Wake Audubon Blog

Store Sale

i Sep 27th No Comments by

What: Shopping Day for Wake Audubon members and/or supporters.

When: October 23, 2010; hours: 10:00 – 6:00

Where: The Outdoor Bird Store, in Stonehenge Mall; 7426 Creedmore Road, North Raleigh. 919.846.2473

Why: Wake Audubon is partnering once again with the fine folks at the Outdoor Bird Store to raise some funds for our various programs. This year, the owners and manager have offered to donate a percentage of sales for ALL store items sold on this day, to WAS. Obviously, the more they sell, the more we get.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Last year we did just bird seed, with pre-orders. This year, you need only show up on this day to make your purchases, but those purchases can be for anything in the store (including the various bird seed, of course).  Also, if a desired item is sold out, the Store will issue a “rain check” for the member/Wake Audubon, for when that item is back in stock.

The Bird Store Manager is talking to other Stonehenge vendors, to see if they will also participate. Wake Audubon will host an information table, and we hope to present some birdy presentations throughout the day.

Please MARK YOUR CALENDARS now, and visit our webpage for updated information.

If you would like to volunteer at our table, please contact John Gerwin.

BUGFEST THANK YOU

i Sep 13th No Comments by

A HUGE, HUGE thank you to all the folks who volunteered for Bugfest.  It was a huge success, not only did we make a bunch of money but we really got great exposure!  Thanks so much to all the volunteers and especially to Erla and Beth, the two organizers.  You ladies are awesome!

Bioblitz Oct 6

i Sep 7th No Comments by

For those interested in helping out with this Bioblitz at Duke forest, see the link below!  It looks like a great way to learn invertebrates!

http://www.antmacroecology.org/robdunn/chamber_bioblitz.html

Optics Workshop Report

i Aug 20th No Comments by

Optics Workshop report

by John Gerwin

I was delighted to have 13 eager participants at my August 14th workshop.  August is a risky time to try and do anything outdoors, in NC!  But this day was to be overcast (great optical ambiance actually for comparing binoculars), and with a forecasted high of “only” 88, we stayed cool all morning in the screened-in, covered but outdoor classroom at the Museum’s Prairie Ridge Ecostation.  This site is a wonderful place to visit anytime, lying at the “corner” of Reedy Creek and Edwards Mill roads, with ~25 acres of open, plant and animal habitat.  I spent a good half an hour or so, on the history, and future plans, for the site.  And then it was on to learning about what makes binoculars what they are, inside and out.  It always surprises me how much time I can spend talking about binoculars (well, I’ve been told I can spend a lot of time talking about most anything…….).  But that object dangling below your neck has a lot going on, and we covered that well, including: parts, light and how it interacts with all those lenses, what all those numbers mean, what goes wrong with images and why, care and cleaning, and the many (I have at least 12) things to consider when buying a pair; and of course, for those fairly new at it, how to use them.  Some folks were about to buy a first pair, whereas others were ready to upgrade or needed a second pair. I was able to assemble about 15 pairs of different brands, and models, and had asked folks to bring whatever they had.  So, for the last hour, we were able to stand on the back deck, and compare all these different binoculars while enjoying the very busy avian participants at the bird feeders just off the deck, and down below.  The pokeberry (pokeweed) and beautyberry are in full fruit, providing other images to “scope” out with the many binoculars on hand.  Optics available included things like: a pair of Nikon 7 x 35 Action, that run ~$80; some kid’s varieties: Leupold 6 x 30 and Eagle Optics 6.5 x 32 (both provide such a nice image to me that I keep them around the house for quick feeder watching, and plan to have one in the car); they run ~$110/$130, respectively; various styles of 8 x 40-42 representing a wide range of price options ($200-$1200), and then some crème-de-la-crème, a couple types of Swarovski’s: 8.5 x 42 EL, and 10 x 50 SLC; at ~$2300 new, these are not for mere mortals, but were certainly a delight to have on hand, through which everyone got a chance to watch some birds.  In the end, I continue to recommend the Nikon Monarch ATB 8 x 42, as one of the best values on the market. “Last year’s model” can be had now for under $300, a pretty stunning option for something that provides a great image with a 25 year warranty (from Nikon), and is waterproof.

I would urge you to contact Cynthia Fox at the Wild Bird Center in Eastgate Mall in Chapel Hill, if you’re in the market for some new optics, and shop locally.  She is loaded with both a great variety of optics to compare, and entertaining, insightful information about the details of each, and what will work best for you and your budget. She has been a big supporter of New Hope Audubon over the years, and she provides great personal service. You can tell her you’re with Audubon and that I sent you, and we’ll keep that Audubon support going.  Also, I just got this note from her (Aug. 18th): “for those of you looking to buy/upgrade binoculars or scopes soon, Swarovski is offering a Tax Free sale September 8-11 on all their core products. In NC that is 7.75 unless your county added the extra .25%”.

Finally, if you have questions about optics, you may contact me at jgerwin@wakeaudubon.org. If you could not make this event but are interested in attending one, let me know 1) that you are interested and 2) when a good time would be. If I get enough replies, I can repeat this sometime over the winter.

Dominican Republic Trip!!

i Jul 30th No Comments by

Wake Audubon has partnered with one of our sponsor’s, EcoQuest Travel, to offer a 12-day birding/natural history excursion to the Dominican Republic. The dates for the trip are: January 14-25, 2011.  The cost of the trip is ~$3,700, which includes airfare and all other major expenses (e.g. food and lodging, but not alcohol).  The trip is designed to see 31 of the 32 bird species endemic to the island of Hispaniola (we won’t be able to get the one in Haiti).  Also included is some boat time in lovely Caribbean waters to observe Humpback whales, which breed in the area.  We are currently accepting registrations and deposits.  For a full itinerary or more information, please contact Dave Davenport at ddavenport@earthlink.net or John Gerwin, at jgerwin@wakeaudubon.org .

Public Hearing–Regarding Falls Lake

i Jun 28th No Comments by

PUBLIC HEARING about Falls Lake–Thursday, July 1st at 7:00pm
Campbell Lodge at Durant Nature Park–3237 Spottswood Street – Raleigh, NC 27615

According to the Neuse Riverkeeper Foundation, Falls Lake suffers from an unhealthy amount of nutrients within its waters. The N.C Division of Water Quality has been working closely with stakeholders in hopes of developing a new set of rules that will help to protect and restore our beloved Falls Lake back to health. Therefore, this Thursday is the time and place to come out and HAVE YOUR VOICE HEARD; please don’t let these new rules be put into place without first having your say!!

Remember, there is a great deal at stake here, please let the DWQ know your thoughts and opinions regarding the wellness of such an important asset for the inhabitants of the Raleigh/Wake County area.

For more information on the Neuse Riverkeeper Foundation-
http://neuseriver.org/neuseissuesandfacts/fallslake.html

For more information on the Public Hearings-
http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/wq/ps/nps/fallslake

Please Donate to get a boat for NC Audubon

i Mar 15th No Comments by

See note from Karen Bearden, former Wake Audubon President.  NC Audubon manages a number of important shorebird breeding colonies throughout the coast of NC.  These island sanctuaries are home to thousands of nesting Pelicans, Terns, and Laughing Gulls. Read on to see how you can help!

Becky

Howdy!

Most of you know of, or have met Walker Golder, Audubon NC’s Deputy Director, through his programs at your local chapters, on a trip to Battery Island to see over 10,000 White Ibis, or have read one of his articles in the Audubon NC newsletter. Walker celebrated his 20th anniversary with Audubon last year! As a native to the coast of NC, Walker is VERY knowledgeable about the birds and wildlife of our NC coast and plays an instrumental role in the management of the twenty-one North Carolina coastal sanctuary islands.

Walker and the wonderful Wilmington staff (Angela, Andy, Nicole, Adriane, and the summer interns!) are in desperate need of a new boat as soon as possible to help with the work they’re doing along the coast!! Their old boat is not reliable anymore. Walker is looking for a 20-23′ open style, center console fiberglass boat, 4-stroke motor (Yamaha preferred) to fit the hull (probably 90-115hp), with a boat trailer to fit the boat and motor. So far Audubon NC has  $15,000 for the boat. A grant we were hoping to help pay for the remainder of the cost was recently turned down.

We need at least another $5,000 to cover the balance for the kind of boat that would be most beneficial for the work the Audubon NC staff is doing. They need a working boat soon since the busy spring and summer seasons are just around the corner!

Can you donate $20, $100, $1,000 or more for a new boat for Walker and the Wilmington staff? The birds, wildlife, and Audubon coastal staff would appreciate your support!!

You can mail a check to the ANC office at:

Audubon North Carolina
123 Kingston Drive
Suite 206
Chapel Hill, NC 27514

Or call the main office at 919-929-3899.

Or make a donation online at: https://loon.audubon.org/payment/donate/NCCRCD.html

Your gift is tax deductable. Please make a note that the donation is for the Wilmington boat!

Thanks so much for your consideration!! Happy birding!

Peace, Karen and Joe Bearden

Co-chairs, ANC Development Committee

chickadeebirders@earthlink.net

Summer courses at Highlands Biological Station

i Mar 11th No Comments by

2010 SUMMER COURSES AND WORKSHOPS AT THE HIGHLANDS BIOLOGICAL STATION

The Highlands Biological Station, an inter-institutional research center of the University of North Carolina is offering its 2010 series of summer courses and workshops that can be taken for credit toward your academic program.  The following list of field-based courses and workshops are focused on the diversity of organisms in the region with special emphasis on identification and collection techniques as well as principles of evolution, ecology and conservation.  Scholarships, Grants-in-aid of research for graduate students, and summer internships also available.

Highlands, North Carolina is located in the southern Blue Ridge Mountains, at an average elevation about 3,800 feet, and situated near the Nantahala National Forest, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Cherokee Indian Reservation, Appalachian Trail, and the Blue Ridge Parkway.  For more information and to apply, visit www.wcu.edu/hbs<http://www.wcu.edu/hbs>, email hbs@email.wcu.edu or call 828-526-2602.

2010 Course Schedule:

TAXONOMY AND NATURAL HISTORY OF SOUTHERN APPALACHIAN MAYFLIES, STONEFLIES, AND CADDISFLIES with John C. Morse (May 3 – May 15)

BIOLOGY OF PLETHODONTID SALAMANDERS with Stephen G. Tilley (May 17 –  May 29)

MAMMALS OF THE SOUTHERN APPALACHIANS with R. Wayne Van Devender (May 31 – June 12)

BIODIVERSITY AND CONSERVATION OF BIRDS with Rob Bierregaard (June 14 – June 26)

INSECT BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY with James T. Costa and Lynn E. Fletcher (June 28  – July 10)

SPIDERS OF THE SOUTHERN APPALACHIANS with Kefyn M. Catley (July 12 – July 24)

FLESHY FUNGI OF THE HIGHLANDS PLATEAU with Andrew S. Methven (July 26 – August 7)

LAND SNAIL IDENTIFICATION WORKSHOP with Amy and Wayne Van Devender (May 10-14)

IDENTIFICATION OF SEDGES WORKSHOP with Dwayne Estes (May 24-29)

FERN IDENTIFICATION WORKSHOP with Dwayne Estes (August 9-14)

MOUNTAIN BIODIVERSITY WORKSHOP-FOR TEACHERS with Karen Kandl (June 21-25)

OBSERVING NATURE’S DETAILS-SCIENTIFIC ILLUSTRATION AND PHOTOGRAPHY WEEKEND WORKSHOP with Nancy Lowe and John Pickering (April 24-25)

Cost and Credit Information

Course fee: $525 per 2-week course (**$425 for students from HBS member institutions**) Workshop fee: $275 per 1-week workshop (**$225 for students from HBS member institutions**) [Mountain Biodiversity can be taken for 2 graduate credits or 3 CEUs.  Registration fee is $30] Course credit: Summer courses can be taken for 4 semester hours credit, workshops can be taken for 2 hours credit, through either UNC-Chapel Hill or Western Carolina University for an additional $85

Housing: $75/week

Check website for course applications, detailed descriptions, and prerequisite requirements:  http://www.wcu.edu/hbs/currentyrcourses.htm

Bonus March Wake Audubon Events!!

i Mar 9th No Comments by

Two Bonus Wake Audubon Events!

  • March 27:  9:30-12:30.  Join Students from NCSU as they work in our park!  Please dress to get dirty.  We will be removing invasive plants from the meadow. Parks will supply gloves but if you have “loppers” you are comfortable bringing please do!  Contact: John Connors 733-7450 x602.
  • March 23: 7-9pm.  Craft night:  help us get ready for festival season by gluing tp tubes together to make “binoculars”.  Please bring a hot glue gun if you have one.  Beverages (yes, even adult beverages) and snacks will be provided.  At Becky D’s house, so contact her at 919 733-7450 x710 for the address.

See you then!

Binocular Craft Night at Becky D's

i Mar 8th No Comments by

Its that time of year…Wake Audubon Attends all kinds of festivals and one of things we do is give out tp binoculars. We give them to the under 10 set and let them decorate with markers and stickers. Its really fun! Well, we have been hoarding tp rolls for a year and have many many of them. So, we will have a tp binoc party at Becky D’s on March 23rd. Bring your hot glue guns, we will supply the rest. We will start at 7:00. Thanks! To RSVP and for more info, contact Becky D at bdesjardins@wakeaudubon.org.