Murie Audubon General Meeting and Program on May 9, 2024

Murie Audubon Presents

Murie Audubon invites members and the public for a talk May 9, 7 p.m., at the Izaak Walton Clubhouse, 4205 Fort Caspar Road, featuring University of Wyoming students Emily Shertzer researching bird tracking technology and Katie Schabron monitoring window collisions. Speaker Emily Shertzer is a PhD student in Anna Chalfoun’s lab studying the impacts of energy development on survival and ?tness across the full annual cycle in sagebrush-obligate songbirds. She will discuss her research using Motus and geolocators for tracking. Speaker Katie Schabron is a senior at the university studying zoology, focusing on bird window strikes on low-rise buildings on campus and how traits of different species impact how often they strike. They will also highlight the new UW WYOBIRD program (Wyoming Bird Initiative for Resilience and Diversity) a goal of which is to build avian ecology skillsets in UW students through hands-on experiences like a fall migration banding station and tree swallow nest box monitoring.
Bruce Walgren

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

Murie 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 & Program, 9 November, 2023

Murie Audubon Presents – What’s up at the Tate?

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.

J. P Cavigelli and Bruce Walgren


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!

Murie Audubon General Meeting & Program, 11 May, 2023


Join us for a special presentation by Alan Corey as he debunks misconceptions about lighting and how to light your path more efficiently. The Light Pollution” program will be held on Thursday, May 11 at 7 PM at the Izaak Walton Clubhouse at the Fort Caspar Campground, 4205 Fort Caspar Road. Corey is the president of the Great Plains Astronomical Community. We live in a world of perpetual artificial light and it is causing big problems with human health, wildlife, and the environment. We call this artificial light “light pollution” and it is widely seen as a result of industrial civilization, but it doesn’t have to be. Artificial light is wreaking havoc on the natural body rhythms of both humans and wildlife and it affects the physiological processes in nearly every life-form on Earth. This discussion will focus on what light pollution is, what form it takes, where it comes from, and what we can do to lessen our impact. This program is free and open to the public.
Bruce Walgren-Program Chair

Murie Audubon General Meeting & Program, 13 April, 2023

The Casper Mountain Science Program will present an overview of the program on April 13th, 2023. Eric Reish, the program director of CMSP (and possibly some staff), will share an overview of the program and its history going back to the start in 2007. Included will be a summary of who the program reaches, the number of students it has served, and some of the impacts on our community and beyond. We will look over some sample curriculum and we will have a “hands-on” activity for those that choose to participate with us. We will share photos of our local students enjoying themselves while learning the Wyoming State Standards. To take part, come to the Murie Audubon free talk on April 13, 2023, at 7 p.m., at the Izaak Walton Clubhouse, at 4205 Fort Caspar Road.

Eric Reish and Bruce Walgren

Great Backyard Bird Count February 17-20

Details HERE

Photos clockwise from top left: Cindy Brown/GBBC; Saneesh CS/GBBC; Lynette Spence/GBBC; Pete Davidson/GBBC.

Project Goal

Each February, for four days, the world comes together for the love of birds. Over these four days we invite people to spend time in their favorite places watching and counting as many birds as they can find and reporting them to us. These observations help scientists better understand global bird populations before one of their annual migrations.

Murie Audubon General Meeting & Program, November 10

Joanne Theobald will be our guest speaker on November 10 at 7 PM for her program entitled, “Turkey Vultures: Friend or Foe?” Theobald will share her collection of photographs and videos, as well as information about turkey vulture traits, habits, and folklore. Theobald, formerly director of counselling at Casper College, is a participant in University of Wyoming’s Wyoming Naturalist Program and has been volunteering at Edness Kimball Wilkins Park as well as helping with the Rocky Mountain Amphibian Survey this year. She says, “My real passion is turkey vultures. For the past six years, a group of about forty has roosted in the spruce trees behind my house, and I’ve become obsessed with them. People have many negative misconceptions about them, and I’d like to educate others about these amazing creatures.” Theobald maintains an Instagram page about turkey vultures, @vulturesinmybackyard. If you wish to learn more about Turkey Vultures, come to the Murie Audubon free talk on November 10, 2022, at 7 PM, at the Izaak Walton Clubhouse, at 4205 Fort Caspar Road.
Bruce Walgren