Birdathon – May 9 – 22

Dear Friend of Audubon!

At Audubon Rockies, we are celebrating spring with a statewide Birdathon! This spring will represent the FIRST annual Birdathon held by the Casper Community Naturalist, Zach Hutchinson. This will incorporate the Birdathon previously held by Audubon Rockies Board Member, Bart Rea. We hope to count on your support for our Community Naturalist Program this year.

We will count birds to support our programmatic efforts – bringing STEM education, teacher trainings, citizen science projects, and MAPS Bird Banding to people of all ages across Wyoming. By providing opportunities for students, teachers, and families to get outdoors and experience our local landscapes, we are helping them develop a deeper understanding of our natural world and empowering them to make a positive difference in their communities.

With the help of people like you – our Birdathon sponsors – our Big Day will allow us to expand and improve our education efforts.

Here’s how it works: between May 9th & May 22nd, Zach’s volunteer team will race against the clock to tally as many bird species as possible in one 24-hour day. Zach’s count will run from the Wind River Range to the Thunder Basin. When Zach is finished, he will calculate his Total Species Count. That is where you come in! Just fill out and return the form below to pledge a certain amount per bird species seen (the gambler’s option) or to contribute a fixed amount of your choice. Once the Birdathon is complete, Zach will send you a report of all the birds observed.

We are very grateful for whatever you can pledge, whether it’s 50 cents, $2 or even $10 per species. The more you give, the more resources we have to continue our award-winning education programs. It will also ensure we can continue to protect birds, other wildlife, and their habitats across the Rocky Mountain Region!

Thanks for being a friend of Audubon Rockies. We hope we can count on your support!

AUDUBON ROCKIES – 2017 BIRDATHON COUNT ME IN!

I pledge $____________ Per Species for the Name Total Species Count.

Please bill me for my donation. _____

__  I’d prefer to make the enclosed gift of $________

__I’m enclosing a check payable to Audubon Rockies.

__I will pay electronically at Audubon Rockies secure website: rockies.audubon.org/donate.

Street:_______________________________________

City/State/Zip:________________________________

Email:_______________________________________

Phone:_______________________________________

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Field Trip

May 5th & 6th Fontanelle Reservoir Field Trip.  Contact Zach at zhutchinson@audubon.org or 267-7560.

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May General Meeting

Conserving Wildlife in a Boom and Bust State: Wildlife Conservation and Energy Development in Wyoming

Amanda Withroder, a staff biologist with the Wyoming Game and Fish Habitat Protection Program, will present “Conserving Wildlife in a Boom and Bust State: Wildlife Conservation and Energy Development in Wyoming” on Friday May12 at 7 p.m. at the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission Building at 2211 King Blvd. The talk is free and open to the public.

Withroder, who grew up in eastern Pennsylvania, has a BA in Political Science and a MA in International Studies and Environmental and Natural Resources. She started working for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department in 2010 where her program is responsible for environmental commenting on development proposals of all types and sizes. The goal is to work with project proponents to avoid and minimize impacts to wildlife as much as possible, and to mitigate if needed. She spends a lot of time working with other state and federal agencies on large energy development projects, and to ensure that we have a process in place to adequately consider the needs of wildlife. She also works with project proponents on implementation of the State’s sagegrouse conservation strategy. In a state that is dependent upon energy development, and also is home to an amazing array of wildlife, it is sometimes hard to strike a balance that benefits both. The job of finding that balance falls in part on Withroder. She will discuss how Wyoming Game and Fish coordinates with state and federal agencies, industry, and other stakeholders to reduce the impacts of energy development on wildlife in Wyoming.

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Sage-Grouse Watching in April

Last year the Hat-6 Lek had no Sage-Grouse. That eliminated the easiest place around Casper to see strutting Sage-Grouse. Now to see this spectacular display, you will have to go to a non-public lek. As part of Murie’s contribution to counting Sage-Grouse leks, I count two leks three times each during April and the first few days of May. I am willing to take up to 5 people with me on a first come first serve basis. The weather has to be dry so that we don’t tear up the dirt roads, so I cannot plan very many days in advance. I leave the ranch about 5:00 AM (as April progresses I leave earlier) and plan to get back about 3 hours later. Call me, Stacey Scott, if you are interested. Call before 8:00 PM (I go to bed early) at 262-0055.

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April Program Meeting

Identiflight and Windfarms?

As most of us know, wind farms do kill some raptors, and other birds and bats. But technology is contributing to the conservation of eagles at windfarms with IdentiFlight®, a machine vision system being tested at the Top of the World windfarm in Rolling Hills, WY. Tom Hiester, Senior Vice-President, Strategy, for RES (Renewable Energy Systems), leads the IdentiFlight® technology development, and he will describe the technology, its status of deployment, and testing. Tom has nearly 40 years in the renewable energy business as a project and technology developer. IdentiFlight is high-precision optical technology used to detect eagles and protect them from collisions with rotating wind turbine blades. Automatic detection of birds, and the determination if it is an eagle, occur within seconds for eagles flying anywhere within a one kilometer hemisphere around the IdentiFlight tower. If an eagle’s speed and flight path indicate risk of collision with a wind turbine, a signal is generated to shut down that specific wind turbine, so that the probability of impact with rotating turbine blades is substantially reduced or eliminated. By empowering wind farm operators with signals to make highly targeted, informed and objective curtailment decisions, unnecessary and costly interruptions are avoided and legally protected species are conserved. The eagle photo was taken with the IndentiFlight system at about 700 meters. The program will be on Friday, April 14, 2017 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!!

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