During the potluck-tally gathering at the closing of this year’s Ann Arbor Christmas Bird Count, we discussed if the 2016 edition was the tenth anniversary of my role as count compiler. Neither the previous compiler, Nancy French, nor I was sure when the baton was passed from her to me, but after reviewing my CBC records, I found that 2007 was my inaugural year as compiler, which means that this year, 2016, was, indeed, my tenth year in charge of the Ann Arbor CBC—how time flies!

Come join in this friendly competition on Saturday, March 11, 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.

Matthaei Botanical Gardens has started remodeling to convert the coat room and adjacent storage room to a handicap-accessible ramp connecting the main lobby with the classroom hallway. This will impact our meeting on February 15, and possibly the March 15 meeting as well. The impacts are as follows:

  • To get to the meeting room, you must enter at the front lobby. Do not enter at the west lobby (closest entrance to the large parking lot), as you will find the hallway blocked due to the construction and you will not be able to get to the main lobby or the meeting room. 
  • The existing men's bathrooom adjacent to the main lobby has been temporarily converted to a women's bathroom for the duration of the construction. 
  • The only operational men's bathroom is accessible from the west lobby. To use the men's room, you must exit the building at front and walk outside to enter at the west lobby. 
  • The sidewalk from the west parking lot and west lobby has no lighting. If this concerns you, bring a flashlight. 

This year we are trying something new: online registration for the Ann Arbor Christmas Bird Count. This is how we prefer that everyone register, as it will give us a complete (or mostly complete) database of participants and contact information. To register:


For more information, visit our Christmas Bird Count page

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.

On Saturday, December 3, 2016, this annual trip is a favorite for hard-core WAS members. Because access to the landfill is restricted, we rent vans for the trip and have to limit the number of participants. First priority goes to Washtenaw Audubon members who have not recently been on this trip. Second priority will be given to Washtenaw Audubon members who have previously attended this trip. Non-members may be placed on a wait list on a first come, first served basis and will be admitted three days before the trip to fill any remaining spots. There are 20 spots available.

by CBC Compiler, Jacco Gelderloos

Online registration is new this year! CLICK HERE!

As I sit here behind my computer, I cannot help but chuckle at the somewhat surreal circumstance of writing this year’s CBC article after an (almost) 80-degree day! Then again, temperatures are forecast to drop this weekend, and the first of the season’s Dark-eyed Juncos have been reported. In short, winter is irrevocably on its way!

Led by Don Chalfant, this is a low-key international competition that Don has participated in for the past 14 years. The task is to try to identify by sight or sound as many bird species as possible while remaining in a circle of 17 feet in diameter. For participants other than Don, the timing can be completely flexible. You can arrive before dawn to join in the owling or you can come after breakfast, in the afternoon--whatever works for you. It is also a great outing for those with restricted mobility since everything takes place in a fixed spot. For those staying for any significant amount of time, we recommend bringing food and a chair, in addition to your binoculars. On October 8, with a rain date of October 9th. If bad weather is projected, be sure to check the birders listserve (to subscribe to the Birders mailing list, visit https://glc-lists.merit.edu/sympa/info/birders). This decision will be made by 4AM.