, author of the Peterson Field Guide to the Bird Sounds of Western North America, https://earbirding.com. The Zoom program will begin at 7 p.m., Mar. 16. Find the link at https://cheyenneaudubon.wordpress.com.

red-winged-blackbird_arnold
Red-winged Blackbird by Pete Arnold

The chapter hopes to have Pieplow come up to Cheyenne for a book signing late spring or early summer.

In this presentation, Pieplow unlocks the secrets of bird language. You’ll listen in on the pillow talk of a pair of Red-winged Blackbirds and learn the secret signals that Cliff Swallows use when they have found food. You’ll learn how one bird sound can have many meanings, and how one meaning can have many sounds—and how, sometimes, the meaning isn’t in the sounds at all.

Growing up in South Dakota, Pieplow got started identifying bird songs by studying the classic “Birding by Ear” field guides in the Peterson series.  It wasn’t until 2003, when he faced the frustrations of studying sounds for his first trips to Mexico and Costa Rica, that he became dedicated to finding new and better ways to learn, describe,  and catalog bird sounds.  Along the way he became a sound recordist and an amateur ethologist (a student of animal behavior).

He lives in Boulder, Colorado, where he teaches writing and rhetoric at the University of Colorado. He is a former editor of the quarterly journal Colorado Birds and one of the developers of the Colorado County Birding Website and the Colorado Birding Trail.

Access the program on the evening of March 16, 7 p.m. by clicking here:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85863955431. You are welcome to join 15 minutes early.

February – Dates to Remember

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Don’t forget to feed our feathered friends during this cold weather that is expected to dip into the negative ranges this in mid-February!  They will appreciate your thoughtfulness – and you can participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count at the same time! 

Dates to Remember

February 12 – 15 Great Backyard Bird Count.  Participating is easy, fun to do alone, or with others, and can be done anywhere you find birds. Simply watch birds for 15 minutes or more, at least once over the four days, February 12-15, 2021,and tell eBird what you see! The Great Backyard Bird Count uses eBird, one of the world’s largest nature-databases with more than 100 million bird sightings contributed each year and used by professionals for science and conservation. Contribute your lists to eBird and become a citizen scientist.

greater-sage-grouse-vyn-120329-0527_web_0February 16 7:00 p.m.  Zoom Presentation: Update on Sage-Grouse Conservation by Vicki Herren. Vicki is the recently retired Bureau of Land Management National Sage-Grouse Coordinator who is still contracted to help with sage-grouse plans. She will discuss how every Friday, she joins a group of sage-grouse biologists, researchers and managers from across the west to ensure that the Sage-Grouse Conservation Assessment will describe the wide variety of efforts underway to manage populations and habitats to keep them from being listed under the Endangered Species Act. 

Access the program on Zoom using this link:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82977852481

February 20, 8:00 a.m. – Field Trip to Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge.  We will tour the visitors center in Commerce City, Colorado,and look for bison, prairie dogs, bald eagles, other raptors and other wintering birds on the refuge. There should be open water for viewing waterfowl and gulls. We will leave from the Lions Park parking lot at the Children’s Village at 8 a.m. We will drive south on I-25 to the Arsenal; it is about an hour and a half drive.We should return by 3 p.m., but you can leave whenever you need to. Bring water and your lunch, if you like.  If you are interested in going, contact Mark Gorges, 307-287-4953, so that we have a list of those expected, and can let you know if the plans change for any reason such as poor driving conditions or very cold temperatures.  

February 23, 7:00 p.m. – Virtual Board Meeting. Contact Terry Harper at cheyenneaudubon@gmail.com if you would like to participate. 

February 26, 8:00 a.m. – Country Club Bird Survey.  Contact Chuck Seniawski at 307-638-6519 if you would like to participate.