Murie Audubon General Meeting & Program, MARCH 10

Speaker Ben Robb, currently a research ecologist for the U.S. Geological Survey’s Fort Collins Science Center, studied the impacts of Interstate 80 on pronghorn migration and crucial habitat for his master’s degree at the University of Wyoming. His study predicts the best corridors to restore pronghorn movement. Robb’s research was supported by the Wyoming Migration Initiative at the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at UW. His research focuses on wildlife found along the periphery of human development, and how this research can be applied to try and improve access to habitats. Audubon members and the public are welcome to a free talk March 10, 7 p.m., at the Izaak Walton Clubhouse at 4205 Fort Caspar Road concerning pronghorn migration and habitat and the barrier I-80 presents.

The speaker will be joining us remotely via Zoom. Participants can either join us at the Clubhouse or register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
-Bruce Walgren

Murie Audubon General Meeting & Program, 10 FEB


This month we will learn about the North Platte River in, around, and through Casper. We will learn about the history of the river from pioneer
times, through dam building, and oil and other pollutants that ended up in the river, to where it is today. Matt Hahn, a fisheries biologist for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department will be our guest speaker. A twenty year veteran with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Matt
began his career in Green River, then in Laramie, before coming to Casper in 2006.

Matt will bring us up to date on status and health, as well as the management challenges of the North Platte River. Please join us on Thursday, February 10, at 7 PM at the Izaak Walton Clubhouse, at 4205 Fort Caspar Road, for this program. As always, the program is free and open to the public!

Hope to see you there! -Bruce Walgren

JAN 20, Murie Audubon General Meeting & Program

A Note From the Program Chair:

As the result of a self-inflicted error on my part, this program did not take place as scheduled on January 13.  I had taken the precaution of contacting Andrea (our speaker) to verify that she would be able to make the meeting night on the 20th—wait, the 20th?  Yeah I do not know where that came from, but to make a long story short we verified the she would be here on the 20th for the program.  So, yes, she will be here at the Izaak Walton Clubhouse on the 20th to tell us all about migration and Burrowing Owls.  On the plus side there was not a scheduling problem with Izaak Walton; the meeting room is available.  Please accept my apologies for this major foul up and I hope that you all will be able to come out for this long anticipated program. I have updated the program announcement to reflect corrections and the updated dates.


Burrowing Owls Across North America

Andrea Orabona did a Burrowing Owl program via Zoom in May 2021.  We felt that the program was interesting enough that we hoped to have her present the program again to a larger audience. So, we scheduled Andrea to do an updated in-person version of the owl program in October, 2021. Due to circumstances beyond our control, she was unable to present the Burrowing Owl program in October, but instead, she did present a very interesting program on Harlequin ducks via Zoom. Barring any other problems, Andrea will be able to do an in-person updated version of the May 2021 program on January 20, 2022. The presentation itself is a collaborative effort sponsored by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and Murie Audubon Society.

Andrea Orabona is the statewide Nongame Bird Biologist for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s Nongame Program based in Lander, and will be presenting the meeting. She is collaborating on this project with colleague Dr. Courtney Conway from the University of Idaho and his research partners from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

Recent developments in solar-powered GPS technology in the form of smaller transmitters are helping researchers collect data on the elusive seasonal migration and winter ranges of Burrowing Owls that nest in Wyoming during the summer months.  In the past few years, researchers have placed satellite transmitters on Burrowing Owls in western states. Unfortunately, many of those have died or their transmitters have stopped sending locations.  Owls outfitted with the new transmitters from Wyoming, along with other owls from western states and Canadian provinces, will add new data and hopefully new understating about these mysterious little birds.

The Burrowing Owl is classified as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need in Wyoming, making this full annual cycle conservation project extremely important. Andrea will discuss the need for this work, project objectives and methods, and results of Burrowing Owl migration.

Please join us on Thursday, January 20, 2022 at 7 pm at the Izaak Walton Clubhouse at 4205 Fort Caspar Road for this program.  As always, the program is free and open to the public!  Hope to see you there!

-Bruce Walgren

Open Positions

We have a couple of Murie Audubon Society Chapter open volunteer positions for your consideration.

  • Membership Chair – This position requires some knowledge of working with spreadsheets and working with other Board members to update our membership database, recruit new members, and other duties related to membership.
  • Webmaster/IT Manager – This position requires knowledge of WordPress and cPanel, updating and managing our website.

Experience desired, but not necessary. We can train you if you are interested and have a computer with Internet access. If interested, please send an email to

These are volunteer positions only. -Harry

Christmas Bird Count 2021

The Casper Christmas Bird Count will be conducted Saturday, December 18. We will meet at 8:00 AM at the SonRise Room of the First United Methodist Church (332 East 2 nd St), and have a potluck supper after 5:00 PM at the same location to compile what was seen during the day. The SonRise Room is on the east side of the main church that is entered from under the breezeway between the Asbury Center (on the corner of Beech & Second Streets) and the main church. On Saturday morning we will split into groups that will cover as much of the 15 mile diameter circle as we can (map is on the following pages). Some of the parties, like Jackson Canyon and the Mountain, will be pretty energetic outings, but others will mostly be driving. Everyone is welcome to participate, regardless of experience, even for part of the day. Call Stacey Scott at 262-0055, or Bruce Walgren at 234-7455 for more information.- Bruce Walgren

Morad Park to Mountain Plaza Trail Ribbon Cutting

Join Us For the Morad Park to Mountain Plaza Trail Ribbon Cutting

Please join the Platte River Trails Trust Board for a Ribbon Cutting to celebrate the completion of our newest section of community trail — the Morad Park to Mountain Plaza trail on Wednesday, September 15th at 11:30 a.m. at the pullout on CY Avenue at the traffic signal leading to Walmart. Parking available at the pullout on CY or in Morad Park.

Annual Membership Drive / Renewal

It’s that time again folks!

This is just a friendly reminder that September 30 is our annual membership and renewal drive. All memberships expire on that date each and every year, so this is our big push to renew current members and to encourage visitors and guests to join.

We would love to have you as part of our education and conservation team.

Features and benefits:

Monthly Newsletter
Education Programs
Guest speakers
Guided field trips
Community projects
Education Grants

You can be part of our citizen scientist efforts. You do not have to be a birder to join, enjoy, or take advantage of everything this site has to offer.

So, please, take a moment to sign up. The registration link is on our home page.

We have on-line payment options for electronic payment, and of course, you can mail in payments using snail mail.

As always, thank you for your continued support.

Kind regards,

Murie Audubon Society
Membership Chair

Murie Audubon General Meeting & Program


Triceratops, Sauropods and T-Rexs, Oh My! Or Why Wyoming was such a good place for Dinosaurs.

JP Cavigelli returns for our first program of this season. Jean-Pierre Cavigelli (JP) is Prep Lab Manager, Field Trip Organizer and Collections Manager at the Tate Geological Museum in Casper, Wyoming. A graduate of Lexington High School (Massachusetts, class of 1979) and with a biology degree from the University of Chicago (class of 1983), JP became interested in paleontology too late to get a degree in it. This led him to a summer spent in Wyoming in 1983 doing field work in search of small Cretaceous mammal teeth with a University of Wyoming team. JP fell in love with Wyoming but left for a five year adventure in fun and poverty as a ski bum and whitewater rafting guide in Colorado and Australia. JP came back to Wyoming in 1990 to be part of a paleontology field crew at the UW again. He stayed in Laramie working off and on in paleontology for 14 years, doing field work as well as a two year post as the Collections Manager for the UWs Dept. of Geology and Geophysics. He also was a fossil outfitter, running Western Paleo Safaris for six years. For the past 25 years, JP has been doing freelance fossil preparation in his basement and garage. He has had the good fortune of having been invited to join paleontological expeditions to Mongolia, Niger, Tanzania, Alaska and North Dakota. In his 15 years at the Tate Geological Museum he has led collecting trips all over the state to collect small and large fossils from Dee the Mammoth and Lee Rex to microscopic mammal teeth (see above) and really old insects.

When he is not involved with fossils, JP enjoys birdwatching, traveling, and failing to get on Jeopardy!. He recently got married to his percalifragilisticexpialidocious wife Becky, and can smell retirement from his office door. Wyoming is synonymous with dinosaurs to a lot of folks who give a hoot about dinosaurs. The American west was critical in the discovery and popularization of dinosaurs starting in the early 20th century. But have you ever stopped to ponder why? Why Wyoming? (I could ask Why Montana, but that doesn’t rhyme and we don’t care about Montana). JP will talk about why WY and more from a paleontology point of view. Program Chair note: I suspect that JP didn’t think that I would publish his total biography, but it reflects his personality, professionalism and why we enjoy having him back often as a guest speaker.

Remember folks, we’re moving to the 2nd Thursday of the month, but at the same venue. Please join us on THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 2021 at 7 pm at the Izaak Walton Clubhouse at 4205 Fort Caspar Road for this program. As always, the program is free and open to the public! Hope to see you there!

Bruce Walgren-Program Chair

Field Trip – EKW

Murie Audubon will have a bird trip to EKW on Saturday, Aug 28.  We will meet by the river, just north of the Platte River Shelter at 7:00 AM.  Hopefully we will see some migrants.  Call me at 262-0055 with any questions, or if you want to know where we are when you get to the park.