June 2017 Newsletter from Audubon Rockies
You Found a Baby Bird, Now What?
Don't panic! Finding a baby bird can be disheartening and confusing. How did it get there? Where's it's mother? Is it hurt--how can you tell? And the most concerning question of them all: Can you help?
Download this PDF guide, How to Rescue Baby Birds, and fear no more!

238 Species Discovered during BioBlitz
in Casper, WY

The 2017 BioBlitz, held this year at The Nature Conservancy's Peterson Ranch outside of Casper, Wyoming, brought together teams of scientists, teachers, volunteers, environmental educators, and community members to find, identify, and learn about as many local plant, insect and animal species as possible in the area, in one weekend of camping, exploration and discovery.
John Smith participated in a amphibian and macro-invertebrates pond-sampling activity at BioBlitz in Casper, WY, and discovered juvenile salamanders.
This field research experience represents the leading edge of scientific inquiry and investigation, and includes K-12 teachers who bring their discoveries back to their classrooms--teachers earned two Professional Standards Teaching Board credits during BioBlitz, improving science education in Wyoming schools. See how you can help support science education in Wyoming!
Rafters become River Champions on
Green River Float Trip

In mid-June, twenty-four Audubon-ers enjoyed a remarkable adventure, together, on the Green River through the Gates of Lodore in Dinosaur National Monument. Nearly 40 bird species, including Golden Eagles, Mergansers, Lazuli Buntings, and Canyon Wrens, were observed during the four-day trip down the river. Spring-fed waterfalls, rapids, starry skies, towering canyon walls, ancient petroglyphs, and the vast landscape served as the backdrop for new friendships, birding, and adventure. Western rivers are under pressure like never before. Solutions for water reliability for rivers, wildlife and people will take all of us to become river champions who are ready to help, including Peter Arnold, Retired District Judge Cheyenne, WY, and his wife, Ruth. Below is an excerpt from Peter's story about their adventure on the Green--see more photos and the full story here.

"While the Green is subject to impoundment in the Fontenelle Reservoir and the Flaming Gorge Reservoir in Wyoming, below Flaming Gorge, it's as wild as a river can get. Ruth and I have enjoyed camping beside streams and rivers for many years and enjoy wild country, but the country through which we rafted was transcendental in the sense that we could readily imagine the challenges faced by John Wesley Powell when he floated down the Green and the Colorado in 1869. Periodically, there have been discussions about constructing more dams on the Green..."

Photo by Peter Arnold, Audubon Rockies Board of Directors,
Retired District Judge Cheyenne WY, Photographer
Habitat Heroes Plant Three Demonstration Gardens this Spring

Habitat Heroes have been busy, getting their hands dirty, planting three demonstration gardens this spring. On May 5, we had one heck of a hardy volunteer crew, 24 strong, that came out and joined in this large planting endeavor in the blazing sun. We planted 220 native plants, installed an irrigation system, a shade sail, and rock benches for guests of the Sister Mary Alice Murphy Center for Hope to take a break from life's troubles. On June 10, Audubon Rockies partnered with City of Loveland, High Plains Environmental Center, JAX and the local Rotary Club to plant 138 grasses and perennials and 46 shrubs at the Loveland Visitors' Center, featured in the Loveland Reporter Herald. On June 13, Nature in the City and the City of Fort Collins planted its largest Habitat Hero demonstration garden: Coming in at just under 2/3 of an acre and close to 900 plants, this is certainly a showstopper for not only the residents of Manhattan Townhomes but the Mason Trail users too! 

Thanks to our 70 volunteers who helped plant 1,304 plants at our three demonstration gardens this spring!
Want to visit these Habitat Hero Demonstration Gardens
and lend a helping hand?
Volunteers are still needed for garden maintenance! 
Contact Jamie Weiss, Habitat Hero Coordinator, at
Youth from Boys & Girls Clubs of Weld County helped plant the Habitat Hero demonstration garden at Houston Gardens and were rewarded with a tomato plant of their own to take home.
Photo by Jamie Weiss.
Beginners Take Hands-On Crash Course in Bird Banding Skills and Ethics 

Keith Bruno, Audubon Rockies' SW Colorado Community Naturalist, traveled to Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, Minnesota, to co-teach a seven-day Institute of Bird Populations introductory bird banding course to both amateur birders, wildlife biologists, toxicologists, and nature center directors. This course provides participants with a baseline understanding and skill set for banding, aging, and sexing birds utilizing MAPS (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship) protocols.  

A day in the life of a bird bander starts with a crack-of-the-whip early start, ensuring that nets are set up for both the coolest and most active portion of the summer days.  Net runs (a set route to check nets for birds) are then conducted every 30-60 minutes. Once the bird has been identified, banded, and sexed, then it's time to determine the age of the bird using some dense, oftentimes cryptic, text in Peter Pyle's Identification Guide to North American Birds

The workshop was incredibly gainful and intense, with seven 12-hour days of hands-on experience in the field and in the classroom. Bird banding provides a window of information into how populations of breeding birds change from one year or century to the next.  The information gleaned from this data can help guide our conservation decisions, as we move forward in a changing world. 

Anyone can learn how to band--check out the calendar of events, below, for upcoming bird banding dates in Casper, Laramie, and at Keyhole State Park, in Wyoming. 

Top: a handsome Rose-breasted Grosbeak male | Left bottom: a Brewster's Warbler | Right Bottom: Sunrise on the net runs at Wolf Environmental Learning Center | Photos by: Keith Bruno
Bird Banding
Audubon Rockies operates four banding stations in Wyoming,  one at Keyhole Lake in Northeast Wyoming, two near Casper, and the other outside of Laramie, Wyoming for folks from northern Colorado too. Banding starts in June and ends in early August. The MAPS (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship) Program enables volunteers to get up close and personal with Wyoming birds. A banding training class, provides volunteers with the skills required to set up and take down mist nets, remove birds from nets, and band, identify, sex and age birds. Join us at one of our banding stations this summer, learn more about the MAPS program and how you can play a major role in aiding efforts in the conservation of avian diversity in North America.
Bird Banding at Keyhole State Park, Wyoming 
Become a Citizen Scientist at Keyhole State Park
Bird banding at Casper, Wyoming station
Become a Citizen Scientist at Casper, WY Banding Station
Bird banding at Laramie, Wyoming station
Become a Citizen Scientist at Laramie, WY Banding Station
Our mighty staff of 10 work hard to protect birds and their habitats in CO and WY, and we can't thank you enough for your support of our programs.
We hope you'll get to know us!
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