April 6th, Intermediate eBird online training
Following the successful eBird training we offered in 2011, we are offering a repeat edition this year, with some new tips and tricks and some updates in how eBird has changed since then. eBird.org is an internet based checklist system that uses the data on birds you see from your birding trips to create birding checklist archives for you and then utilizes the data in scientific research. Do you want to know when various species are normally first seen or last seen in Cache Valley during the year? Where the nearest sighting of a particular bird is so you can go find it? How many birds you've seen in the county in 2013? eBird is your tool!
Ryan O'Donnell and Mike Taylor will lead an online eBird training so you can start using eBird or improve the way you already use it. You will 'attend' the training from your home computer, where you can watch Ryan and Mike's presentation in real-time and ask questions over the phone or internet. Registration is limited to 25 people and an RSVP is required. After registering you will receive an email with instructions on how to join the training. The training will begin at 2:00 PM and last about an hour. For more information or to register email Mike at email@example.com with your name and email address.
April 18th, Bridgerland Audubon Society Annual Banquet
Catch Scratch Fever:
My Life With Puma
Dr. Michael Wolfe, Emeritus Professor, USU Department of Wildland Resources
Mike Wolfe is a certified wildlife biologist whose areas of specialization are ecology and wildlife management.
His research interests include ungulate ecology and management, wildlife habitat relationships, predator-prey relationships,
international wildlife management and environmental conservation. He recently concluded an 8 year study of cougars in Utah.
Where: Riverwoods, 615 Riverwoods Pkwy, Logan, UT 84321
When: Thursday, April 18, 2013, 6:00 p.m.
April 27th,“Birdie Day”—Sharp-tailed Grouse Lek and Ranch Breakfast
We have been graciously invited by our great rancher friends, the Selmans, to visit their property in southern Cache Valley and observe Sharp-tailed Grouse dancing on their mating grounds. Following the grouse viewing, the Selmans will feed us a wonderful ranchers’ breakfast. In addition to viewing the birds, it is an opportunity to see how truly responsible stewards of the land like the Selmans carry out their ranching operations in a way that makes the land more productive and beautiful for both man and wildlife. This trip is suitable for both novice and experienced birders. Meet at 5:00 AM at the McDonald’s parking lot in Hyrum. Carpooling will be available and mandatory from there. We plan to be back about 1:00 PM.
May 11th and 12th, Allen Stokes Memorial Canoe Trips with Stokes Nature Center
Join local expert naturalists Bryan Dixon, Andrea Liberatore, and Dick Mueller on either one of these two dates for a canoe trip down the Bear River. We will start in Trenton and end in Amalga, watching birds and other wildlife along the way, including passing a Great Blue Heron rookery. Registration is required in advance. Contact Andrea Liberatore (755-3239 or firstname.lastname@example.org) for details and to register. This will be a joint trip with the Stokes Nature Center, and the number of spots is limited. This trip will cost $10 per participant if you bring your own boat, and $15 per participant including boat rental.
May 16th-20th, Great Salt Lake Bird Festival
People who come to Great Salt Lake Bird Festival are amazed at the large number of birds to be seen. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources reports 500,000 Wilson’s Phalaropes which is the largest staging concentration in the world, 280,000 Red-necked Phalaropes in a single day estimate, 250,000 American Avocets which is many times higher than any other wetland in the Pacific Flyway, and thousands of American White Pelicans, White-faced Ibis, Black-necked Stilts, and many other birds. We are excited to have author, photographer, and shorebird expert Kevin Karlson come to the 2013 Great Salt Lake Bird Festival. Our theme “Shore to Shore” encompasses the many shorebirds of the west and of Kevin’s home in New Jersey. Kevin is very personable and wants to meet all of you! He enjoys sharing his passion for birds and photography—you will feel it. For information on field trips (including some in Cache Valley), presentations, art contests, and everything else the Great Salt Lake Bird Festival has to offer, see http://www.greatsaltlakebirdfest.com.
June 1st, West Desert Migrant Traps
Many birders specifically seek out lost birds, and this trip will be focused on finding the rarest birds in Utah at some of the best places to find them. We’ll head out early in the morning for a long day of hitting migrant “traps” in western Box Elder County, small springs surrounded by desert that draw thirsty and hungry migrating birds to land for a short rest on their way north. We’ll see a lot of our typical species at these springs, but our main target will be to find one or two rare eastern warblers that got lost on their way north from the tropics. We’ll hit several of the famous hot spots in the area, including Lucin, Rabbit Spring, Owl Spring, and a few others. Meet at 5:00 AM at the parking lot in front of Caffe Ibis (50 east, 150 north in Logan). Bring a lunch and snacks, and some money to help pay drivers for gas.
June 15th, Family-friendly Birding, with Stokes Nature Center
This trip is specifically designed for the younger birders and naturalists! Join expert birder Terry Barnes as we enjoy the amazing colors and behaviors of the birds of Cache Valley. We’ll travel at a kid-friendly pace as we soak in the bird beauty that inspires nature lovers of all ages. Meet at 8:00 AM at the parking lot in front of Caffe Ibis (50E, 150N, Logan).
July 5th, Snakes of Logan Canyon
Andrew Durso, herpetologist, USU grad student, and author of a popular snake blog, will lead us on a trip up Logan Canyon in the evening to look for snakes. Our main targets will be Rubber Boas, Great Basin Rattlesnakes, Nightsnakes, and possibly Sagebrush Lizards, Gartersnakes, and Bullsnakes in the hour before sunset. Meet at the Stokes Nature Center parking lot near the mouth of Logan Canyon at 8:00 PM. Participants should wear closed-toe shoes and a headlamp or flashlight, and carry some water.
July 20th, Butterflies of Cache County with Stokes Nature Center
"Beautiful flowers with wings" is a phrase frequently used to express the exquisite beauty of butterflies. Join expert naturalist Jack Greene (email@example.com or 563-6816), the Bridgerland Audubon Society, and the Stokes Nature Center for a fieldtrip to the meadows of Tony Grove to learn the secret lives of these amazing sparks of life. Meet at 9:00 AM in the Forest Service parking lot (1500E Highway 89, Logan) to carpool. Bring binoculars and a lunch.
August 10th-11th, Curtis Creek Overnighter
A new trip to the BAS schedule, join expert birders Terry Barnes and Ryan O’Donnell for a weekend away in the Curtis Creek area, near Hardware Ranch. This is a very under-birded part of the county, and you never know what you’ll find when you go where no one else goes! We’ll head up to Terry’s cabin in the afternoon and bird around the sagebrush at 8,000 ft. elevation, looking for some of the specialties of that habitat that are particularly tough to find in Cache County, like Sage Thrasher, Sage Sparrow, and Greater Sage-Grouse. We’ll also spend some time in the forests, looking for our high-altitude species like Red Crossbills, Mountain Chickadees, and Red-breasted Nuthatches. As dark falls, we’ll try to find a few owl species. Then in the morning, we’ll go back out into the brush for some more birding! Pre-registration is required and a small fee will be charged to cover the cost of food. Email Ryan O’Donnell (Ryan.ODonnell@usu.edu) to register.
September 14th, Salmon Spawning
Come watch the annual spawning of Kokanee Salmon at Porcupine Reservoir. The bright red salmon are a beautiful sight here each fall, changing color just before the leaves do. Meet at 8:00 AM in the parking lot in front of Caffe Ibis (50E, 150N, Logan). We’ll be back in the early afternoon.
September 20th-22nd, Elk Bugling in the Tetons
Jack Greene will organize and lead our annual field trip to witness the Elk Bugling in the scenic Teton Mountains. The car pool will leave at 3:00 PM Friday afternoon, September 20th and return Sunday afternoon/evening, September 22nd. Witness the Tetons in their best fall dress where rampaging large ungulates (elk, bison, moose) release their fall passion with grunts, bugling, and a nasty disposition. Fall migrating birds along with resident species will add to the fun. Some participants choose to camp while others choose to stay in a hotel. You will need to provide your own meals. Expect anything from 40 to 80 degree weather; rain, snow, or sunshine. For more information, call Jack Greene at 563-6816.
October 5th, Fall shorebird migration
Along with gulls and flycatchers, fall shorebirds are one of the more difficult groups to identify. This trip will focus on finding and identifying as many species of migrating shorebirds as we can, and is timed to coincide with the best chances of seeing rarer species like Pectoral Sandpiper, Black-bellied Plover, Stilt Sandpiper, and other more common shorebirds. We’ll meet at the parking lot in front of Cafe Ibis (50E, 150N, Logan) at 9:00 AM and carpool from there. Our destinations for the day will depend on water levels around the valley, but might include Hyrum Reservoir, Sue’s Ponds, and the Amalga Barrens.
November 9th, Antelope Island
The Antelope Island Causeway is one of the best places in the state to find rare ducks, shorebirds, and gulls. On the island itself we will look for other winter specialties like Rough-legged Hawks and Merlins. If time and interest allow, we will continue to Garr Ranch at the south end of the island to look for songbirds. On previous year’s trips, we have found rarities including Varied Thrush, Black-legged Kittiwake, Harlequin Duck, White-winged and Black Scoters, and Red Phalarope. Meet at the parking lot in front of Cafe Ibis (50E, 150N, Logan) at 7:30 AM; we will carpool from there. Bring a snack or lunch and a few dollars to help cover the cost of the drivers' gas and the $9 per vehicle entrance fee. We'll plan on returning to Logan in the late afternoon.
December 8th, Naked Birding
"Naked" birding is birding without the use of binoculars. This is a unique trip because it is great for both the beginner and the expert: beginners will not have to struggle with optics, and experts can practice identifying species with a minimum of field marks, especially using sound and behavior. Last year was the first year for this trip, and it was a great success. We found species including Red Crossbills, Hooded Merganser, Cackling Goose, and even a Bewick’s Wren. Meet at the parking lot in front of Cafe Ibis (50E, 150N, Logan) at 9:00 AM. Leave the binoculars and spotting scopes at home, or at least in the car! Our exact destinations will be adjusted based on where bird activity is the greatest, but we'll be somewhere close to Logan. We'll end around noon.