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March 8, 2018 - Eagle Rocks

The significance of large birds of prey in Native American rock art.

Throughout history, man has tried to organize his world and its natural phenomena into nice little packages of stories and myth to explain the extraordinary in ways comprehensible. One way of conveying these thoughts is through rock art. Consistently depicted among the stories are raptors, large birds of prey.

Bonnie Smith, Curatorial Assistant for the Draper Natural History Museum, will discuss the correlation between ancient golden eagle nests, Native American eagle traps, and thunderbird representations at rock art sites in the Bighorn Basin and the early Native American narrative.

A Wyoming native, Smith has traveled extensively throughout the United States, Europe, Mexico, and Central America and has lived in Nevada, Colorado, and California. She received her Associate of Arts degree in Anthropology from Santa Monica College in 2007, and her Bachelor's degree in Anthropology and Art History from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2009.

No board meeting scheduled this month.

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Spring Migration Bird Surveys of the Beck Lake Complex Important Bird Area (IBA) in Cody will begin on March 19, 2018. Join us as we identify and count the birds on their migration north to their breeding areas.

The Spring Survey will be held each Monday for nine weeks, March 19 through May 14, 2018, and is open to all interested or aspiring birders.

Each week's survey begins one hour after sunrise at the first stop, the west end of Beck Lake by the Taco John parking lot. You may meet the group in the Taco John parking area at the starting time, or if you would like a cup of coffee and some camaraderie, join the other birders 30 minutes earlier at Taco John's restaurant. Carpooling during the survey is encouraged.

If you arrive after we start counting, just catch up and join us! We look forward to seeing you!

Monday, March 19 - 8:21 a.m. Mountain Daylight Savings Time

Monday, March 26 - 8:08 a.m.

Monday, April 2 - 7:55 a.m.

Monday, April 9- 7:42 a.m.

Monday, April 16 - 7:30 a.m.

Monday, April 23 - 7:19 a.m.

Monday, April 30 - 7:08 a.m.

Monday, May 7 - 6:58 a.m.

Monday, May 14 - 6:50 a.m.

For more information about the surveys, call Joyce Harkness, (307) 754-2400 (h), or (307) 254-1092 (cell).

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Second 10 Day Trip Being Planned to Ecuador During First Part of March, 2018. A Rough Sketch of Plans is included below. Leader: Dr. David McDonald, University of Wyoming Professor.

[Here is the 10/27/17 update from Dr. Dave]
Saludos from Ecuador.

My wife Beth and I are staying in a restored hacienda in Urcuqui (15 minutes from your base, Hosteria Pantavi, in Tumbabiro), in northern Ecuador, while we wait for our apartment to be finished. On Sunday 5-Nov we meet our 5-15 Nov group for their visit here. We think we have a really exciting visit planned for them, and that the feedback from that will make a 2018 trip even better.

Our current inclination is to think of early March as the window (perhaps approximately 5-15 March 2018). That is quite flexible, however, if you are strongly interested but that time window won’t work for you.

Here’s a very rough sketch of what we expect for an itinerary:
Day 1. We meet you at the Quito airport and spend the night at a nearby hotel.
Day 2. We head north to Urcuqui/Tumbabiro (about 3 hours from Quito). Stop at scenic, cultural or birding spots along the way. Arrive at Hosteria Pantavi (beautiful lodge, with full amenities, including pool, sauna and good food) by late afternoon. Travel in a 9-passenger comfortable mini-bus and/or our KIA Sorrento SUV.
Day 3. Local exploration of the charming little town of Tumbabiro and a morning bird-walk in the dry scrub (think cactus and acacias; more or less an alternative reality version of Mojave, Sonoran, Chihuahan deserts, if you know any of those). Beth is a certified yoga instructor (she teaches at Blossom Yoga in Laramie), and will offer yoga classes throughout the trip, if anyone is interested.
Day 4. Visit (dryish) cloudforest reserve of Peribuela. A beautiful untraveled road that is almost totally level (a near-miracle in the Andes). We had amazing birds when we visited there for the first time yesterday (e.g., breath-taking Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanagers).
Day 5. Churches and museums in nearby Ibarra for part of the group and a different birding excursion for those wanting to focus more exclusively on natural history. Afternoon/evening lectures by Dave (birds), Beth (quick history of yoga), archaeology (someone from Yachay University), geology or Ecuadorian culture and history, will be sprinkled throughout.
Day 6. Hot springs and montane forest in nearby Chachimbiro.
Day 7. All-day excursion to the high forest and paramo (above timberline) of the El Angel reserve near the Colombian border. Specialty are the “sunflower trees.” Condors and many other paramo birds are possible.
Day 8. Agricultural/cultural tour for part of the group (organic farms, sugar cane, village life, etc.) for part of the group, and a different bird excursion for the birdier set.
Day 9. Indigenous craft market in Otavalo for part of the group and travel to highland Lagunas de Mojanda for the birdier.
Day 10. Travel to Antisana Volcano ecological reserve. Best place in Ecuador to see Andean Condors. Stay in charming Tambo Condor rustic lodge with Giant Hummingbird, Black-tailed Trainbearer and Shining Sunbeam hummingbirds in the yard and condors roosting on the cliff nearby. Quick trip to the paramo to see a highland lake and birds such as the wonderful and charmingly named Carunculated Caracara.
Day 11. Day in Antisana, evening travel to Quito Airport for return to US.

Post-trip travel to Galapagos, the Amazonian lowlands (I’m taking one November participant there after this November trip) or other parts of Ecuador can be easily arranged (likely not really involving us, except as facilitators).

(10/29/17 Update from Dr. Dave) Jan noted that I had not given you a price. It will be $1,700 per person for all in-country expenses (lodging, transport, meals) except the following: any non-group side trips you do on your own (examples could include ziplining; not many people do such “extras”), a non-group shopping trip, tips, alcohol, gifts, and laundry (usually about $5 per plastic grocery bag full – wash, dry fold – quick and good, and means you should be able to pack less). Airfare is usually about $1,200 RT (from Denver – can be much cheaper from some airports, more from others). Cheers, Dave McDonald

Questions and feedback on timing welcomed. Dr. Dave McDonald email

Best, Dave and Beth

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Results of Kane (Lovell area) Christmas Bird Count, Saturday, December 16, 2017.

Total Individual Birds, 7,704
Total Species Reported, 46
Great Blue Heron 1
Canada Goose 1677
Mallard 582
Northern Pintail 2
Common Goldeneye 8
Northern Harrier 23
Cooper's Hawk 1
Northern Goshawk 1
Red-tailed Hawk 8
Rough-legged Hawk 35
Golden Eagle 4
Bald Eagle 3
Merlin 1
American Kestrel 5
Prairie Falcon 1
Ring-necked Pheasant 12
Wild Turkey 1
Common Snipe 1
Mourning Dove 2
Eurasian Collared-Dove 214
Rock Pigeon or Rock Dove (Feral Pigeon) 648
Great Horned Owl 5
Downy Woodpecker 1
Hairy Woodpecker 2
Northern Flicker 42
Northern Shrike 6
Black-billed Magpie 43
Common Raven 100
American Crow 8
Horned Lark 430
Black-capped Chickadee 4
Marsh Wren 3
Townsevnd's Solitaire 2
American Robin 137
European Starling 1,446
Bohemian Waxwing 300
Cedar Waxwing 25
American Tree Sparrow 52
White-crowned Sparrow 42
Song Sparrow 117
Dark-eyed Junco 19
Western Meadowlark 14
Brown-headed Cowbird 6
Red-winged Blackbird 1541
American Goldfinch 71
House Sparrow 58
Total Individuals 7,704
Total Species Reported 46

Thank you Jennifer and Neil Miller for organizing this count, and thanks to all the participants of the Kane Christmas Bird Count who braved the weather for the count.

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Results of Cody Christmas Bird Count, Sunday, December 31, 2017.

Total Individual Birds, 4,249
Total Species Reported, 53
Canada Goose 764
American Wigeon 64
Mallard 300
Northern Pintail 6
Green-winged Teal 6
Common Goldeneye 17
Barrow's Goldeneye 9
Common Merganser 8
duck, sp. 6
Ring-necked Pheasant 17
Gray Partridge 6
Golden Eagle 10
Sharp-shinned Hawk 3
Cooper's Hawk 1
Bald Eagle 15
Red-tailed Hawk 18
Rough-legged Hawk 107
Buteo, sp. 2
American Coot 1
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) 39
Eurasian Collared-Dove 96
Great Horned Owl 7
Downy Woodpecker 9
Hairy Woodpecker 3
Northern Flicker 32
American Kestrel 2
Merlin 2
Prairie Falcon 1
Northern Shrike 2
Blue Jay 2
Black-billed Magpie 92
Clark's Nutcracker 1
American Crow 168
Common Raven 542
Horned Lark 221
Black-capped Chickadee 38
Mountain Chickadee 23
Red-breasted Nuthatch 13
Townsevnd's Solitaire 3
American Robin 52
European Starling 712
Bohemian Waxwing 100
Cedar Waxwing 12
American Tree Sparrow 10
Dark-eyed Junco 59
Song Sparrow 4
Red-winged Blackbird 10
Brewer's Blackbird 10
Grey-crowned Rosy-Finch 154
House Finch 125
Cassin's Finch 6
Common Redpoll 7
Pine Siskin 13
American Goldfinch 43
Evening Grosbeak 11
House Sparrow 265
Total Individuals 4,249
Total Species Reported 53

Thank you Dave Buckles for organizing this count, and thanks to all the birders who participated in the Cody Christmas Bird Count.

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Board meetings begin at 6:00 p.m., and the general meetings begin at 7:00 p.m. The June board meeting is usually a combined picnic and meeting. For more information, click here to send Meadowlark Audubon an email.

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Site originated: 2/21/2002
This page last updated: 2/23/2018

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