Winter 2015-2016

Welcome to the latest edition of the Sycamore Warbler! Below, you will find the schedule of events that cover this issue.  The next schedule for Wednesdays in the Wild is currently being developed.  For a complete description of the new programs when the schedule is ready, email Joan Mohr Samuels at or pick up a schedule at Lilly Nature Center in Celery Bog Park.  The latest issue can be found here.

December 22 – Tuesday – Cass County Christmas Bird Count. Similar to above. Contact Landon Neumann to participate.  Often a good count for mild weather birds like Hermit Thrush and Ruby-crowned Kinglet. If there is snow longspurs and Snow Buntings are often found.

January 1 – Friday – Start of Indiana’s Bicentennial Year & Maybe its Bison-tennial Year? Bison are a keystone species in the prairie by keeping grasses under control and help sustain biodiversity. Contingent on raising the necessary funds and working out management issues with their partners TNC hopes to reintroduce bison at Kankakee Sands. Visit to read “nature Notes” .

January 1 – Friday – Willow Slough-Iroquois Preserves Christmas Bird Count. Meet with Ed Hopkins at the December meeting for assignments and details or contact him about participating. New help appreciated.

January 14 – Thursday – Program: 200 Years Along the Wabash. Rae Schnapp, Wabash Riverkeeper. In honor of Indiana’s 200th anniversary we will take a virtual tour to view the changing roles of the Wabash River from a transportation corridor to its value as a natural resource. The Wabash Riverkeeper Network
provides volunteer opportunities to improve the water quality in the Wabash. 7:15 p.m. Lilly Nature Center, Celery Bog Park, W.L. Free parking and refreshments.

January 30 – Saturday – Winter birds. We will chase whatever is being reported – Snowy Owls, Trumpeter Swans, Lapland Longspurs, Snow Buntings, etc. Meet at 8:30 at the gravel parking lot at Celery Bog, WL. Probably a morning trip (depends on what is being reported and where).

February 7 or 21 – Sunday – Ross Hills Work Day. Winter can be a good time for removing woody vegetation as well as escaping the indoor winter blahs. Assuming no more than 1-2 inches of snow on the ground, we will meet at 1:30 p.m. at Ross Hills Park for two to two and a half hours of taking out invasives and improving habitat for returning migrants in the spring. Bad weather reschedule date is February 21st at 1:30.

February 11 – Thursday – Program: Soundscapes: Landscapes of Sound & the Birds that Create Them. MaryAm Ghadiri. The word “soundscapes” is just what it implies— auditory “landscapes” created by all the living and non-living elements contained within a particular location. Our speaker will share insights from a Purdue Center for Global Soundscapes study of how spatial and structural habitat features affect bird diversity. 7:15 p.m. Lilly Nature Center, Celery Bog Park. Free parking & refreshments.

February 27 – Saturday – Early waterfowl and nesting eagles. In recent years, waterfowl migration has often started in late February, so mergansers and other diving ducks may be passing through. We will go to areas with open water to see what is moving about. Also, the local Bald Eagles should be on the nest by this time so we will visit at least one nest along the Wabash River.

March 10 – Thursday – Program: Should we bother with the Big Day Anymore? Barny Dunning. Ornithology has benefited over the years from collaboration with amateur birders. At present these collaborations are called “citizen science” and include the Christmas Bird Count, Indiana Summer Count and the Big Day in May. In 2015, the Big Day was almost cancelled due to a lack of support. Are these projects still worth doing? Who gains? Come to see the results of the 2014 citizen science projects and a discussion of their future. 7:15 p.m. Lilly Nature Center, Celery Bog Park. Free parking & refreshments.