May Dates to Remember

Greater YellowlegsWelcome Spring!  May is an exciting month for us all, with birds arriving in Cheyenne almost daily as they migrate north to their breeding grounds.  CHPAS is celebrating with a number of events during May.  Here are dates for you to remember – join us! 

May 8, 8:00 a.m. – Joint Field Trip with the Laramie Chapter at Wyoming Hereford Ranch to Celebrate International Migratory Bird Day. 

We will meet at the Wyoming Hereford Ranch Headquarters at 8 a.m. We should be able to find some warbler species as well as migrating thrushes and other colorful migrating songbirds.  

Wear your mask when outside your vehicle with the group. Bring water and clothes for changing weather. We expect to be finished by noon, but you can leave whenever you need to. Please contact Grant Frost at 307-343-2024 if you plan to join us, so that we have a list and can let you know if the plans change for any reason such as bad weather.

May 14, 6:00 p.m. – Book Signing with Nathan Pieplow – Wyoming Hereford Ranch (WHR), 1101 Hereford Ranch Road. 

PieplowOur guest speaker in March, Nathan Pieplow, will join us for a little talk and book signing at the WHR. He will have copies of his “Peterson Field Guide to Bird Sounds of Western North America” available for purchase.

Thanks go to the Hales who are lending us use of the Horse Barn, diagonally across from the office which has a restroom.  Bring your lawn chair. If it is a nice evening, we’ll be out on the nearby lawn. If it is a nasty evening, we’ll be in the hayloft (stair access only). Bring your own refreshments.  You are welcome to arrive early and stay late to do a little birding—WHR is famous, especially among Wyoming and Colorado birders.

May 15, 6:30 a.m. – Annual Cheyenne Big Day Bird Count

Starting at Lions Park, we will cover birding hot spots throughout the Cheyenne area If you want to join us later than 6:30 a.m., please call Mark, 307-287-4953, to get a location update. We also encourage people to report all bird sightings during the 24 hour period beginning at midnight on the free app at eBird.org. The middle of May is the high point of the spring migration of birds to their nesting areas from their winter homes.  Look for more information in the May issue of CHPAS FLYER

May 22, 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.  – Greenway Cleanup

Cheyenne Audubon is hosting a Greenway cleanup event, Saturday May 22 as part of the 30th anniversary of thePerfect Tree Greenway. The public is invited to help. The starting location is the parking lot adjacent to the intersection of Van Buren Avenue and Laramie Street (just north of East Lincolnway and east of its intersection with Pershing Blvd.). Work will proceed to the north along Dry Creek.

Trash bags and light-weight gloves will be provided. Participants should wear sturdy footwear (preferably waterproof) and heavy gloves and bring rakes and hoes, if available, for fishing trash out of the creek. Masks and social distancing are recommended.

May 25, 7:00 p.m. – Virtual Board Meeting

Contact Terry Harper (cheyenneaudubon@gmail.com) if you would like to join us. 

May 28, 7:00 a.m. – Country Club Bird Survey

Contact Chuck Seniawski to take part or to be on his email notice list.  Chuck may be reached at 307-638-6519. 

April Events to Remember

r_Bullocks BeautyWelcome Migration! April is a wonderful month because our feathered friends are passing through this region. One such migrant is the Bullock’s Oriole. We enjoy watching them on our orange feeder. These are easy to make if you don’t already have one. Late April and May are the time what you are most likely to attract these colorful birds.  Sadly, they leave us to head further north and into more wooded areas.

Dates to Remember in April

Saturday, April 17th 5:30 AM – Field Trip Sage Grouse Lek off Rogers Canyon Road.  We will leave from the parking lot on the East side of the Wyoming Game and Fish Headquarters at 5:30 a.m. Plan to caravan, not carpool, north on Horse Creek Rd. then west on Rogers Canyon Rd., a total of about 60 miles one way. There will be some hiking on uneven ground. We hope to catch the grouse on their Lek right after sunrise. On the way back you should be able to do some birding along Rogers Canyon Rd.

Wear your mask when outside your vehicle with the group. Bring water and clothes for changing weather. We expect to be finished by 8 a.m., but you can leave whenever you need to. Please contact Grant Frost at 307-343-2024 if you plan to join us, so that we have a list of those expected and can let you know if the plans change for any reason such as poor driving conditions.

Mullen FireTuesday, April 20th 7:00 p.m. Zoom: The 2020 Mullen Fire and How it Might Change Wildlife Habitat in the Medicine Bow National Forest with Jesse McCarty.  

Jesse McCarty is a Laramie-based wildlife biologist with the forest.  On September 17, 2020, smoke reports were received by the Laramie Ranger District of the Medicine Bow National Forest in the area near Mullen Creek in the Savage Run Wilderness in the Snowy Range Mountains, approximately 35 miles west of Laramie.

The Mullen fire became the largest in the history of the Medicine Bow National Forest. The final acreage was 176,878 acres in Albany and Carbon counties in Wyoming and Jackson and Larimer counties in Colorado. What’s happening to the wildlife? What is the Forest Service doing after the wildfire?   Join us to learn more about the impact of this fire event today and in the future.  You are welcome to join us as early as 6:45 p.m.  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87081305204

Tuesday, April 27th 7:00 p.m. Virtual Board meeting.  Contact Terry Harper (cheyenneaudubon@gmail.com) if you would like to participate.  All are welcome. 

Friday, April 30th 7:00 a.m. Country Club Bird Survey.  Contact Chuck Seniawski to take part of to be on his email notice listing.  307-638-6519. 

March Field Trips and Meetings

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Many of you attended and enjoyed Nathan Pieplow’s “The Language of Birds”.  We have been asked if the program was recorded and it was not.  We do hope to have Nathan join us in Cheyenne for a book-signing when the weather improves.  In the meantime, Nathan directed us to many resources at The Cornell Lab Bird Academy.  You can explore the companion sound library resources and learn more about how to visualize sounds. 

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We hope that everyone came through Cheyenne’s 31 inch snows with a minimum of discomfort.  Remember that migration has started!  Rowe Sanctuary has a wonderful “Crane Cam” where you can enjoy seeing the Sandhill Cranes coming in at dusk and leaving at dawn.  Did you miss the perfect time of day to see the cranes?  You can roll back the video to watch the morning action or visit the “Gallery” on the site to see photos that have been taken.  Sign in and you can take photos like the one above, downloading them to your phone or computer.  It isn’t like being there but it is a great alternative! 

Field Trip to Bump Sullivan Wildlife Habitat – rescheduled!

This trip was moved from March 20th until Saturday, March 27th because of the blizzard.  We leave at 8:00 a.m.  All other previous instructions apply.  Please call Grant Frost at 307-343-2024 if you plan to attend.  We will not be carpooling but will form a car caravan because of COVID-19.  Important note – there is no gas once we leave Cheyenne, so make sure that your tank is full. 

Virtual Board Meeting – March 23rd, 7:00 p.m.  Contact Terry Harper at cheyenneaudubon@gmail.com if you would like to participate in the meeting or help to plan chapter activities. 

Country Club Bird Survey – March 26th, 8:00 a.m.  Call Chuck Seniawski to take part at 307-538-6519. 

“The Language of Birds” presented by Nathan Pieplow, March 16 7:00 p.m.

Update: Still on for Tuesday, 03/16/2021.  Thanks to Zoom, the snow won’t stop us.  Join us for the great presentation at 7:00 p.m.!

The Cheyenne – High Plains Audubon Society invites the public to a free, virtual presentation on “The Language of Birds” given by Nathan Pieplow, author of the Peterson Field Guide to the Bird Sounds of Western North America, https://earbirding.com. The Zoom program will begin at 7 p.m., Mar. 16. Find the link at https://cheyenneaudubon.wordpress.com.

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Red-winged Blackbird by Pete Arnold

The chapter hopes to have Pieplow come up to Cheyenne for a book signing late spring or early summer.

In this presentation, Pieplow unlocks the secrets of bird language. You’ll listen in on the pillow talk of a pair of Red-winged Blackbirds and learn the secret signals that Cliff Swallows use when they have found food. You’ll learn how one bird sound can have many meanings, and how one meaning can have many sounds—and how, sometimes, the meaning isn’t in the sounds at all.

Growing up in South Dakota, Pieplow got started identifying bird songs by studying the classic “Birding by Ear” field guides in the Peterson series.  It wasn’t until 2003, when he faced the frustrations of studying sounds for his first trips to Mexico and Costa Rica, that he became dedicated to finding new and better ways to learn, describe,  and catalog bird sounds.  Along the way he became a sound recordist and an amateur ethologist (a student of animal behavior).

He lives in Boulder, Colorado, where he teaches writing and rhetoric at the University of Colorado. He is a former editor of the quarterly journal Colorado Birds and one of the developers of the Colorado County Birding Website and the Colorado Birding Trail.

Access the program on the evening of March 16, 7 p.m. by clicking here:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85863955431. You are welcome to join 15 minutes early.

February – Dates to Remember

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Don’t forget to feed our feathered friends during this cold weather that is expected to dip into the negative ranges this in mid-February!  They will appreciate your thoughtfulness – and you can participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count at the same time! 

Dates to Remember

February 12 – 15 Great Backyard Bird Count.  Participating is easy, fun to do alone, or with others, and can be done anywhere you find birds. Simply watch birds for 15 minutes or more, at least once over the four days, February 12-15, 2021,and tell eBird what you see! The Great Backyard Bird Count uses eBird, one of the world’s largest nature-databases with more than 100 million bird sightings contributed each year and used by professionals for science and conservation. Contribute your lists to eBird and become a citizen scientist.

greater-sage-grouse-vyn-120329-0527_web_0February 16 7:00 p.m.  Zoom Presentation: Update on Sage-Grouse Conservation by Vicki Herren. Vicki is the recently retired Bureau of Land Management National Sage-Grouse Coordinator who is still contracted to help with sage-grouse plans. She will discuss how every Friday, she joins a group of sage-grouse biologists, researchers and managers from across the west to ensure that the Sage-Grouse Conservation Assessment will describe the wide variety of efforts underway to manage populations and habitats to keep them from being listed under the Endangered Species Act. 

Access the program on Zoom using this link:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82977852481

February 20, 8:00 a.m. – Field Trip to Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge.  We will tour the visitors center in Commerce City, Colorado,and look for bison, prairie dogs, bald eagles, other raptors and other wintering birds on the refuge. There should be open water for viewing waterfowl and gulls. We will leave from the Lions Park parking lot at the Children’s Village at 8 a.m. We will drive south on I-25 to the Arsenal; it is about an hour and a half drive.We should return by 3 p.m., but you can leave whenever you need to. Bring water and your lunch, if you like.  If you are interested in going, contact Mark Gorges, 307-287-4953, so that we have a list of those expected, and can let you know if the plans change for any reason such as poor driving conditions or very cold temperatures.  

February 23, 7:00 p.m. – Virtual Board Meeting. Contact Terry Harper at cheyenneaudubon@gmail.com if you would like to participate. 

February 26, 8:00 a.m. – Country Club Bird Survey.  Contact Chuck Seniawski at 307-638-6519 if you would like to participate. 

CHPAS: January 2021 Dates to Remember

White-breasted NuthatchHappy New Year!   There is a lot happening in January and we hope that you will join Cheyenne-High Plains Audubon this month to jump-start your 2021 birding adventures!  More information is included in the January 2021 Flyer newsletter. 

Dates to Remember

January 12 – 14  7th Annual Cheyenne Habitat Hero Workshop: Nature’s Best Hope at noon each day 

The 7th Annual Cheyenne Habitat Hero Workshop will be held as three, free, lunch-time, Zoom webinars. Registration is free through Audubon Rockies, https://rockies.audubon.org/events/7th-annual-cheyenne habitat-hero-workshop-natures-best- hope.

January 19 Program on Zoom “Birding in West Africa” – 7:00 p.m. 

Elaine Grings lived and worked on the campus of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) from 2007 through 2010. This 2470-acre research campus was founded in 1967  and consists of a mix of park-like campus, 1235 acres of field plots, 745 acres of secondary forest, and a small lake. This provides a variety of habitat types for excellent birding. Elaine will share  information on the geography of West Africa and some of the bird resources found there.  The Zoom link for this program is: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81971074379

January 23 Field Trip to Curt Gowdy State Park – 8:30 a.m.crossbill2

We will meet in the parking area at the Curt Gowdy State Park Headquarters at 8:30 a.m.   Masks are required.  We will select one or more trails to hike and hope to see a variety of wintering birds.  (Pictured at left, Red Crossbill).  Don’t forget that you will need a day pass or 2021 state parking pass. 

Contact Grant Frost (307-343-2024) if you want to participate so that he can let you know if plans change due to weather.  All birders are welcome regardless of experience level (we especially enjoy having young birders join us!). 

January 26 Virtual Board Meeting – 7:00 p.m. 

CHPAS is always looking for volunteers!  Please contact Terry Harper at cheyennneaudubon@gmail.com if you are interesting in joining us!  A variety of opportunities are available with varying levels of time commitment.   

January 29 Country Club Bird Survey – 8:00 a.m.

Contact Chuck Seniawski to take part or to be on his email notice listing (307-638-6519) or chuckski@aol.com

CHPAS Christmas Bird Count Results

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Northern Flicker

Unlike 2019’s Christmas Bird Count when birders had to brave a snowstorm to complete the count, December 19th was sunny and calm at the start of the count, with winds picking up at about 9:00 a.m. 

Volunteers were pleased to have Tom Coulter, reporter for the Wyoming Tribune Eagle, join us for the initial count at 7:30 a.m. at Lions Park.  If you haven’t seen the article Local birders team up for annual Christmas count in effort to “keep the common birds common“, do check it out on-line (published 12/20/2020, WTE). 

As of December 22, 2020, the results of the Cheyenne Christmas Bird Count included 33 species and an estimated 2,423 individual birds.  A complete listing is available here.

Highlights included: Common Goldeneye (1), Rough-legged Hawk (1), Hairy Woodpecker (1),  Belted Kingfisher (1), White-breasted Nuthatch (1), Pygmy Nuthatch (1), Brown Creeper (5), and Townsend’s Solitaire (3). 

The Guernsey/Ft. Laramie Christmas Bird Count will be held on December 27th.   Contact Jane Dorn (307-640-4002) if you would like to participate.  More information is available in THE FLYER for December.SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Special thanks to all birders who joined us in 2020! 

 

Reminder: Christmas Bird Count This Saturday!

Be a field observer on your own.mark-redheaded-woodpecker

If you are interested in participating, contact Grant Frost, 307-343-2024, so that he has a list of those expected, so he can let you know if the plans change for any reason such as stormy weather.

Grant will have a list of regular spots within our count circle and will encourage people to spread out to specific areas so that we can have good coverage of all hot spots first thing in the morning to assure a good count on the number of each species in the Cheyenne area, i.e. the number of geese before they all start flying around.

Christmas Bird Count

Be a feeder watcher.

Identify and count the number of each species that visits your feeder on the day of the count. Record only the maximum number seen at any one time. For example, if a single house finch visits your feeder 10 times, but you never actually see more than one house finch at a time, then that counts as one house finch seen, not 10.

The feeder(s) you intend to watch on Dec. 19 must be within the “count circle,” an area defined by a 15-mile diameter circle centered on the Capitol building in downtown Cheyenne.

Then … Join us for the December 19th Virtual CBC Tally Party, 7:00 p.m.   

More information about these events, the Guernsey-Ft. Laramie CBC  (December 27th), and other CHPAS activities are in the December issue of Flyer, posted on the CHPAS website

CHPAS Dates to Remember: December

Christmas Bird Count: December 19.  Be a field observer on your own, whether birding on one of Cheyenne’s Greenway Trails, city parks, or even at your home feeder. 

House Finch
House Finch

If you are interested in participating, contact Grant Frost, 307-343-2024, so that he has a list of those expected, so that he can let you know if the plans change for any reason.  Grant will have a list of regular spots within our count circle and will encourage people to spread out to specific areas so that we can have good coverage of all hotspots first thing in the morning.  If you are doing an area assigned by Grant, please start there by 8:00 a.m.  

Record numbers of each species you observe and the amount of time and distance you walk or the amount of time and distance you drive.  Keep track of where and when you saw species of note so that we can tell if you counted the same bird or flock as someone else. 

No matter where you bird on December 19th, please keep social distancing in mind, wear a mask if you are near others, and be safe.  The birds need you! 

A virtual tally party will be held at 7:00 p.m. on December 19th.  Flicker 2019

More information about our circle of coverage and other instructions can be found in the December issue of The Flyer, available here

Country Club Bird Survey: December 26th, 8:00 a.m.   Contact Chuck Seniawski to take part or to be on his email notice list: 307-638-6519 or chuckski@aol.com. The count will start in the Country Clubhouse’s main public parking lot. 

Guernsey/Ft. Laramie Christmas Bird Count: December 27th.   If you are going to join this count, please let Jane Dorn know at 307-640-4002.  Also call her if the weather turns nasty; she will set an alternate date. Bring water, lunch, warm clothes, binoculars, and a scope if you have one, and whatever you need for a day watching birds at Guernsey State Park, Ft. Laramie National Historic Site, the Oregon Trail Ruts and Hartville.  

Birding on your own or watching your feeders? The center point of the 7.5-mile radius count circle is where Highway 26 crosses the Goshen County/Platte County line.  Please send in your results ASAP to the count compiler, Jane Dorn, 307-640-4002, linglebird@yahoo.com.   Anyone in the neighborhood of the count area is welcome to meet Jane at 8 a.m. at the Ft. Laramie Post Office, or at 9:30 a.m. at the main entrance to Guernsey State Park.

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The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Needs YOU TODAY!

The Bureau of Land Management has issued a “call for nominations” to invite oil companies to drill in the sacred Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. And they will only accept mailed-in or hand-delivered comments; no electronic comments will be accepted.  

Please mail a letter to the Bureau of Land Management telling them oil development has no place in the Arctic Refuge. We will provide you with a sample letter and the mailing address. You provide the stamp! Comments must be received in Anchorage by December 17.

A sample letter can be found by visiting the Audubon Action Center. Remember to personalize your letter; any letter helps but letters that you individualize get more attention.

Birds that we all love, like Snow Geese, Sandhill Cranes, Tundra Swans and others depend upon this important refuge for breeding.

Remember … to get to Alaska by the required deadline, your letter needs to be mailed as soon as possible! (Make it FLY!!!)