September 2015 Audubon Rockies Newsletter
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September 2015 Newsletter

Working to protect birds and their habitat in Wyoming and Colorado.
Executive Corner -
Audubon Rockies
NEW Website


If you have not noticed yet, we’ve made some important upgrades and improvements to our website!  Check it out now at  

A lot has changed!
First, you will notice that we’ve combined some links into a single site at —the best place on the web for people in the Central Flyway who love our Rocky Mountain birds and want to help protect them and their habitats.


If you've never been to our site before—we hope this will make a lot of sense. Everything Audubon (and, by natural extension, everything birds) will now be much easier to find under one roof, including several all-new features and sections:
·         A completely overhauled 
Field Guide to North American Birds, featuring beautiful photography, in-depth information on more than 800 North American bird species written by birding legend Kenn Kaufman and sourced from his Lives of North American Birds, artwork from renowned bird illustrator David Allen Sibley, and bird-call audio from Lang Elliott & Associates. 
·         Our 
Conservation section, where you can connect with Audubon Rockies main initiatives and an overview of our role along the flyways, and find out where to find a chapter or nature center near you. Get closer to Audubon today, and join the one million members who already have.
·         The 
Get Involved section features our on-the-ground programs our staff work on from day to day. This includes information on our award winning education programs, our growing Habitat Hero Program, and our important Western Rivers Action Network
·         And can we talk about that new roof? Every page of our site has been redesigned. Beautiful photography and an easy reading experience is now front-and-center. Most of the photographs on this site were taken by our talented staff!

So, as you will see, we've changed a lot. Everything, to be precise. And there is much more to come in the very near future as we continue to iron out the kinks and add new features. 
If you're a frequent visitor and you’re having a hard time finding something from the old site via our site search (the magnifying glass in the upper right-hand corner of every page), we're here to help. Please email if anything seems broken or outdated and we'll investigate. By taking a second to let us know you can't find something, you will help us make the site better for everyone.  Also let us know what you like and we will make sure to highlight those sections, and if you have chapter events or upcoming birding opportunities please let us know so we can add it to our Chapter Events section.

Thank you and enjoy!
Alison Holloran
Executive Director, Audubon Rockies


 Bird Bits


HIGH COUNTRY NEWS - Will Climate Change Force Bees to Miss Flower Season?


Wild Science is a HCN original video series produced by filmmaker Dakin Henderson. The series explores current wildlife research by taking us into the outdoors and behind the scenes with field biologists.

Watch HERE!


HIGH COUNTRY NEWS - Special Feature Story on Sage-Grouse

How the Greater Sage-grouse became the center of the largest experiment in the history of the Endangered Species Act.  Read it HERE!


NEW STUDY: Better siting of turbines could cut risk to golden eagles 

A new peer-reviewed scientific study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, compares known golden eagle nesting sites in Wyoming with areas where the state is thought to have potential for wind farms.


Researchers Brad Fedy of the University of Waterloo and Jason Tack of Colorado State University identified "sweet spots," or areas in the paths of prevailing winds but far from eagle nesting grounds.


"Our work shows that it's possible to guide development of sustainable energy projects, while having the least impact on wildlife populations," Fedy said (Joby Warrick, Washington Post, Aug. 31)


GOIN' WYld - Tiny Toads
Zach has begun a fun weekly TV news segment on Casper's K2, called "Going WYld". Last week's episode was on Tiny Toads.  Each segment airs on Thursday at 6:30 am!  Watch HERE!

If you haven't watched these yet, pull up a chair and get ready to be entertained!!!
Support Audubon Rockies


Monthly Giving - The Cardinal Club

Join Audubon's Cardinal Club


Join the Cardinal Club, Audubon Rockies' monthly giving program, today!  Your on-going monthly support ensures that we have the resources to continue protecting birds and their habitat through our integrated programs using science, education, and advocacy to make a difference on-the-ground.
Monthly giving is simple. Your credit card will be charged once per month and you may change or cancel your gift whenever you like.  To sign up, contact John Kloster-Prew at 970-416-6931 or via email at  

Join the Cardinal Club Today! 


The Roost - Chapter News


Read September!  Time to Think Backyard Conservation: Conservation Corner written by Barb Adams of Fort Collins Audubon Society.  This article recaps how to begin preparing your yard for winter as the first frost of the year will be upon us soon.  Read Full Article Here

Chapter Websites & Newsletter

Colorado Chapters:
Wyoming Chapters:
Each Chapter is an independent organization of Audubon members that is chartered and annually re-certified by National Audubon Society. 

They provide excellent birding, education, and conservation opportunities for members at the local level. They also often advocate on behalf of conservation at the local, state, and national level.

National News




An updated version of the Audubon Bird Guide app (previously Audubon Birds Pro) will be coming this fall - FREE of charge!  Stay tuned for more info ...
Happy birding from all of us!


Alison Holloran, Executive Director
John Kloster-Prew, Development Director
Daly Edmunds, Regional Policy Coordinator
Dusty Downey, Sr. Regional Community Naturalist
Jacelyn Downey, Sr. Regional Community Naturalist
Becky Gillette, Senior Educator
Abby Burk, WRAN Coordinator
Jamie Weiss, Habitat Heroes Coordinator
Zach Hutchinson, Community Naturalist
Sandy McIntyre, Office Assistant

Support Audubon Rockies

Upcoming Events


This documentary comes at a pivotal time as our western states and nation determine the future of this imperiled landscape and the wildlife that are dependent on it.  Scroll to bottom to read more about this in the Sagebrush Ecosystem Initiative section!

The Sagebrush Sea - Nature Documentary 
Sept 9 - doors open at 6:00, movie starts at 6:30 pm
Pinedale, WY (Sublette County Library)

The Sagebrush Sea - Nature Documentary
Sept 17 - doors open at 5:30, movie starts at 6:30 pm
Rock Springs, WY (Broadway Theater) 

The Sagebrush Sea - Nature Documentary
Sept 22 - doors open at 6:30, movie starts at 7:00 pm
Craig, CO (Northwestern Community College's Academic Bldg)


Sept 10-14
Steamboat Springs and Hayden, CO

Most events are free but some activities, including crane viewing shuttles and events with limited space, will require advance registration and a nominal, non-refundable registration fee.

Find out more & REGISTER TODAY

HABITAT HERO PRESENTS: Make your Garden Beautiful and Functional for Wildlife and Neighbors

September 26 at 9am
Boulder County Parks & Open Space, Longmont, CO

Featuring Marcia Tatroe & Deryn Davidson:
These presentations will explore the design possibilities of making a garden beautiful and functional that creates suitable habitat for wildlife and attracts pollinators.  

Find out more & REGISTER NOW - Only $15.00!

Scroll to bottom to read more about this program in the Habitat Hero section!


October 8 at 5:00pm & October 10 at 10:00am
Moab Information Center, Moab, UT

Please join Western Rivers Outreach Specialist, Abby Burk, leading stream ecologists and water recreation experts for our first ever WRAN workshop in beautiful Moab, UT.  More information to come soon! 

Western Rivers Action Network

Moose at Colorado River Headwaters.  Photo by Abby Burk

South Platte and Denver Water Plan Meetings - WE NEED YOU!


September marks the end of the legislator led Water Resources Review Committee’s Water Plan meetings and collecting of public input. Can you come to an evening meeting (6-8 PM) either in Greeley on September 14th or, Aurora on September 15th? Visit here here for meeting agendas and locations. With a potential door open for more West Slope water development, these South Platte water meetings are important to attend and speak at.  What future do you want for our water usage and rivers?  If you can attend one of these meetings and would like any help with your presentation email Abby Burk at for assistance. For our rivers and all the wildlife they support, thank you! 

Colorado Water Plan Update - Final Public Comment Deadline Sept 17th.

The CWCB is taking comments on the second draft of the Colorado Water Plan through September 17th. You can review the second draft here under the Resources menu.  After this final deadline, the CWCB will review input for additional information to revise and incorporate into the final Plan.  The final Water Plan will be revealed this December.  Watch for one more WRAN action alert coming in early September.  Colorado, it’s our Water Plan, we can make it better for us, our rivers and wildlife - together! 

Stream Management Plan Grants - Applications are being taken NOW!  Due Date of October 15.

What a great opportunity to improve river management - the legislature made $1M available in the current fiscal year for stream management planning.  Eligible projects include restoration of stream channels, riparian areas, and aquatic and terrestrial habitats. Don’t miss this opportunity!

Visit here to review the program and application. Share the word with your watershed groups and others about this terrific opportunity to help our rivers. Let’s see a flood of good applications so we can show demand for another and increased round of funding! Please reach out to Chris Sturm of the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) to discuss project eligibility and how to create a strong application. *Remember, applications are due October 15th to Chris Sturm at the CWCB.  

Join WRAN Now

Community Naturalist Program

Records Being Made at Bird Banding Station at Keyhole State Park, WY


The last day of the 2015 banding season at Keyhole State Park in northeastern Wyoming went out in a flurry of feathers. We capped the season with an all-time record number of birds banded in one day with over 140 newly banded birds and nearly 20 recaptured birds. To put this in perspective, in past seasons, our top number of birds captured in one day was 62.

The purpose of this banding station and the nearly 1,200 others reporting to
the Institute for Bird Populations Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS) Program is to determine a number of demographics from a population of birds in a given area such as relationships between weather and habitat factors, breeding success, survival, and movement patterns.

Furthermore, this work helps to understand the health of birds throughout their entire migration corridor which can lead to better land management techniques as needed at a local level.

In the eight years that the KEYS banding station has been operating, we’ve banded an average of 250 birds each year. We’ll usually see about 60 species of birds including osprey, belted kingfisher, bullocks oriole, western wood peewee, spotted towhee, common yellowthroat, eastern kingbird, and cliff swallows. Easily the most common bird in our riparian/ponderosa/sagebrush habitat is the yellow warbler. The rarest bird was a yellow-billed cuckoo. This year we saw an increase in brewer’s sparrow, sora, and orchard oriole. We’ve been seeing a consistent decrease in lark sparrows.

All this work is accomplished with citizen scientists. At the KEYS banding station, we rely heavily on our great group of volunteers. Our goal is to work as a team to learn the most we can from each bird including species, sex, and age. While this may sound like an easy task, it can often be a real challenge.

Another goal is to share the program with children and adults who may not have an opportunity to visit the station. Our community naturalists take the program on the road visiting schools, community events, camps, senior centers, and parks so that everyone can learn about birds, bird biology and anatomy, and migration all while seeing birds up close.

For those of us who participate in bird banding, summer begins and ends with each season. It is such a thrill to greet each day at dawn not knowing what you might see. If you are interested in learning more or volunteering at a banding station near you, please contact
Jacelyn Downey.

Habitat Hero Program

Photo by Jamie Weiss


Apply to be a HABITAT HERO - Receive Recognition for your Yard that Supports Wildlife

The applications will remain open til October 15th
Fact Sheet and Application NOW

Are you a Habitat Hero?  If you try to landscape (or wildscape) to attract and benefit birds, pollinators and other wildlife, then you could be a Habitat Hero!   

No wildscape is too small or large!  Whether you have a large yard or a few pots on a balcony, are a public park or schoolyard garden, all Habitat Heroes believe in growing a healthy community. 

It’s simple and free to apply: Visit and download the brief application.

If you are selected as a Habitat Hero, you will receive a beautiful sign to display in your yard, a gift card to High Country Gardens and a Colorado Wildscapes or Wyoming landscaping book, bragging rights in your neighborhood, and the knowledge that you are helping stitch our fragmented landscapes back together, one wildscape at a time!

Send any questions and/or completed applications to Habitat Heroes Coordinator, Jamie Weiss at no later than October 15, 2015. 

Audubon Rockies protects birds and their habitats through advocacy, education and on-the-ground conservation.  Where birds thrive, people prosper.

Sagebrush Ecosystem Initiative
 Photo by Gerrit Vyn/Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Audubon Rockies has been partnering to take Cornell Lab of Ornithology's nature documentary, The Sagebrush Sea, on a tour of Wyoming and Colorado (and Idaho and Nevada!) ... in total over 1,000 people have seen this movie in their hometowns on the big screen!  In many of these communities, the movie has been followed by a panel discussion that included a science voice, and conservation group voice, and a state or federal agency representative.

But we're not done yet!  We'll be going to 10 more communities in the next several months.  This stunning film captures the rich and complicated interactions between species that live in the sagebrush habitat.  Witness rarely observed moments in the lives of some of the West’s most iconic wildlife - including golden eagles, mule deer, pronghorn, badgers, and hawks.  This documentary comes at a pivotal time as our western states and nation determine the future of this landscape and the wildlife that are intricately tied to it.

Even the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, which consists of Directors from the western state game and fish agencies, saw a select portion of the movie at their annual summer meeting in Reno, NV!  This was an unprecedented move by WAFWA leadership, to set aside time to reflect on this issue and the broader ecological benefits of sage-grouse conservation.

Not sure what all the fuss is about?  Check out these great 30 video sec. clips from the movie:

Sage-Grouse are Really Getting National Attention!

With The New York Times editorial board calling the sage-grouse issue, "One of the great conservation efforts of this century," ... and now National Public Radio doing a 5-part series on this bird!

Two have already run nationally ...


This month we would like to acknowledge a few of our valued sponsors and partners




Through science, education, advocacy, and on-the-ground conservation, we protect birds and their habitat in Wyoming and Colorado. Where birds thrive, people prosper.

Copyright © 2015 Audubon Rockies, All rights reserved.

Main Phone: (970) 416-6931

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