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).  
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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

Reminder! Prairie Bird Tour, Saturday June 16th 8:00 a.m.

Meet at Cheyenne Botanic Garden’s Grand Conservatory parking lot at 8:00 a.m.

Our field trip will take us north near Yoder where we will look for 2018-06-09--DSCF2577Upland Sandpipers, Burrowing Owls, and Longspurs.

Bring water and a lunch.  Please dress for the weather.  Call Grant Frost at 307-343-2024 so that we know that you are coming.

As always, our birding trips are free and open to anyone who wishes to join us.  Children are welcome!  We love instilling the love of nature into young minds.  Come one, come all.

June Dates to Remember

After a wonderful spring of birding and planting our Habitat Hero garden at the Board of Public Utilities, we look forward to several field trips and activities in June.

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Indian Paintbrush

We would also like to welcome Grant Frost, our new Field Trip Chair.  He has planned a wonderful “Prairie Bird Tour” for June 16th.  See more information below and in our June Flyer Newsletter, posted on our website.

Activities in June

  • June 16, 2018.  Prairie Bird Tour.  Meet at Cheyenne Botanic Garden’s Grand Conservatory parking lot at 8:00 a.m.  Our field trip will take us north near Yoder where we will look for Upland Sandpipers, Burrowing Owls, and Longspurs.  Bring water and a lunch.  Please dress for the weather.  Call Grant Frost at 307-343-2024 so that we know that you are coming.
  • June 26, 2018.  Board Meeting 7:00 p.m.  Laramie County Public Library.  We welcome anyone to attend and we need more Audubon Board Members.  Please join us!
  • June 29, 2018.  Cheyenne Country Club Survey 7:00 a.m.  All are welcome but please make sure to contact Chuck Seniawski to take part.  We arrange for golf carts for the survey.

Other Activities of Note in June

  • June 22-24 – Wyoming Bio Blitz at the Tensleep Nature Preserve near Tensleep, Wyoming.  For more information, see their website: Wyoming Bio Blitz

More summer activities are listed in our June newsletter

Habitat Hero Demonstration Garden Event a Huge Success!

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Many thanks to everyone who joined us today at the Board of Public Utilities (BOPU) Habitat Hero Demonstration Garden planting event.  It was a huge success by all standards with lovely weather, healthy plants, and many opportunities to learn.  Gardening experts joined with gardening novices to learn planting techniques, how to irrigate a garden, and more.  Several aspiring young gardeners helped with important jobs including filling water buckets and hauling water to and from the planting site.

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We want to thank our friends at BOPU, Audubon Rockies, Star Cake Plants, Gardening with Altitude, Laramie County Master Gardeners, Community Wildlife Habitat, and Zak George Landscaping for making this event a success.

 

And, of course, this could not have happened without our local volunteers who came out today and weeks before the event, to prepare the site for planting.  Now join us to watch our garden grow.  More information will be on the BOPU website about the flowers and plants selected.  Cheyenne-High Plains Audubon will post periodic update photos so that you can see our garden grow.

Remember … “Bee” Smart, Water Smart Cheyenne!     Bee-2

Cheyenne’s Habitat Hero Demonstration Garden Needs YOU on Saturday, June 2nd!

Bee-Smart-05Join us for a very special event tomorrow (Saturday, June 2nd) at the Board of Public Utilities building located on 2416 Snyder Avenue.

The event will begin at 9:30 am and end once all 400 plants have been planted.  This family friendly event will provide you with a hands on experience how to “bee” smart; water smart.  We will plant rain or shine!

During portions of the event, the garden designer from Star Cake Plants will be present along with a hands on irrigation demonstration from Zak George Landscaping and some experts from the Laramie County Master Gardeners. Audubon Rockies will have a kid friendly booth and educational materials ranging from the Cheyenne-High Plains Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation, Gardening with Altitude, Laramie Conservation District, Rooted in Cheyenne, the Board of Public Utilities 75th anniversary, Cheyenne Botanical Gardens and more will be available. Throw your name in to win some fabulous door prizes too. You don’t have to be present to win but you must get your hands in the soils and planted a plant.

Please bring your garden gloves, trowel or any other favorite tools for installing plants if you have any.  Otherwise, some gardening tools will be available to share.

Come join us at the Board of Public Utilities building tomorrow morning and get your hands dirty for a very good cause!

Cheyenne Big Day Bird Count Postponed until Sunday, May 20th due to rain

Greg Johnson, compiler for the Cheyenne – High Plains Audubon Society, looked at the forecast for Saturday–cold, rain, more rain, and decided since few birds and birders will show up under those conditions, we will reschedule for Sunday.
Birds can be counted between midnight and midnight in roughly the same area as our Christmas Bird Count circle which is 7.5 miles radius centered on the Capitol. Historically, the count is about counting the number of bird species, but these days we also try to report each segment of the day as an eBird checklist.
You can bird on your own anywhere within the circle on May 20 and report your bird list to Mark Gorges (our compiler, Greg, will be out of town), mgorges@juno.com, 307-287-4953, or attend the tally meeting Tuesday, May 22, 7 p.m., Windflower Room, 3rd floor, Laramie County Public Library, 2200 Pioneer Ave.

Or you can join us for all or part of our group birding–especially recommended for beginning birdwatchers. We will meet at Lions Park at 6:30 a.m. in the parking lot in front of the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens Grand Conservatory, 710 S. Lions Park Drive. We will bird the park for about 2 hours. before moving on to the Wyoming Hereford Ranch, Hereford Ranch Road, on the east edge of Cheyenne (afterwards, potty and snack stop at the Pilot truck stop on Campstool Road) and then finishing up at the High Plains Grasslands Research Station on the west edge of town, in early afternoon. You can leave at any time.
If you want to start later than 6:30 a.m., call Mark, 307-287-4953, to get our current location.

Saturday, May 19th – Cheyenne Audubon Big Day Bird Count

6:30 a.m., or join us later, or bird on your own in the Cheyenne area
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.Birders
We also encourage people to report to Mark (307-634-0463) all bird sightings during the 24 hour period beginning at midnight. The middle of May is the high point of the spring migration of birds to their nesting areas from their winter homes.
We will leave from the Lions Park parking lot by the Children’s Village to hike around the park for about an hour or two. We will then head to the Wyoming Hereford Ranch. At about lunch time we will head out to the Agricultural Research Station and the Arboretum west of the Air Force Base.
Bring a lunch or pick one up on the way; bring water and dress for variable weather. Everyone, no matter what your birding skills, is invited. Bring binoculars if you have them.
The more eyes we have, the more birds we will see. We may finish the planned routes by 3 p.m. However you can join us for as long as you can, and leave when you need to.
May 20 – Big Day Tally Party and Potluck
5 p.m. – Please call Greg Johnson, 307-634-1056, if you plan to attend.

Monday, May 14th: Noah Strycker and “Birding Without Borders”

Join us for a very special birding event sponsored by the Cheyenne-High Plains Audubon Society and the Laramie County Library.  STRYCKER_inantarctica

6:30 p.m. – Social Time and an opportunity to participate in a book sale and book signing with Noah.

7:00 p.m. – presentation “An Epic World Big Year”.  Strycker’s book, “Birding Without Borders,” and his humorous and inspiring presentation, will leave you with a new appreciation for the birds and birders of the world.

All taking place at the Laramie County Library, Cottonwood Room, 2200 Pioneer Avenue, Cheyenne, WY.  As always, free and open to the public.