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One-Road Challenge [UPDATED]

icon date2 Saturday, March 11, 2017
icon timer 
icon map marker No location provided or location is TBD

Come join in this friendly competition sponsored by Washtenaw Audubon!

Here are the rules and regulations. Email us if you have any questions

  • Form a team of at least three people and select a public road in Washtenaw County that is likely to yield a wide variety of species in early March. The following roads are not eligible for the competition: Huron River Drive, Michigan Avenue, North Territorial. All other roads are allowed, but please use good judgment in considering safety in addition to bird-related considerations.
  • More than one team is allowed to use a given road. You will not "own" your road.
  • Start searching your road as early as you like on the morning of the event (i.e., any time after midnight). Look and listen for as many bird species as possible, stopping not later than 11 AM. Only species observed from midnight to 11 AM will count.
  • A species will count if is identified positively by either sound or sight. At least half of your team has to see or hear a species for it to count.
  • Your team has to bird together. If you split up, you either become separate teams (if each fragment has enough members), or you move to the Outlaw Division (see below).
  • You must stay within fifteen feet of the edge of your chosen road. Any birds seen or heard whle you are beyond that range will not count. If your road has a break or a shift, you can only count the birds observed from your road, not the connecting ones. Examples of interrupted roads include: 5 Mile, 6 Mile, 7 Mile, Arkona, Austin, Bemis, Braun, Jennings, Jerusalem, Lima Center, Maple, Morgan, Napier, Northfield Church, Textile, Trinkle, Sharon Hollow, Steinbach, Willow and Zeeb.
  • You must stay within Washtenaw County.
  • Hybrids of species are interesting, but they won't count.

Scoring:

  • In general, each species found will be worth one point; except
  • Species found by no other team will receive a bonus point in your team's species count; and
  • Teams that include people who have never participated in ANY previous Washtenaw Audubon Society outing before will receive an additional two points for each newcomer, but with a maximum of six of these bonus points per team.

Safety:

  • Drive safely and predictably
  • Do not obstruct traffic
  • Be visible - wear bright colors
  • Be courteous and alert

Post-Competition Meeting:

  • We will meet afterwards to compile results and calculate team scores. Location is TBD.

OUTLAW DIVISION! Too many rules for you? Don't like birding as a team? Don't want to commit to being part of a team because of a potential schedule conflict? Please participate anyway. Only teams that follow all the rules are eligible to win, but we are happy to have others participate and we will be interested in hearing about the birds you find.
Please note that these rules may be subject to revision up to one week before the contest begins.

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Dead Birds (...for Science!)

icon date2 Wednesday, March 15, 2017
icon timer 07:30pm
icon map marker Matthaei Botanical Gardens

In order to save birds, we need to save their habitats. But birds have wings, can't read maps, and don't stay where they're safe. So how can we create a more bird friendly world beyond parks and refuges? We need to know HOW they die. What kills birds tells us where we can make changes to prevent bird deaths in the future. Join Heidi in exploring the preventable causes of avian mortality that put so much pressure on the birds we know and love, and learn about how valuable dead birds are to science.

This talk primarily focuses on window collisions, window collision prevention, and uncomfortable topics such as wind farms, cats, and where birds go when they die. There is no viewer advisory for the images in this presentation: it is suitable for all audiences.

Heidi Trudell is a relentless advocate for birds. Her passion for preserving incidentally dead birds began in 2003, and her freezer list since then has spanned three states and over 130 species. Heidi has been a librarian, zookeeper, rehabber, bird guide, and nature blogger in Texas (bigbendnature.com). She tends the Facebook groups “Dead Birds (for Science!)” and “The Auk-ward”. Heidi serves as a coordinator as well as monitor with Washtenaw Safe Passage, and is Chair of the Great Lakes Safe Passage Committee for Detroit Audubon. She currently works at an automotive tech startup in Ypsilanti.

This program is free and open to the public. Membership is not required, though we would welcome your membership to help with our environmental and educational activities. Washtenaw Audubon programs are held at the U-M Matthaei Botanical Gardens, 1800 North Dixboro Rd., Ann Arbor.

In addition to the program, hear news of the latest critter sightings and field trips, and enjoy tasty snacks following the program.

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Kensington Birdwatching for Beginners

icon date2 Sunday, March 26, 2017
icon timer 10:00am
icon map marker Kensington Metropark

Meet at the Nature Center parking area at 10 AM for a trip around the trails. Bring a pocketful of sunflower seeds to hand-feed the chickadees and titmice. View migrating waterfowl and the Great Blue Heron rookery. We hope to see the Sandhill Cranes that reside there, as well as Red-winged Blackbirds and other early migrants. This field trip is a fun way to bring young birders and novice adults into the birding community. It is suitable for all ages. Young children should be accompanied by an adult. Older minors can bring a completed release form found on the website. Plan to be done by noon. This trip is free of charge, but a MetroParks Pass is required for admission to the park.

Leader: Bryn Martin

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Spring Migration Walks

icon date2 Thursday, March 30, 2017
icon timer 08:00am
icon map marker Riverview Court Cul-de-sac

Join us on Thursday morning, March 30, and Thursday mornings in April and May (April 6, 13, 20, 27; May 4, 11, 18, 25) 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 other plants offer delights of their own. 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 a.m., but participants can leave whenever they prefer.

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Spring Migration Walks

icon date2 Thursday, April 06, 2017
icon timer 08:00am
icon map marker Riverview Court Cul-de-sac

Join us on Thursday morning, March 30, and Thursday mornings in April and May (April 6, 13, 20, 27; May 4, 11, 18, 25) 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 other plants offer delights of their own. 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 a.m., but participants can leave whenever they prefer.

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Spring Migration Walks

icon date2 Thursday, April 13, 2017
icon timer 08:00am
icon map marker Riverview Court Cul-de-sac

Join us on Thursday morning, March 30, and Thursday mornings in April and May (April 6, 13, 20, 27; May 4, 11, 18, 25) 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 other plants offer delights of their own. 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 a.m., but participants can leave whenever they prefer.

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Ben Winger: 21st Century Science with 19th Century Specimens: Next Generation Ornithology at the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology

icon date2 Wednesday, April 19, 2017
icon timer 07:30pm
icon map marker Matthaei Botanical Gardens

The University of Michigan Museum of Zoology (UMMZ) houses over 200,000 specimens of birds, making it one of the most important ornithological research collections in the world. Many of the specimens were collected almost two centuries ago. Today, technological developments such as genome sequencing enable scientists to use these specimens to unlock secrets of the past as well as make predictions about the future of bird populations. Dr. Winger will discuss several exciting ongoing areas of research that draw insights from the UMMZ’s bird collections. He will also discuss how data from citizen science efforts, such as your contributions to eBird, interface powerfully with historical data from specimens to help us understand migratory birds’ past, present and future.

Ben Winger is Assistant Professor and Curator of Birds in the University of Michigan’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Museum of Zoology. Ben hails from northeast Ohio, where he became enthralled with avian migration at an early age while birding along the south shore of Lake Erie. His interest in birds led to a career of scientific research, focused on topics such as the evolution of bird migration and the process of speciation (how new species form). His fieldwork has taken him throughout the Western Hemisphere, particularly the Andes of Peru and Ecuador. He has a B.A. from Cornell University and a PhD from the University of Chicago.

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Spring Migration Walks

icon date2 Thursday, April 20, 2017
icon timer 08:00am
icon map marker Riverview Court Cul-de-sac

Join us on Thursday morning, March 30, and Thursday mornings in April and May (April 6, 13, 20, 27; May 4, 11, 18, 25) 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 other plants offer delights of their own. 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 a.m., but participants can leave whenever they prefer.

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Spring Migration Walks

icon date2 Thursday, April 27, 2017
icon timer 08:00am
icon map marker Riverview Court Cul-de-sac

Join us on Thursday morning, March 30, and Thursday mornings in April and May (April 6, 13, 20, 27; May 4, 11, 18, 25) 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 other plants offer delights of their own. 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 a.m., but participants can leave whenever they prefer.

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Spring Migration Walks

icon date2 Thursday, May 04, 2017
icon timer 08:00am
icon map marker Riverview Court Cul-de-sac

Join us on Thursday morning, March 30, and Thursday mornings in April and May (April 6, 13, 20, 27; May 4, 11, 18, 25) 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 other plants offer delights of their own. 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 a.m., but participants can leave whenever they prefer.

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Spring Migration Walks

icon date2 Thursday, May 11, 2017
icon timer 08:00am
icon map marker Riverview Court Cul-de-sac

Join us on Thursday morning, March 30, and Thursday mornings in April and May (April 6, 13, 20, 27; May 4, 11, 18, 25) 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 other plants offer delights of their own. 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 a.m., but participants can leave whenever they prefer.

More Information

Spring Migration Walks

icon date2 Thursday, May 18, 2017
icon timer 08:00am
icon map marker Riverview Court Cul-de-sac

Join us on Thursday morning, March 30, and Thursday mornings in April and May (April 6, 13, 20, 27; May 4, 11, 18, 25) 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 other plants offer delights of their own. 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 a.m., but participants can leave whenever they prefer.

More Information

Spring Migration Walks

icon date2 Thursday, May 25, 2017
icon timer 08:00am
icon map marker Riverview Court Cul-de-sac

Join us on Thursday morning, March 30, and Thursday mornings in April and May (April 6, 13, 20, 27; May 4, 11, 18, 25) 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 other plants offer delights of their own. 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 a.m., but participants can leave whenever they prefer.

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Washtenaw Audubon Society 6th International Field Trip: Spain!

icon date2 Tuesday, June 20, 2017
icon timer 
icon map marker No location provided or location is TBD

This upcoming June, WAS will be offering its 6th international field trip, this time to the bird-rich European country of Spain. We will spend 10 days (June 20-29, 2017) birding a variety of habitats in search of as many species we can, focusing on the birds unique to this part of the world. We start in the hilly grasslands of central Spain looking for birds such as Great Bustard, Little Bustard, Iberian Magpies, Hoopoes, European Bee-eaters and many others. This region is known for its variety of raptors (3 vulture species, 5 species of eagles, etc…) From here, we travel to a more arid region for 2 species of sandgrouse, many species of larks, Little Owl, Eurasian Wryneck, Black Wheatear, etc… Then, it’s up into the Alps for montane species, such as Choughs, Firecrests, Goldcrests, Lammergeiers, many woodpecker species, Dippers, Crossbills, as well as mammals like the Chamois. The main target of this part of the Alps will be the beautiful and unique Wallcreeper. Lastly, we head down toward the coast, where we will spend time in wetlands with their diversity of species: many species of gull and tern, waders, herons, flamingos, ducks, warblers and more.

The cost will be between $2,450-$2,900 depending upon how many participants sign up. This price includes accommodation, all transportation, guiding, all meals, etc… The only thing not included is the flight to get there.

Should be a great trip. It will be limited to 10 people. Some spots are already taken, so if you are interested please contact us ASAP. If you are interested in joining us or simply getting more specific information, contact the Washtenaw Audubon Field Trip Chair, Bryn Martin (click for contact form). We can send you a detailed itinerary with accommodations we will be using, as well as a trip list of birds we hope to see. Hope you are able to join us!

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