FeaturedMurie Audubon General Meeting and Program on April 11th, 2024

Murie Audubon Presents

It’s ?tting that during our spring bird migration, Will Robinson will be our guest speaker to inform us about the migration of the giant honey bees (Apis dorsata) in Thailand. And just like the ungulates and birds more familiar to us here, the honey bees travel the same route each year, following the food sources as they become available across the land. What started as a sabbatical for Robinson, has turned into four trips, in 2009, 2010, 2016, and 2023. On the latest trip that ended in December of 2023, Robinson and his wife, Maria Katherman, were working with the World Wildlife Fund to protect the migratory bee stopover site he identi?ed on their ?rst trip. On his original trip, Robinson soon found that what appeared to be large hives were in fact large clumps of bees hanging from trees as “bivouacs” while they rested during migration. And just as Wyoming has learned the importance of preserving migratory routes for mule deer, he feels the same approach should be applied to bees. Similar to the experience many of us have had observing the Sandhill Cranes or large ?ocks of geese, Robinson shared that “It’s absolutely incredible to have an entire group of 50,000 bees ?y right over your head. The adrenaline rush is like nothing I’ve ever experienced. It is soul stirring.” Robinson’s presentations are always excellent, and we hope that you may join us for this free talk on April 11, 2024 at 7 p.m., at the Izaak Walton Clubhouse, at 4205 Fort Caspar Road.
Bruce Walgren

FeaturedMurie Audubon General Meeting and Program on February 8th, 2024

Dr. Bryan Shuman (Ph.D. and Sc.M. in Geological Sciences, Brown University), Professor and Wyoming Excellence Chair in Geology and Geophysics at the University of Wyoming (UW) will present a program on Wyoming’s climate. Shuman has taught at UW since 2007 and uses geological evidence to examine how past climate changes affected water and ecosystems. A central theme of his research is reconstructing the temperature, precipitation, and vegetation history of North America since the last ice age based on evidence from lake sediments. The work uses fossils, physical sedimentology, geophysics and geochemical techniques to determine the full spectrum of natural climate variation, evaluate climate model projections about the past, gain insight into how water and ecosystems respond to climate change, and provide context for the archaeological record. Recent projects have examined the histories of wildfire and the snow-pack in the Rocky Mountains over past millennia to anticipate climate impacts on society and landscapes today. Shuman has written over 120 peer-reviewed scientific publications on related topics. He has also built upon this research background to co-lead the 2021 Greater Yellowstone Climate Assessment.

Come hear about Dr. Shuman’s research at the Murie Audubon free talk on February 8th,
2024 at 7 p.m., at the Izaak Walton Clubhouse, at 4205 Fort Caspar Road.

Murie Audubon General Meeting and Program on March 14th, 2024


Last month, I presented a history (including Wild Turkeys) of a few select species of birds that are found in Natrona County, Wyoming. Brandon Werner, a Wildlife Biologist with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department in Casper will present our program to bring us up to date about Wild Turkeys in Wyoming. Brandon will also tell us about efforts to trap and relocate turkeys here in Casper to more appropriate habitat. The history of wild turkeys in Wyoming dates back to 1935 when the Wyoming Game and Fish Department traded sage grouse with New Mexico for 15 Merriam’s turkeys, nine hens, and six toms. The birds were released on a ranch on Cottonwood Creek in Platte County in the spring of 1935, and were reported to lure some of the ranch’s domestic turkeys with them into the Laramie Mountains. By 1947, the wild turkey population was estimated to number over 1,000. Other reintroduction attempts across the state weren’t very successful, until birds were sowed into the fertile habitat of the Black Hills in 1951-52. Thirty-three Platte County turkeys, along with 15 more New Mexico transplants, found new roosts near Redwater Creek in the northwest Black Hills. They probably combined forces with some transplants that strayed over from South Dakota releases, and the introduction served as the foundation for Wyoming’s most recognized turkey hunt area. In 1955, hunters began harvesting the wild turkeys. The ?rst report of Wild Turkeys on the Casper Christmas Bird Count was in 1988, when 25 birds were tallied. Turkeys were reported periodically in subsequent years until 1999, when they began to be reported each year. In 2006, 194 turkeys were counted, and each year since then they have been plentiful (288 this year). Turkeys have done well enough that they are very common within the city limits of Casper. So common, in fact, that in August 2023 it became illegal to feed turkeys in Casper to try to manage the turkey population, and mitigate the negative effects caused by its growth. It will be interesting to see how the turkey population may respond to the ordinance against feeding them. To learn more about Wild Turkeys, come to the Murie Audubon free talk on March 14, 2024 at 7 p.m., at the Izaak Walton Clubhouse, at 4205 Fort Caspar Road.
Bruce Walgren

Matheson Creek Bird Survey

We will meet at Eagle Ridge Ranch at 6:45 AM to survey the birds along Matheson Creek.  This should be an interesting comparison to the survey of Garden Creek in Casper.  We will walk to the starting point and plan on starting about 7:00 AM.  Call Stacey Scott at (307)262-0055 for more details.

Garden Creek Bird Survey

We will meet at 7:00 AM at Adams Park to walk down Garden Creek to Nancy English Park.  Every bird heard or seen will be recorded so we can compare the birds along Garden Creek to Matheson Creek that is on Eagle Ridge Ranch.  Since I moved to town, I have been amazed by the difference in the birds in town and out in the country.  This should give us some real numbers. Call Stacey Scott at (307)262-0055 for more details.

Little Red Creek

Meet at 8:00 AM at the Game and Fish Parking Lot for a trip to Little Red Creek.  This is a different habitat, and has lots of different birds from what you can find on the north side of the mountain.  The usual birds are Gray and Dusky Flycatchers, Violet-green Swallows, White-throated Swifts, Virginia’s and Black-throated Gray Warblers, Chats (we usually get great views of this bird that prefers the other side of the bush from you), both towhees, Lazuli Buntings and Song Sparrows.  Quite frequently we will find something else that is very interesting.  If people still have the energy, we can stop by The Dirty Shirt Woods for the Plumbeous Vireo.  While I would like to get back around noon, if the birding is good, most people would be better off to bring lunch and water.  The road to Little Red Creek is dirt and nearly impossible if there is any rain.  For this trip, it is best to either call Stacey Scott at (307)262-0055 or look at this website before driving to the Game and Fish.

EKW Bird Walk

We will meet at 8:00 AM near the Platte River Shelter at EKW for a walk around the park.  This shelter is one nearest the river, and the Osprey nest pole.  This is near the peak of warbler migration, so there is real potential for seeing some interesting birds.  I plan on finishing about 10:00 AM, but that depends on how good the birding is.  Call Stacey Scott at (307)262-0055 for more information, or if you miss us at the start and want to find the group.

EKW Bird Walk

Every Tuesday in May we will meet at 8:00 AM at the Platte River shelter at EKW for a walk around the park.  This should cover the migration and the transition to the nesting birds.  Call Stacey Scott at (307)262-0055 for more information or to find the group if you miss us at the start.