Make your check out to Meadowlark Audubon and send to: Meadowlark Audubon Newsletter; P.O. Box 2126.; Cody, WY 82414.
The Millers will be camping Friday night at the Crazy Creek campground. Those interested in spending the night in the wilds are invited to join them there. (Bring drinking water, as none is available in the campground.)
September 11, 2003 (Thursday) -- Public Meeting at Bighorn Federal Savings & Loan, Cody, 7:00 p.m. Speaker: Meg Sommers.
October 9, 2003 (Thursday) -- Public Meeting at the DeWitt Student Center, NW College, Powell at 7:00 p.m. Speaker TBA [Note: The program and speaker were incorrectly listed in the newsletter.]
November 13, 2003 (Thursday) -- Public Meeting at Bighorn Federal Savings & Loan, Cody, 7:00 p.m. Speaker TBA
December 2003 -- Christmas Bird Counts will be scheduled for Kane, Cody and Clark. Everyone is invited to participate on any or all of the counts.
Note: There will be no public meeting in December, due to the Christmas Bird Counts.
Coffee and warm muffins greeted the arriving trekkers at the Heart Mountain Visitors Center located at TNC's Heart Mountain Ranch. Beautiful bulletin boards, thanks to Harold Perry and John Ross, decorate the walls; new posters are on display informing visitors about the birds, plants and geology of this unique mountain.
The large group divided itself among the group leaders as we all headed up Heart Mountain. The delicious but difficult choices included Kent Houston (a forest ecologist from Cody) whose group explored the fascinating array of plant life; Sean Sheehan (a wildlife biologist from Cody) who searched for wildflowers with a special emphasis on exotic species and their effects on the habitat; Dennis Saville (from the Cody BLM) who discussed birds, plants, insects and trees; and Dave Henry (a biologist from Clark), who identified plants and wildflowers. All participants wanted to follow every leader, as each had so much knowledge to offer!
The wildflowers were awesome, especially the large-flowered bearded pentstemmons. White and purple vetch, False Mallow, Pale Larkspur, Long-Plumed Avens, Blue Flax, Balsamroot, Wild Onion, and Salsify -- along with many others -- dressed the mountainside with spectacular colors.
As we drove up Heart Mountain to the starting point, Long-billed Curlews circled and called in protest of our presence. A doe pronghorn (we suspect she was hiding a fawn nearby) grazed on the lush sagebrush. As we started our hikes, Vesper Sparrows sang from the brush tops and Rock Wrens rang their song from every outcrop. When Dee Oudin checked one of her bluebird boxes, a battle ensued overhead between the Mountain Bluebirds and the Violet-green Swallows as to future ownership.
Along the edge of a juniper-lined canyon, magpies and Green-tailed Towhees hung out, belting their songs. As we approached a small pond, Red-winged Blackbirds flocked about; a Spotted Sandpiper walked the shore; an unknown duck took off; and a possible Virginia Rail lurked in the lush vegetation. Up ahead, perched on the tallest dead evergreen branch, sang a Lazuli Bunting -- always a treat!
The group then turned to watch a Golden Eagle cruise over, being harassed by a possible Prairie Falcon. Chipping Sparrows sang from every treetop that wasn't occupied by a Western Wood-Pewee, and the Ruby-crowned Kinglets and Yellow-rumped Warblers (Audubon's race) made their brief appearances. A special sighting was the Dusky Flycatcher singing his song. American Robins, Common Ravens and Mourning Doves heralded us as we descended the mountain.
A grand time was had by all, thanks to the hard work of the organizers.
Meadowlark needs two representatives! If you are interested in serving, contact Thom at 307/645-3223 <email@example.com>.
According to Peterson's Field Guide Western Birds' Nests, Osprey nests have a "foundation of small-to-huge sticks, lined with inner bark, sod, grasses, vines and a great variety of odd objects. Objects found in Ospreys' nests include shorts, bath towels, garden rake, rope, broom, barrel staves, hoops, fishnet, toy boat, old shoes, fishiness, straw hat, rag doll, bottles, tin cans, shells and sponges."
1. What term is used to describe birds that usually spend their winters in remote northern areas, but fly further south when their food supply has dwindled? (Hint: it is often used to describe winter finches and Red-breasted Nuthatches.)
2. What disease has been recently spreading among House Finches and American Goldfinches in the eastern United States?
Quiz answers follow the Duck Stamp article.
Call KaCey at 307/587-5282 or send ideas to her at <JohnRoss@wtp.net>.
Just off I-25 is Lions Park, which includes Sloan's Lake -- the centerpiece of Cheyenne's first Important Bird Area. I was there in late April and spotted Canada Geese and Mallards (of course), as well as Western Grebes, cormorants, Common Mergansers and Cinnamon Teal.
The deciduous woods around the lake were rife with robins and Northern Flickers; flocks of Yellow-rumped Warblers (both Myrtle and Audubon races) flitted through the trees. My most exciting spot, and most difficult ID, was a Hermit Thrush feeding on the ground: the rusty tail finally cinched the identification.
Another rare spot was a Broad-winged Hawk soaring overhead. I met a local birder who said that a pair of them have been nesting in the park the past three years. 24 species of warblers have also been counted there in the past 10 years.
After a wonderful morning of birding, I headed downtown for lunch, then a stop at Holliday Park just northeast of downtown. Highlights there included Redheads, Pied-billed Grebes and a rookery of over two dozen Black-crowned Night-Herons. A truly awesome sight!
If you are traveling to Cheyenne, don't miss Lions Park and Holliday Park: they offer four-star birding right in the city.
426 people toured the booth during the two days of the event.
The 2004 stamp will feature Snow Geese, and was painted by Virginia artist Ron Louque who has entered the artwork competition for the past 30 years.
---- Smithsonian, July, 2003
1. Canyons and parks of southeastern Arizona
2. Cape May, NJ
3. J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge, FL
4. Everglades National Park, FL
5. Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, FL
6. Point Pelee National Park, Ontario, Canada
7. Point Reyes National Seashore, CA
8. Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, NM
9. Crane Creek State Park, Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, OH
10. Coast of Monterey Bay, CA
If you would be interested in joining as a Chapter-Only member or perhaps just making a small donation to our Chapter, please contact Joyce Cicco, Membership Chairman, for details, or you can simply make out your check to Meadowlark Audubon and send it to:
For more information on Meadowlark Chapter-Only membership and joint National Audubon/Chapter membership, which includes the Audubon magazine, please see the "Membership Information" page of this Web site.