Murie Audubon will conduct the 76th annual Casper Christmas Bird Count on December 16, 2023. Last year 68 people (46 observers in the field and 22 feeder watchers) helped to find and count 14,981 birds representing 63 species inside a 15-mile diameter circle encompassing most of the Casper area. We can use lots of help for this project – 177 square miles is a lot of ground to cover. The Center of the circle is near the vicinity of the junction of Coates Rd and Prairie Rd. Generally the boundaries are: the east boundary is Wyoming Blvd, the west boundary is Speas Fish Hatchery, the north boundary is just beyond exit 191 on I-25 north, and the south boundary is the south edge of Casper Mountain including parts of Circle Drive.
You don’t have to be an expert birder to participate; we need lots of eyes and ears, and we need people to help record data, and to help drive. And we need feeder watchers to report what they have at their feeders, so if you live within the boundaries of the circle, have a bird feeder, and would like to participate, please contact us. On the day of the count, participants are asked to meet at the SonRise Room of the First United Methodist Church, 302 East 2nd Street in Casper at 7 AM for instructions, maps, carpooling and area assignments. At 5 PM, we will meet again at SonRise Room for a potluck dinner, and tabulation of the day’s data. Please contact Stacey Scott at 262-0055 or Bruce Walgren at 234-7455 (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
Our November program will be all about the Tate Geological Museum at Casper College. J. P. Cavigelli, Collections Manager / Field Operations & Prep Lab Manager at the Tate will be our guest speaker. JP will talk about the exciting projects that the Tate Museum has been working on since Covid, more or less. While Dee the Mammoth and Lee Rex are the Tate’s superstars, there are so many other character actors and extras involved in the show. Dinosaurs and, oh, so much more from Wyoming’s varied geological past. Ichthyosaurs, crocodiles, mammals, and maybe even a bird or two. JP has talked to us on several previous occasions, and for those who don’t know him, he came to Casper in 2004 Before coming to the Tate, he worked on and off in paleontology for 14 years, doing ?eld work as well as a two year post as the collections manager for the University of Wyoming Department of Geology and Geophysics. He has had the good fortune of having been invited to join international paleontological expeditions to Mongolia, Niger (twice), Tanzania (twice), northern Alaska, and North Dakota. The public and Audubon members are invited to come to the Murie Audubon free talk on November 9, 2023 at 7 p.m., at the Izaak Walton Clubhouse, at 4205 Fort Caspar Road.
We’d love to get as many people as possible to attend this fun-filled event. We’d like to think of this as a membership drive, to encourage people to find out more about Murie Audubon, and potentially join. There will be cash prizes awarded to the winner of each round. There may even be an extra special bird identification bingo round.
Please, invite all your friends (as long as they are 21 or older)! We’d love to have a packed house!
We will meet at 9:00 AM at the Game and Fish Parking lot for a trip to Gray Reef and Alcova Dam. Gray Reef usually has some open water, which attracts over wintering waterfowl. This is a great way to add to your year’s list that you started on the Bates Hole Count. Call Stacey Scott at 307-262-0055 for more information.
Start the New Year off right by joining us for the Bates Hole Christmas Bird Count. This is one of the few truly rural Christmas Counts in the country, and a really great way to start the New Year. While it can be cold, it is usually clear and calm in Bates Hole which is a real contrast with the windy and cold that is normal in Casper on January 1. With little to no wind, the snow just sitting on top of the sagebrush is really beautiful. So join us for a fun day, or half a day it that is all the time you have. Call Stacey Scott at 307-262-0055 or Charlie Scott at 307-473-2512 for more information.
The 76th Casper Christmas Bird Count will be a fun time for all. We have all sorts of parties from driving around Casper to a very energetic group looking for grouse on Casper Mountain to those counting their own feeders. We need everyone. Counting all the birds in our 15 mile diameter circle requires as many people as we can get to join us. We will have more details in the future.
We will meet at 8:00 AM at the Game and Fish Parking lot for a trip to Casper Mountain. The weather will dictate where we actually go. This is a nice time for a walk in the woods, and even if it snows it is really nice. This will probably be a very energetic hike that should end about noon. Call Stacey Scott at 307-262-0055 for more information.
We will meet at 9:00 AM at the west end of Reshaw Park to look for migrating sparrows. Last year we had White-crowned, White-throated, Harris’, and Song Sparrows in the middle of October. If people are interested, we will go to EKW afterwards. Call Stacey Scott at 307-262-0055 for more information
Ormsby Road is a great road for seeing Short-eared and Burrowing Owls. If anyone is interested in going out there to see what is there, give Stacey Scott a call at 307-262-0055 and we will find a time that works.
Eagle Ridge (the geologists call it Emigrant Gap Anticline) is a good raptor flyway, but the hawks don’t fly down it all the time. Last year I had 8 raptor species on September 22, but only 2 on the following Saturday and none a few days after that. I suspect that the weather, primarily the strength of the southwest wind, has a huge effect on the number of hawks using the flyway, but I haven’t been out there enough to know how, or if, you can predict whether it is good hawk flying weather. I am going to try to spend more days on the ridge this September, and anyone is welcome to join me. Give me, Stacey Scott, a call at 307-262-0055 if you are interested.