Had two Rose-breasted Grosbeaks take a pit-stop to our feeders for some bird chow. Got close enough to watch the beaks work over some sunflower seeds. Amazing to see the beaks and tongue in action. A first of year for our feeders. -Harry
Clark’s Corner/Bates Creek. Casper, WY
There will be a field trip to Rawhide WHMA and Table Mountain WHMA on May 21st. We will leave from the Mernard’s parking lot at 5 AM. This will be an all-day field trip. You will need to pack a lunch and a water bottle. There are about 3 spots left in the van for this trip. However, you are more than welcome to follow the van in your personal vehicle! If you have interest in this field trip, contact Zach Hutchinson at email@example.com.
Monday, May 30. We will have a field trip to Little Red Creek, leaving at 8:00AM from the Game and Fish parking lot. There will be some walking, but you can get good birds without much effort. We should be back about noon. This trip is dependent on dry roads, so if you have any questions call Stacey Scott at 262-0055.
Kent and Meg Sundell return on May 13 to share part of their July 2015 trip to Africa; this program will concentrate on their time in Namibia.
They travelled with a small diverse group of mostly repeat travelers. This trip was billed as more of a cultural trip compared to the specifically wildlife trip in 2012; however, with a former zoo curator, several working ecologists, geologist, pharmacy Ph.D. and everyone being bird and wildlife enthusiasts, the trip focused as much or more on wildlife. While not billed as a wildlife viewing trip they saw many species daily, including the elusive aardwolf and the ubiquitous Oryx.
As always, Kent and Meg will educate as well as entertain, so don’t miss this last program before our summer break. The program will be on Friday, May 13, 2016, at 7 PM at the Oil & Gas Conservation Commission Building at 2211 King Blvd. And as always, the program is free and open to the public!!
Program Chair—Bruce Walgren
This year Audubon Rockies is planning a region-wide birding fund raiser to support the Community Naturalist program which includes our own Zach Hutchinson. This event will be held during the week of May 8-15 with teams all the way from Devils Tower south to Pagosa Springs. I am hoping to enlist more birding teams in Wyoming to join with Audubon Rockies staff, board and other volunteers to solicit pledges from friends, neighbors, relatives, and anyone who owes you a favor, to support this event and help expand the Community Naturalist program into more schools and more outdoor activities for kids and adults.
The way this works is that if you are willing to help, you put together a small team to contact prospective donors to make a pledge to Audubon Rockies of an amount per-species that your team identifies on any 24-hour period during that second week of May; anything from $.10 to $10 per bird that you and your team identify that day, either by sight or sound. Or your donors can make a direct gift to Audubon Rockies, but that takes some of the fun out of it. The real goal here is not how many species you see but rather how many sponsors you can get. Audubon Rockies can supply you with a sample solicitation letter, pledge form, a spread-sheet form for tracking pledges, gifts and payments. The Fort Collins regional office will keep track of donations as they come in, send acknowledgements and tax receipts to your donors, and keep you informed of donations that go straight to the office so that you can personally thank them. And I will be available with advice from past experience doing this.
So, I encourage you to get involved by letting me know if you are interested by contacting me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. I am hoping that region wide, we can raise enough to fund one Community Naturalist staff position.
The annual Sage-Grouse strutting field trip is Saturday, April 9. We will meet at 5:30 AM at the Eastside Ridley’s in Casper, Wyoming (used to be Safeway) parking lot. We will visit the Hat 6 Lek. Hopefully there are still birds on this lek. The houses are closing in, and the birds are being pushed off. I am, also, counting birds on some of the Two-Bar leks, and if anyone would like to come along or want more details on the field trip, call me at 262-0055. These counts are good weather only, so I do most of them during the week. If I don’t return your call, try again. My ears are no longer good enough to hear the cell phone over the tractor. Contact – Stacey Scott
There will be a field trip on April 16th to visit a private Greater Sage-Grouse lek. This field trip has not been set as of this newsletter.
Finally, there will be a field trip to Rawhide WHMA and Table Mountain WHMA on May 21st. If you have interest in these two field trips, contact Zach Hutchinson at email@example.com.