Welcome! 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
Jun 19, Wednesday
Birding A to Z with Don "The Man" Chalfant
Join birding ace and noted raconteur Don “The Man” Chalfant in an entertaining program about our favorite pastime.While he escapes the snows of Ann Arbor in sunny Florida for half the year, Don works tirelessly on his innovative programs for Washtenaw Audubon, in the time he can spare from augmenting his enormous Florida life list, then returns to Ann Arbor with the hummingbirds to work on his enormous Washtenaw County life list.Don “The Man” is a retired school teacher and keen birder and field trip leader.
Weekly Spring Migration Walks at Nichols Arboretum
Join us on Thursday mornings in April and May at Nichols Arboretum to observe migrants making their way north. These leaderless walks are a great opportunity to join with other birders of all skill levels. In addition to the birds, the Arb's trees and plants offer delights of their own. For example, in late April and early May, trillium blooms abundantly on the wooded hillsides.
This season's walks will start on April 4 and go through May 30. Park and meet at the Riverview Court cul-de-sac off Geddes Road at 8:00 a.m; the walks will end around 11:00, but participants can leave whenever they prefer. Click here for a map of the meeting spot or to get directions to it.
May 28, Tuesday
Tuesday Evening Birders
Leaders: Dea Armstrong; Lathe Claflin, and Mike Sefton
Dea, Lathe, and Mike will take turns leading and co-leading these outings. They will scout locations and scan bird reports during the day, and then in the evening take the group to where the action is. This is a carpool event, typically with multiple stops. Meet at 6:00 p.m. at the Miller Road/M-14 park-and-ride lot, where everyone will consolidate into fewer vehicles and prepare for a 6:15 sharp departure.
Click here for Google map of location and to get directions. These outings will end at dusk.
PLEASE NOTE: Since these are carpool outings, 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.
Tuesday Evening Birders In addition to Washtenaw Audubon's regular Thursday morning walks in Nichols Arboretum, which began in April and continue throughout May, this month marks the return of Tuesday Evening Birders. Every Thursday, one or two of our best birders, including Dea Armstrong, Lathe Claflin, and Mike Sefton, scout and monitor reports during the day and then lead a carpool trip in the evening to where the action is. This is a great way to get the most out of spring migration. Because this is a carpool trip, minors not accompanied by an adult relative need to bring a completed parent consent form. The form can be downloaded from the right column of our field trip page, which is where you can also get the other details.
NAP offering 3 bird walks in next 4 weeks Dea Armstrong, WAS education coordinator and the city of Ann Arbor's ornithologist, will be leading three walks for the city's Natural Areas Preservation (NAP) program over the next four weeks:
Gallup Park & Furstenberg Nature Area
Friday, May 17, 6:00-8:00 PM
Meet in the parking area closest to the entrance to Gallup Park on Fuller Road, just west of Huron Pkwy.
Wheeler Service Center
Saturday, June 1, 7:30-9:30 AM
This trip will focus on early summer birds at the former landfill site. Bobolinks and Savannah Sparrows are reliably found at this location, and the pond always has interesting birds too. Dress to walk in tall grasses. Meet in the small parking lot on the right off the main entrance to the Material Recovery Facility off of Platt Rd., just south of Ellsworth.
Gallup Park & Furstenberg Nature Area
Saturday, June 8, 7:30-9:30 AM
This morning walk will likely include viewing of many active nesters. Again, meet in the parking area closest to the entrance to Gallup Park on Fuller Road, just west of Huron Pkwy.
Questions? Contact Dea at ddarmATumich.edu or 734-794-6627.
Wednesday 5/15: Birds of Hawai'i, free program, all invited to attend
'Apapane feeding on 'ohi'a flower, Big Island, Hawai'i
Please join us for the free program tonight on the birds of Hawai'i. You do not need to be a Washtenaw Audubon member to attend, though we would welcome your membership to help with our educational and environmental programs.
New Dolph outing Sat 5/4 Karen Markey has volunteered to lead a field trip at Dolph Park this Saturday morning, May 4. Meet at the park's Wagner Road parking lot (south of Jackson, north of Liberty) at 7:30 AM. The trip will last until about 10 AM.
In addition to consistently finding great warblers and vireos, Karen's outings to Dolph in recent years have often yielded many other great birds--Red-headed Woodpecker, Bobwhite, and Lincoln's Sparrow are three examples from different years.
Woodcock Walk, Sat 4/27 at Barton Nature Area Join us this Saturday evening as Ray Stocking leads birders in search of Woodcocks and the males' spectacular aerial display during courtship. For more information, see sidebar at left or our field trips page.
Sat 4/13 Arb walk with Karen Markey This weekend Washtenaw Audubon will sponsor two walks at Nichols Arboretum. In addition to our previously announced leaderless walk on Sunday at 8:00 AM, Karen Markey has offered to lead a walk at the Arb on Saturday, which will start at 8:15 AM. Both walks will begin at the Riverview Drive/Court entrance to the Arb, at the east end of Dow Field. Target birds will be early spring migrants such as Winter wren, Yellow-bellied sapsucker, Brown creeper, both kinglet species, Hermit thrush, and White-throated sparrows. On Monday, Karen had great luck finding all of these plus several Fox sparrows along the eastern north-south road in the brush and trees between the huge houses and trail. Let’s hope this area will continue to be a bird magnet this weekend. Dress warmly and choose shoes or boots appropriate for wet conditions.
County Parks' "Dabblers & Divers" Sat 3/30 at Independence Lake On Saturday, March 30, Faye Stoner of Washtenaw County Parks will lead a program on waterfowl from 9-11 AM at Independence Lake County Park. After a slide presentation and discussion on the different groups of ducks, as well as geese, grebes, and loons, that can be found in this area, participants will observe waterfowl on the lake. Bring binoculars if you can. Scopes will be on hand to help with lake viewing. Meet at the Beach Center. Park entry fee may be required. Questions? Contact Faye at .
Turn Your Garden Into a Hummingbird Haven
Our March program will show you how to attract hummingbirds to your garden. Please see the program description to the left on this page.
**Waterfowl Trip on Sat 3/23** See left-hand column of this page or visit our field trip page for details.
Space still available for 3/9 Owl Prowl If you are interested in Ray Stocking's upcoming owling trip, as of 3/1 there is still space available. For more details on this event and for instructions on how to register, please see the listing on the left hand column of this page or on the field trip page.
One Road Challenge Going forward on Sat AM (2/23) We are going forward, as planned, with the One Road Challenge tomorrow morning. PLEASE use your best judgment in driving, parking, and positioning yourself whenever you are outside your vehicle.
After the birding stops at 11 AM, we look forward to seeing all participants at 11:30 at the Songbird Cafe (2707 Plymouth Road, AA, in the center NE of Plymouth and Nixon) to tally results.
Good luck, have fun, get great birds, but stay safe.
Exciting class about birds to be offered in Ann Arbor February 26-April 30, 2013. When two individuals who love birds and love to teach folks about birds get an opportunity to work together to offer an in-depth bird course, those who enroll should be ready for an excellent learning experience. Instructors Francie Krawcke, Leslie Science and Nature Center (LSNC) raptor program specialist and an enthusiastic environmental educator, and Deaver Armstrong, Ann Arbor’s City Ornithologist and experienced Washtenaw Audubon Field trip guide, have designed a two-month class that looks like a great way to learn about birds and bird-watching. Novice bird watchers, educators, environmental consultants will all find this course useful.
The class will cover basic bird anatomy and physiology, behavior, taxonomy, reproduction, vocalizations, and bird identification in a relaxed, interactive atmosphere. These topics will be covered in the “lecture” component on Tuesdays from 7-8:30 PM. The Saturday morning field trip meetings to various local sites (usually starting around 9 am and finishing by noon) will introduce participants to the local birds and provide some details about how the birds interact with each other and their various habitats. Because we are fortunate enough to be having classes at Leslie Science and Nature Center, the class component will often use live birds in demonstrations. The field component will focus more on groups of birds as they migrate into our area, moving from winter resident species, to waterfowl, to water birds, etc. From time to time other experienced field trip leaders will join us. Dea and Francie recognize that not everyone in the class may be able to make it to every event but reference materials will be provided so that “catching-up” will never be a problem. Educators in SE Michigan should contact LSNC regarding continuing education credits. Cost is $295 for 7 lectures and 7 field trips.
We hope you're planning to enjoy the return of this friendly competition, where teams will pick a single road within Washtenaw County and bird it until 11 a.m. on February 23.
The official tally and scoring of the competition will begin at 11:30 a.m. at a (heated!) site to be determined. If the weather on this date looks like it may not be appropriate for this event, we may postpone the Challenge to the following day. In that event, a notice would be posted to this website and sent to the listserv.
See the competition rules and details on our Field Trip page at http://www.washtenawaudubon.org/fieldtrips.php. If you are interested in participating and need teammates, or if you have any questions or comments, contact Monty Brown at .
Soo Trip Is Full The registration for the weekend trip to the Sault Ste. Marie area at the beginning of February is now full. If you are still interested in going, contact the leaders to be put on the wait list. Please see the field trip page for further information.
Act Fast for Soo Trip As of 12/19, the joint trip at the beginning of February with Jackson Audubon was nearly full. If you are interested in this trip, try to sort out your schedule and contact one of the leaders, Lathe Claflin or Gary Siegrist, as soon as possible. For their contact information and a fuller description of trip details, please go to field trip page.
Whimbrels in Manitoba: Tracking a Long-distance Migrant Wednesday, December 19, 7:30pm. See description of this free program at top left.
Whimbrel on nest. Photo: Andy Johnson
For an exciting program on the Whimbrel and other birds that breed in the Arctic tundra, join us on December 19 at 7:30pm for the free program described at top left on this page. You do not have to be a member to attend, but your membership would help to fund our conservation and education programs.
Sign Up for the Soo Trip! As of the end of November, there is still space available for the trip the first weekend in February to the Sault Ste. Marie area. The remaining slots are not likely to last long! Anyone who is interested in going should contact Lathe Claflin or Gary Siegrist. See field trip page for details and their contact information.
Weekend Walks at the Arb? As you may recall, this spring we experimented with three weekend walks at Nichols Arboretum. This idea was suggested to us as a way to help less-experienced birders who cannot attend weekday morning walks. The idea was that they and other birders could gather at the Arb on these weekend dates, and proceed as our Thursday morning walks do, with no leaders per se, but with more experienced birders who happen to be available helping others to find and identify birds.If you attended any of these events, please send your impressions and comments to . If this seems to be popular, we will continue it, otherwise we will focus our efforts elsewhere.