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Found an injured or orphaned bird?
Bird Center of Washtenaw County
(734) 761-9640








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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!











Oct 15, Wednesday
Impacts of Ecosystem Imbalance on Birds

Maurita Holland and Andrea Matthies of Washtenaw Citizens for Ecological Balance

Birds need winter shelter and food, and safe grasslands, shrubs, or trees for nesting. They need native plants which attract native insects in order to give their nestlings a protein diet. High population levels of white-tail deer are threatening all of these needs. Deer are also spreading seeds of various invasive plants— degrading the essential ecosystems.

The speakers will present the reasons why this is happening in Ann Arbor and surrounding counties, and why the city government is considering means to control the excessive deer population. Recognizing that this is both an ecological and an emotional issue, we will welcome a conversational exchange.

Learn more at: www.wc4eb.org

more program information











Oct 2, Thursday 8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Weekly Fall Migration Walks at Nichols Arboretum

Every Thursday morning from August 28 through the end of October, participants will gather at 8:00 at the end of the Riverview Drive cul-de-sac (off Geddes Road) near the eastern edge of Nichols Arboretum. The birders present that day will choose a route or routes and head out in search of migrants, many of which will be in their first-year plumage. Along the way, participants can enjoy marvelous fall scenery and crisp weather. The walks go until roughly 11:00, but anyone can join or leave the group as his or her schedule requires.

Click here for a map of the meeting spot or to get directions to it.

Oct 4, Saturday 8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Weekend Fall Migration Walk at Nichols Arboretum (AM)

Participants will gather at 8:00 AM at the end of the Riverview Drive cul-de-sac (off Geddes Road) near the eastern edge of Nichols Arboretum. The birders present will choose a route or routes and head out in search of migrants, many of which will be in their first-year plumage. Along the way, participants can enjoy marvelous fall scenery and crisp weather. The walk will go until roughly  11:00, but anyone can join or leave the group as his or her schedule requires.

more trips & events








Chimney Swift Tornado!
As fall progresses, hundreds of Chimney Swifts gather to roost at night in various old chimneys around town. Later in September, they will begin to leave for their winter habitats in South America, and all but a few are gone by the end of the month. Watching them swirl into the chimneys at dusk is one of nature's fascinating spectacles. A chimney that currently is hosting these birds is at Mack School on Miller Rd. on the west side of Ann Arbor.

Here's a YouTube video made by Washtenaw Audubon member Vedran Radojcic:


National Audubon releases study on impact of global warming on birds

Rufous Hummingbird. Photo: Rick Leche, Flickr Creative Commons

Dear Friend,

I hope you will forgive me for being the bearer of bad news.

America’s birds are headed for serious trouble — more serious than you might imagine.

But this is not a call to worry. It’s a call to act.

Just today, we released the results of a seven-year scientific study of the potential impact of global warming on North American birds. Based on four decades of bird census data, here is what we found:

314 species of North American birds — nearly half of all species — could be severely affected by global warming in the coming years at the current pace of warming. The science shows that these birds could lose half or more of their livable ranges by the year 2080 if nothing is done to stop global warming.
Many of those severely threatened are birds like the Rufous Hummingbird or the Baltimore Oriole that we see every day, or love and cherish.
Some, like the Trumpeter Swan, Brown-headed Nuthatch, and American Avocet, could lose more than 99 percent of their livable range — which puts them at extreme risk for extinction.
The science also pinpoints potential “climate strongholds,” key places that will continue to support bird life in the coming decades and which merit urgent protection.
These are conservative estimates based on cutting-edge science and state-of-the-art climate models. The reality could, in fact, be worse.

An extraordinary threat demands an extraordinary response.

So today we are launching the Audubon climate initiative. Our mission is to give you the information, the training, and the tools you need to be part of the solution — whether it be in your backyard, your community, or your state.

There’s Hope, If We Act Now

It’s not too late to make a difference. If we act boldly and act now.

What can you do? Quite a lot actually. Here are four ways you can help in the next few minutes:

1. Start by sharing your own story. Global warming is no longer something we just read about in scientific reports — it’s happening all around us. Many of you have experienced changes in bird life around you.

Your personal observations and experiences matter. Your story could help motivate others to join the fight to prevent an avian climate catastrophe.

2. Learn more. The results of Audubon’s Climate Report are currently available online at climate.audubon.org. There, you can find the science and effects on birds — down to the species — in arresting detail. For even more information — and potential solutions — check out the current issue of Audubon Magazine, fully available online alongside Audubon’s Climate Report.

3. Spread the Word. The more people who know, the better chance we — and our beloved birds — have. Send this email to three friends. Send a tweet. Visit our Facebook page and connect with others who care.

4. Make a contribution to support Audubon’s life-saving work. Many bird species are already struggling — victims of habitat loss, pollution, and man-made obstacles like skyscrapers and towers. Our urgent climate warning comes on top of an already crowded and urgent agenda for conserving birds and their habitats.

For more ideas on how to be part of the solution, visit the “What You Can Do” page on our website.

Climate change is the bird conservation challenge of our time. I know you want to do all you can to meet that challenge. Never forget that, to a bird, you are what hope looks like.


David Yarnold
President and CEO
National Audubon Society

Photo credit: Rufous Hummingbird, Rick Leche, Flickr Creative Commons

Conservation Birding is free program, September 17
Join Tom Funke for an illustrated talk on Conservation Birding. Tom Funke is the former Conservation Director of Michigan Audubon, and the resident manager at the Otis Sancturary. For more detail, see the column to the left on this page.

Dickcissel is a rare summer visitor to Washtenaw County. This bird was found by Dan Sparks-Jackson for a Tuesday Evening Birders field trip on May 27. Photo: M. Sefton

Please welcome Juliet Berger as our new WAS president
At our June meeting, the Society approved the recommendation of the board and its nominating committee and elected Juliet Berger as our new president. In addition to being an excellent birder, Juliet brings great energy and enthusiasm to the position. She takes over from Sue Johnson, who served two terms with accomplishment and good cheer.

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.

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.








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