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Bird Center of Washtenaw County
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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!











Sep 17, Wednesday
Birding for Conservation

Join Tom Funke for a program on how you can contribute to bird conservation while birding. Tom Funke is the conservation director for Michigan Audubon, and the resident manager of the Otis Farm Bird Sanctuary near Hastings, MI.

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Aug 2, Saturday 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Butterfly Bonanza at Leonard Preserve

Leaders: John Swales, Roger Wykes, and (perhaps) Roger Kuhlman

You will be in for a treat if you are able to participate in this outing, whether you are a novice or experienced with butterflies. Our leaders will be in prime form, having participated in a half dozen butterfly counts in SE Michigan in the preceding weeks. For the fourth straight year, they have decided to lead this outing at the Leonard Preserve, on the northwest edge of Manchester. The Leonard is the largest preserve in the county system, with 259 acres and nearly one mile of River Raisin shoreline. Meet at 9:30 a.m. in the parking area. The length of the outing will depend on conditions, but it will likely last until about noon.

Directions: From I-94, turn off at M-52 (exit 159) and head south for approximately 10.5 miles. Turn right onto Main Street, then right again on Union Street. The preserve entrance is at the end of Union Street. When the street bears left and turns to gravel you will see the preserve entrance sign. Keep going, and the parking area is on the right.

Aug 16, Saturday 8:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Migrating Shorebirds and Waders at Pointe Mouillee SGA

Leader: Jim Fowler

Pointe Mouillee, on Lake Erie near the mouth of the Huron River, is one of the best destinations in the Midwest for viewing shorebirds and waders, but vehicular access is limited. Jim Fowler knows this territory through and through and leads several field trips each year at this location.

PLEASE NOTE: This trip has limited space, and registration is mandatory. Priority will be given to members of Washtenaw Audubon and to people who did not get to go last year. To register, send your name(s) and a contact phone number to fieldtripsATwashtenawaudubon.org. Registered participants will meet at Pointe Mouillee at 8:00 a.m., and from there will consolidate into four vehicles. Because of the restricted access, it is necessary to attend the entire outing. Participants should bring insect repellent, wear a hat, and dress for warm weather--there is no shade or shelter at Pointe Mouillee. Bring all the food and fluids you think you will need to sustain you for approximately five hours of birding. Further details will be sent to registered participants shortly before the event.

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New Washtenaw Audubon president to be elected Wednesday night
There will be a five minute, or less, election of a new Washtenaw Audubon Society (WAS) president and vice president before Don Chalfant’s program begins. Our current president, Sue Johnson, who has served two terms with distinction for the last few years, has decided not to seek reelection in order to pursue other endeavors. Sue appointed a nominating committee to recruit a new president, and we are pleased to report that WAS member Juliet Berger has agreed to serve as our new president. The WAS board voted to accept Juliet at the last board meeting. Juliet will need to be ratified via a voice vote of members Wednesday night. As Mike Sefton’s term as vice president has expired, the nominating committee and WAS board have asked him to serve another term as vice president and program chair. Mike has agreed to accept, if no one else volunteers to serve in this capacity.
Ray Stocking
Chair, nominating committee

Florida Flora and Fauna is free program, June 18, all invited
Join Don "The Man" Chalfant for an innovative program on the state beloved of birders and frozen Michiganders. You don't have to be a Washtenaw Audubon member to attend. Please see the description of Don's program in the column to your left on this page.

The strange but lovely Roseate Spoonbill is among the fabulous Florida birds that Don "The Man" Chalfant will show us in his program.

Record #s of Hooded Warblers and Participants at Stinchfield Woods
Here are excerpts from Karen Markey's report on the 2014 Stinchfield Woods Census, held Sun 6/15:

"Count headlines are the average number of 767 individuals, a little above the 16-year average of 744.1, and the average number of 56 species, right at the 16-year average of 56.3 species. We had our first-ever sighting of Osprey, a bird that took flight as the group approached it. For the second year in a row, a record 4 Pileated woodpeckers was reported. Excellent news is the record number of Hooded warblers (27), surpassing last year's high of 24. Let us hope that this is the "new normal" for Hoodeds at Stinchfield. Unfortunately, we passed several dog walkers with multiple unleashed dogs in tow, not a positive sign for sustaining record numbers of this close-to-the-ground nesting species.

"This year's high species counts were Northern cardinal (56), Blue jay (55), Eastern wood-pewee (51), and Ovenbird (44).

"On the plus side are numbers of:

  • Acadian flycatchers ~ holding strong in double-digits at 22
  • Eastern-wood pewees ~ back up into the low 50s at 51
  • Blue jays ~ also back up into the mid-50s (55)
  • Wood thrush ~ back up into the teens (13) after five single-digit years
  • Pine warblers and Ovenbirds are back at above average numbers
  • Scarlet tanagers ~ back up to the low 20s at 22
  • Cowbirds ~ this year's total of 9 is welcome news, the first single-digit year since 2005
"On the minus side are numbers of:
  • Red-breasted nuthatches ~ another slim year at 7 compared to several double-digit years in the past
  • Tufted titmice dropped to the high teens compared to twice as many in past years
"Next year's Stinchfield Wood census count will also take place on a Sunday, probably June 7 or June 14."

Big thanks to Karen for leading this effort for the past 16 years and for Rachelle Roake for agreeing to coordinate it starting next year.

Bird Art and Science featured in Toledo exhibit
From now through July 6, the Toledo Museum of Art will be featuring an exhibit titled "In Fine Feather: Birds, Art, and Science." Thank you to the U of M's Clements Library for drawing our attention to the exhibit, to which it has loaned four engravings from a set of Alexander Wilson's "American Ornithology." For more information, see http://www.toledomuseum.org/­exhibitions/­in-fine-feather/­.

Got a bird question? Answers are here.
Washtenaw County has always been proud of its birding community. However, the recent addition of Julie Craves (Birdwatching Magazine's author of the column, "Since You Asked" and Rouge River Bird Observatory supervisor) has provided some real local cachet! We took the liberty of providing you a link to Julie's excellent answers to some FAQ's about birds under Bird Stuff You Should Know.

Washtenaw Audubon Lending Library - Back Online!
We have a variety of books and magazines available for loan. Click the link below or the permanent link on the right of this page to see what's available to you.

WAS phone number to be discontinued--contact via e-mail
We will be discontinuing the WAS telephone number at the end of February. The phone line is no longer a cost-effective way of handling inquiries and communicating with our members and other people. Please click on the "CONTACT US" tab on the navigation bar at the top of each of our web pages if you need to contact someone at Washtenaw Audubon.

Borneo trip canceled
Because we did not have enough registrants for our proposed trip to Borneo in June, that trip has regrettably been canceled.








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