Join Matt and Ben Hack of Washtenaw Audubon, as they recount their record-breaking Big Day of 143 bird species seen in 24 hours on May 16, 2020. Matt and Ben demolished the old record, of 141 species, set by Washtenaw Audubon members Don Chalfant, Jacco Gelderloos, Matt Hysell, and Hein Prinsen, which had stood for 18 years.
Presented virtually via Zoom on May 27, 2020.
Popular Washtenaw Audubon speaker and noted humorist Don Chalfant talks about the birding delights of his second home, Florida. Don has spent his winters in Florida pursuing and photographing some of the more unlikely species to show up there, as well as more common species such as Painted Bunting, Limpkin, Crested Caracara, and Swallow-tailed Kite. Don Chalfant is a resident of Ann Arbor and New Smyrna Beach, a retired teacher, an avid photographer, and an ace birder.
Presented virtually via Zoom on June 17, 2020.
Washtenaw Audubon Society stands solidly with ALL birders, and we support the recent statement by the American Birding Association, below.
Join Matt and Ben Hack of Washtenaw Audubon, as they recount their record-breaking Big Day of 143 bird species seen in 24 hours on May 16. Matt and Ben demolished the old record, of 141 species, set by Washtenaw Audubon members Don Chalfant, Jacco Gelderloos, Matt Hysell, and Hein Prinsen, which had stood for 18 years.
As all public gatherings are on hold due to the virus, this program will be presented on line via the Zoom meeting program. To view it, and participate in the question and answer session following the program, you will need access to an internet capable computer or phone. To access the Zoom program, go to
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 953 0065 4830
Enjoy tasty snacks and beverages before and after the program, provided by yourself in the delightful confines of your own home. Hope to see you online Wednesday night at 8:00pm.
Note: This event will proceed, but participants are to minimize travel and the only people allowed in a vehicle together will be members of the same household who agree to to do so.
With spring finally here, birders’ thoughts turn to spring birding. As you think about the ways you will bird in the county this spring, please consider participating in the Washtenaw County May Count, on International Migratory Bird Day.
Juliet Berger is the Compiler for this informal count. The Compiler divides the county into townships, each of which has an Area Leader. Leaders recruit additional volunteers to count birds throughout their area. For names and contact information for the Compiler and the Area Leaders, visit our website (check back here), and please consider volunteering.
This year, the May Count will continue to be a Washtenaw County only event, as our state wide compilers have retired. All Washtenaw County birders are welcome to bird all or part of the day. We will post detailed instructions right here on count day logistics. Please check back here for more information about how to participate as the date gets closer.
Please contact an Area Leader or the Compiler to help out!
NEW! Please see these new documents describing the count procedures:
Washtenaw County Coordinator/Compiler: Juliet Berger
Area Leaders (click names for contact details)
|Township||Area Leader||eBird Username|
|Lima & Freedom||John Mills||WasMayCount-Fre|
|Salem & Superior||Dan Thiry||
|York, Augusta, & Northfield||Greg Jacks||
|Pittsfield & Ypsilanti||Mike Sefton||
|Bridgewater & Saline||Roger Wykes||
|Ann Arbor||Juliet Berger||WasMayCount-Ann|
|Lyndon & Sylvan||Ben Hack||
Come join us for winter walk for birds through Nichols Arboretum. We will meet at the usual location on the east side of the Arboretum on Riverview Dr off of Geddes Road.
The event previously advertised as the "Mystery Trip" was looking like a Saturday evening owling trip until the unfavorable weakend weather forecast arrived. Due to the heavy rains forecast for Friday and Saturday, we thought it might be best to postpone an owling event. Sunday's forecast looks favorable, but a Sunday evening owl outing is likely not the best for those that work, have kids in school, etc. We have not done a walk at the Nichols Arboretum for a while and it is always a great place to see birds. So, we will head to the Arb. See the calendar for details.
(Adapted from a note from Big Sitter Extraordinaire, Don Chalfant)
Thanks to all who skipped the UM football game on TV to participate in this year’s BIGSIT. Without you, there would be no BIGSIT. Eyes and ears younger and more finely tuned than mine are certainly in evidence, as the results indicate. Results will be posted to the national sponsor of the BIGSIT, Bird Watcher’s Digest; and the results of all Sits nationally will be included on their website. Again, a grateful thank you to all.
Species seen (heard), not in taxonomic order:
Great Blue Heron
Great Horned Owl
57 Species Seen (Heard), over the 22-year average of 53.
One species not seen in previous 21 Sits: Winter Wren
Comments: We had eight species I’d consider unusual for our Sits: Peregrine, 2 previously
Pileated Woodpecker, 2 previously
Swamp Sparrow, 3 previously
Towhee, 5 previously
Blue-winged Teal, 3 previously
Black Duck, 4 previously
E. Phoebe, 5 previously
Misses? Based on previous Sit results, the following might be considered misses:
Ring-necked Duck, seen of 11 of previous 21 Sits
Great Egret, 8
Herring Gull, 15
Bonaparte’s Gull, 10
Gray Catbird, 9
Dark-eyed Junco, 9
Brown-headed Cowbird, 15