The Washtenaw Audubon Society is an active chapter of Michigan Audubon formed in the early 1950's. Monthly programs feature guest speakers on a wide variety of natural history and birding topics. We conduct field trips to places in Ann Arbor, in Washtenaw County, and as far away as Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Other special events throughout the year bring members and friends together, such as the annual Christmas Bird Count and North American Migration Count. Most of our events are free and open to the public, but membership dues and volunteers support our ability to provide these activities. Please explore our website and consider joining some of our activities. We look forward to meeting you!
OUR NEXT FREE PROGRAM
To be determined.
OUR NEXT FIELD TRIPS
Dec 7, Saturday
Gull Trip to Salem Landfill
Leader: Rob French
UPDATE: Registration for this event is now full; if you would like to be added to the waiting list, please e-mail your name and a contact phone number to email@example.com.
This annual trip is a favorite for hard-core WAS members. Because access to the landfill is highly restricted, we rent a van for the trip and have to limit the number of participants. WAS members are given priority, but we will keep a list of non-members who tell us they would like to go, and if there is still space available a few days before the trip, we then open it up to as many of them as we can accommodate.
Meet at 8:45 a.m. at the far end of the Park-n-Ride lot at Plymouth Road and US 23. This trip will take about 4 hours. Please note that the weather for this outing tends to be very cold and that there is usually wind on the heights of the landfill, where participants will be spending most of the time. Dress warmly! Please also note that if the activity at the landfill is disappointing, the group may move on to one or two other sites.
PLEASE NOTE: Since event entails driving in the van to the landfill, anyone under 18 who is not accompanied by an adult relative or legal guardian will need to have a completed parental consent form to participate. If this applies to you or your child, please download the form from the right column of our field trip page and bring the completed, signed form to submit when the child is dropped off.
Dec 21, Saturday
Christmas Bird Count (eight zones in and around Ann Arbor)--all day event
Organizer: Jacco Gelderloos
Volunteers are always needed to help with this annual bird count. Each of the eight zones has a designated leader, who will be assisted by several other birders. Go to the menu bar at the top of this page and click on Christmas Bird Count, where you will find links to maps showing the zones, as well as lists of the zone leaders and their contact information. For general information or to find out which areas may be most in need of your help, send a message to Jacco at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call him at 734-973-9422.
The event will begin before dawn for those who will search for owls, but you can also start around breakfast time. Zones vary in the amount of time needed to survey them adequately, but most groups will finish sometime in the mid-to-late afternoon. It generally is not necessary to participate the whole time, but please indicate any time constraints to your zone leader when you sign up.
Washtenaw Audubon trip to Borneo (June 20-29, 2014), now open to non-members Washtenaw Audubon is once again happy to announce the opportunity for international travel with us, this time to the magnificent tropical island of Borneo! This 10-day tour is organized through the birding company Rockjumper Tours, who gave us a fantastic trip to South Africa in 2009 and have given us here an itinerary to all of the top birding destinations in northeastern Borneo (part of the more-modern Malaysian side of the island) at a very reasonable price. We will visit the famed Danum Valley with its canopy walkway, bird by boat along the Kinabatangan River, experience the spectacle of Gomontong Cave’s millions of swiftlets, and ascend Mt. Kinabalu, the highest point between New Guinea and the Himalayas. We plan to see between 225-250 species of birds on this trip and particular focus will be on seeing the 40-some possible endemics to this part of this large island. We have excellent chances for 8 hornbills, 6 barbets, 6 broadbills, at least 3 pittas (and hopefully more of these secretive jewels), 18 bulbuls, 4 trogons, 15 sunbirds, the world’s largest woodpecker, and the Bornean Bristlehead, a species so unique it is given its own Family. If you have never birded in Asia, plan on most of these birds being absolutely new to you. As if this wasn’t enough, Borneo is known for its wealth of mammals and we hope to see Orangutans, Proboscis Monkeys, a variety of species of cat and elephants, among many others. To maximize our odds, we will do a few night drives/boat rides which are typically very successful! Accommodation throughout the trip is of a generally good standard and the hotels and resorts that we make use of are quite comfortable, some downright fantastic! Some examples are Borneo Rainforest Lodge (www.borneonaturetours.com), Sukau Rainforest Lodge (www.sukau.com), and Sepilok Jungle Resort (www.sepilokjungleresort.com). Exotic, tropical birding in style! Cost is $3,735 (based on 11 participants.) The trip is limited to 11 participants, but the opportunity is open to non-WAS members and the trip will fill up in a first-come/first serve basis. Some of the spots are already taken, so if you are interested in joining us, please let me know as soon as you can. To reserve a spot or to request a detailed itinerary, trip list (with percentages for every species) or to ask any question about the trip please email Bryn Martin at . Hope you can join us for this adventure!
Precursor to Swifts and Hummingbirds? Use the link below if you are interested in a brief report on fossil discovery for an ancient bird species that appears to have been an ancestor of hummingbirds and swifts.
Stinchfield headlines: Record low number of total individuals but a Hooded Warbler tenement!Karen Markey For the 21st consecutive year, Washtenaw County birders have censused Stinchfield Woods. The 2013 count took place on a pleasant, breezy, and sunny Sunday, June 2, from 7 to 11 am. Special thanks go to our big crew of 17 volunteer counters: Anjali, Stephen Bergman, Monty Brown, Don Chalfant, Jeff Ernst, Warren Faust, Steve Hollobaugh, Raburn Howland, Maggie Jewett, George Kulesza, Bob MacMillan, Karen Markey, Andrew Pawluk, Dan Sparks-Jackson, Toni Spears, Roger Wykes, and T.J. Youngs.
Count headlines are the record low number of 575 individuals, well below the 15-year average of 755.4. Raburn said it poured rain at 3 am in the Stinchfield area -- was that the reason for such a low count? The previous low count was 616 individuals in 1997. Here are examples of last year's high species counts followed by this year's low counts: American Crow (66 / 29), Black-capped Chickadee (58 / 27), Red-eyed Vireo (53 / 40), Chipping Sparrow (50 / 23), Eastern Wood-pewee (47 / 34), Pine Warbler (44 / 20), Northern Cardinal (44 / 36), and American Goldfinch (44 / 19).
Today's high species counts were Red-eyed Vireo (40), Ovenbird (36), Northern Cardinal (36), Eastern Wood-pewee (34), and Blue Jay (31). The good news is that the count resulted in a 55 species, almost matching the 15-year average of 56.4 species. More good news is the record number of Hooded Warblers (24), surpassing the previous high of 18 in 2010. There were at least three locations where two to three Hoodeds could be heard singing simultaneously. Has Stinchfield become a Hooded Warbler tenement?
Despite so many fewer individuals overall, some species counts were higher than last year: Ovenbird (36 this year versus 30 last year), Pileated Woodpecker (4 this year versus 3 last year plus so much more evidence of Pileateds, that is, trees pocked with oval holes), Yellow-billed Cuckoo (9 this year versus none last), Acadian Flycatcher (19 this year versus 12 last), Indigo Bunting (16 this year versus 12 last).
This year's count was somewhat earlier than usual, occurring on the first rather than second weekend in June. Maybe that is the reason why several warblers were counted -- American Redstart, Northern Parula, Chestnut-sided, and Black-throated Blue Warblers.
Thanks again to the seventeen birders who took part in this year's count. You made it possible for us to partition the woods into sixths so that we could take our time birding and enjoy the day. See you next year! Additional species seen: Turkey Vulture, Sandhill Crane, Mourning Dove, Black-billed Cuckoo, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Great Crested Flycatcher, Eastern Kingbird, Yellow- throated Vireo, Blue-headed Vireo, Warbling Vireo, Purple Martin, Tufted Titmouse, Red- breasted Nuthatch, White-breasted Nuthatch, Brown Creeper, House Wren, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Wood Thrush, American Robin, Gray Catbird, Cedar Waxwing, Blue-winged Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Black-throated Green Warbler, Eastern Towhee, Song Sparrow, Scarlet Tanager, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Red-winged Blackbird, Brown-headed Cowbird, Baltimore Oriole.