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 mohrsamuels@comcast.net 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.  LandonNeumann25@gmail.com.  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 nature.org/kankakeesands 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.

Fall 2015

Welcome to the latest issue of the Sycamore Warbler! Attached is a copy of the latest issue.  Below you will find our scheduled activities you’re welcome to participate in.  The latest issue of the Sycamore Warbler can be found here!

Sept 3 & each Thursday | Early Bird Hikes Start. Celery Bog Park, West Lafayette, 8 a.m. These will be held every Thursday morning until freeze-up. Meet at the gravel parking area (first turn to the right).

September 12 – Saturday | Honeysuckle Control Work Day. Ross Hills County Park 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Equipment, gloves, water & refreshments provided, all you need to do is show up in older clothes and help out. See p.2.

Wednesdays in the Wild – September 16: Foods from Field & Stream by Angie Manuel, Interpretive Naturalist, Prophetstown SP. 1-3 p.m. Prophetstown Farm. Stroll over to the Prophetstown Village where we will prepare foods including duck, mussels, corn & beans. There is a $2 per person program fee. Bring a lawn chair if you have one.

September 19 – Saturday | Celery Bog Bird Ramble. Meet at the gravel parking lot at 7:30 a.m. This should be near the peak for many fall migrant land birds in addition to lots of waterbirds moving through. 1/2 day trip.

Wednesdays in the Wild – September 23: Meet Our Moon. Wabash Valley Astronomical Society 7:30-9:30 p.m. LNC. Indoor/outdoor. All about the moon and information on apps for astronomy. Weather permitted we will view the night sky with telescopes.

September 26 – Saturday | Audubon at the Overlook. Sycamore Audubon members will be at the overlook at Prophetstown State park from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. to see what birds and other wildlife is in the area. Stop by and spend a few minutes or a few hours as your time permits. Learn a bit about the tools of birdwatching and techniques to improve your skills. The overlook is at the east end of the main park road, just a short walk from the parking lot.

Wednesdays in the Wild – September 30: Bird Watching Tips & Photo Poems. Barb Lucas, birder and photographer. Indoors/outdoors 1-3 p.m. Lilly Nature Center. A birding 101 indoor presentation followed by binocular practice outside.

October 3-4 – Sat & Sunday | Feast of the Hunter’s Moon. An historical reenactment drawing thousands of visitors and held at Fort Ouiatenon. SAS needs volunteers to help out at their booth over the weekend. See p.1.

Wednesdays in the Wild – October 7: Fen Walk led by Tom Swinford, Division of Nature Preserves. Outdoors. 1-3 p.m. Prophetstown State Park. Dress for the weather. Boots may be needed. $2/person fee (gate fee waived).

October 8 – Thursday | Program: Southern African Adventure. Rick & Debbie Read went on a two week guided tour to four counties in southern Africa earlier this year. The trip included safari vehicles, boat trips, elephant rides, helicopter tours and zip lines. Comes to hear about the trip and see Rick’s bird, mammal, and Victoria Falls pictures plus more. 7:15 p.m. Lilly Nature Center, Celery Bog Park, W.L.  Free parking plus refreshments. Invite a friend.

Wednesdays in the Wild – October 14: Fall Color Hike led by Bob Easter, NICHES Land Trust Steward. Outdoors. 1-3 p.m. at NICHES Indian Creek Bottoms property on south side of South River/Division road just past 750 W. Carpool from LNC at 12:30 p.m.

October 17 – Saturday | Eagle Creek Park Bird Hike. One of the best birding areas in the Indianapolis area. SAS hasn’t visited for several years. Good time of year for loons, grebes, ducks, and gulls. Meet at 7:30 a.m. at Celery Bog gravel parking lot to carpool. Probably a full day trip depending on the birds.

Wednesdays in the Wild –  October 21: Migration: a twice a year birding extravaganza. Susan Ulrich, Sycamore Audubon. Indoors & outdoors, 1-3 p.m. Lilly Nature Center. Review bird species inside then visit the bog to see what’s around.

October 23-5 – Saturday | Fall Bake & Plant Sale. West Lafayette Public Library 6:30-9 Friday, 10-5 Saturday, & 1-5 Sunday. Held during the library book sale. We need donated plants, food items and helpers. See p. 2

October 24 – Saturday | Annual Excursion to Lake Michigan Shore. SAS’s annual fall trip to the lakeshore looking for the unusual birds of the season such as scoters, gulls, mergansers and maybe a late jaeger or an early Snow Bunting. Meet at 6:30 am at the Celery Bog gravel parking lot for car pooling. Full day trip.

Wednesdays in the Wild – October 28: The Savage Garden: Growing Carnivorous Plants. Doug Osman, Purdue School of Communication. indoors Lilly Nature Center. 7-9 p.m. Learn how to grow these unusual species.

Wednesdays in the Wild – November 4: Sandhill Cranes. Carpool from Battle Ground Museum at 4:10 p.m. to go visit Jasper Pulaski. F& W area, or meet Gus Nyberg, NICHES Executive Director, at J=P at 5:10 p.m.

Wednesdays in the Wild –  November 11: Great Smokey Mountains National Park.  John Macdonald. Indoor Lilly Nature Center. 1-3 p.m. LNC.

November 12 – Thursday | Program: All Over Ecuador + Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest = Birding Heaven. Wes Homoya, fresh from 4 months in South America. Wes will share his incredible experiences which covered months in various Ecuador habitats and a long stint at Reserva Ecológica da Guapiaçu (REGUA) in Brazil 7:15 p.m. Lilly Nature Center, Celery Bog Park, W.L. Free parking and refreshments.

Wednesdays in the Wild –   November 18: All about Gourds. Ida Kennedy, president, Indiana Gourd Society. The name says it all. Indoors 1-3 p.m. LNC.

November 22 – Sunday | Jasper-Pulaski Sandhill Crane Viewing. An afternoon trip to see the fall concentration of thousands of Sandhill Cranes (+ a Whooper??) at the Jasper Pulaski State Fish & Wildlife Area. A carpool leaves at 3:00 p.m. from the Celery Bog gravel parking lot. Return will be around 6:30 p.m.

December 5 – Saturday | Brush up on your Winter Birds. A practice/review to help get ready for the upcoming Christmas Bird Count on December 19th. Meet at 8:30 at the gravel parking lot at Celery Bog Park, W.L. Morning trip.

Wednesdays in the Wild – December 9: The Pollinators. Dean Shephardson’s Purdue Environmental Ecology students. Lilly Nature Center. 7-9 p.m. Pollinator gardens and how to help address the growing decline of native pollinators. Programs resume in mid-January of 2016

December 10 – Saturday | Program: A Summer Bird Banding in Southern Indiana. Patrick Ruhl, Barny Dunning’s Ph.D. student, banded birds at six different sites in the Morgan-Monroe and Yellowwood State Forests.  Great up close bird photos. 7:15 p.m. Lilly Nature Center, W.L. Free parking and refreshments. Also CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT sign up and get a territory for the December 19th Lafayette CBC.

December 19 – Saturday | Lafayette Christmas Bird Count. Ed Hopkins, compiler. An all-day bird count—the original citizen science project. Call Ed (765-463-5927) to get a territory or come to the December 10th meeting and sign up there. Lots of fun and the birds can be quite surprising.

Summer 2015

Welcome to the latest issue of the Sycamore Warbler! Attached is a copy of the latest issue.  Below you will find our scheduled activities you’re welcome to participate in.WEDNESDAYS IN THE WILD – Weekly programs on various natural history topics for adults and interested young people.  Usually from 1-3 p.m. or 7-9 p.m.   Sites Vary. For a complete description  of these programs email Joan Mohr Samuels at  mohrsamuels@comcast.net  or pick up a schedule at Lilly Nature Center in Celery Bog Park.  The latest issue of the Warbler can be found at the bottom of this post, as well as in the newsletters section at the top of the website.

June 1 – July 31 – Summer Breeding Bird Count Starts. Done by county boundaries, this covers all 92 of Indiana’s Counties. Locally we are collecting data of bird sightings and nesting indications for Tippecanoe County (send to Barny Dunning, p.7) and Warren County (send to Susan Ulrich, p.7). For other counties sent it directly to the Indiana Audubon Society (go to www.indianaaudubon.org for details).

Saturday, June 13 – Bird Ramble at Prophetstown. Grassland nesting species such as the Henslow’s Sparrow should be back on territory while some migrants may still be lingering. Meet at the eastern parking area with the basketball standards at 6:30 a.m. Birds seen will be included in the Tippecanoe Summer Bird Count.

Saturday, July 11 – River Fest a celebration of Indiana’s and Tippecanoe County’s greatest natural resource, the Wabash River. Tapawingo Park, WL from 10 a.m.—5 p.m. SAS will have a booth along with numerous other groups. Free and family friendly, with pony rides, balloon art, 5K Run/Walk, a Kid’s Parade, voyager canoe races and more! If you can help at SAS’s booth we can use the company, or just stop by to say “hi”. Go to: www.wabashriverfest.com.

Saturday, July 18 – Tippecanoe Butterfly Count. A project of the Purdue Entomology Department for beginners and experts at Evonics wildlife habitat area in Lafayette. There is a training session first, then groups go out in the field and report back to tally up the various species they’ve seen. For more information call the Purdue Entomology Department.

Friday, July 31 – Last Day to add Summer Bird Sightings. Tally up and send your results in to the local compilers. see p. 1 or June 1st entry above. Send date from other counties to the Indiana Audubon Society.

Thursday, September 3 (and future Thursday mornings) – Early Bird Hikes start September 4th and are held weekly. Meet at Celery Bog’s gravel parking lot at 8 a.m. These are held every Thursday morning until the migration season ends (or people stop showing up!). For more information call or email Barny Dunning, see p.7.

Thursday, September 10 – SAS Invitational Program: Bring your own 1-10 minute mini-program to share. Vacation pictures, back yard shots, birds, plants, whatever. 7:15 p.m. Lilly Nature Center. Free parking. Our yearly carry-in dinner is at 6 p.m. before the meeting. Bring a dish to share. SAS supplies beverages, cups, plates, utensils, & napkins . If you forget to make or buy something, come for dinner anyway. There’s always plenty of good food. See p.1.

Saturday, September 15 – Honeysuckle Workday at Ross Hills Park. Meet at Ross Hills Park at 9:30 a.m. Ends at noon. Tools and gloves available or bring your own (note: people with chainsaws are very useful!). Rain date Sunday from 1:30-4 p.m.

Summer 2015 Warbler

Spring 2015

Welcome to the latest issue of the Sycamore Warbler! Attached is a copy of the latest issue.  Below you will find our scheduled activities you’re welcome to participate in.WEDNESDAYS IN THE WILD – Weekly programs on various natural history topics for adults and interested young people.  Usually from 1-3 p.m. or 7-9 p.m.   Sites Vary. For a complete description  of these programs email Joan Mohr Samuels at  mohrsamuels@comcast.net  or pick up a schedule at Lilly Nature Center in Celery Bog Park.

Spring 2015

Mar 11th – Wednesday –  7:30-9:30pm “Sounds of Spring-Wacky Woodcocks” —- indoor/outdoor pgm-LNC Experience this spring birding ritual with Naturalist Mary Cutler & members of the Sycamore Audubon Society through an indoor talk about the woodcock followed by outdoor observations. Bringbinoculars.  Nature Center/Celery Bog Nature Area.  In WL, on north side of Lindberg Rd, between Northwestern & McCormick.

March 12 – Thursday – Program: BIGBY Birding & Photography. Joel Hess. Joel did a big bird year around the United States by bike. He had a number of interesting experiences along the way and lots of birds from the common to the rare. Come see photographs taken on his journeys and hear some of his stories. Lilly Nature Center, Celery Bog Park 7:15 p.m. Free parking and refreshments.

March 28 – Saturday – Honeysuckle Workday at Ross Hills Park. 10 a.m. See p. 2. Weather permitting. Meet at the Ross Biological Reserve (east of the Park watch for the small sign on the left side of 875 W, the road that divides the Ravines Golf Course). Email/call Susan Ulrich if you have any questions (see p. 9).

April 4 – Saturday – Winghaven Tour. Leader Karen Griggs. Carpool 9 a.m. Call Karen (p.9 or at 260-418-4410) or meet her at the two-story log cabin artist’s studio at Winghaven north of Angola at noon. Winghaven is on the Seven Sister’s Lake Chain & is a paradise for birds. Go to acreslandtrust.org for more info.

April 9 – Thursday – Program: Our Friend, the Bat. Bats are often misrepresented. In reality they play an important ecological and economic role in our lives. Jody Nicholson, an ecologist based out of Indianapolis, will clarify the misconceptions about these social critters, discuss research techniques, and state and federal protective measures to preserve these fantastic bug-catchers in the face of White Nose Syndrome, habitat loss, and other threats. Lilly Nature Center 7:15 p.m. Free parking & refreshments.

April 10 – 12, Fri – Sun – SAS Spring Bake & Plant Sale. Bring donations to the West Lafayette library on Friday after 10 a.m. or on Saturday morning. People are needed to help at the tables, too. See p. 2.  Earth Day Stewardship Forum and Stiltgrass Foray. See story on back cover. Start the day at 9:00 a.m. at the John S. Wright Conference Center at Martell Forest or join activities later.

April 22 – Wednesday – Earth Day Stewardship Forum and Stiltgrass Foray. See story on back cover. Start the day at 9:00 a.m. at the John S. Wright Conference Center at Martell Forest or join activities later.

April 25 – Saturday – Clegg Gardens Field Trip. Meet at the Clegg Garden parking lot at 7:30 a.m. We will tour this NICHES’ area looking for birds and other species of interest. After, stop by Garden Expo to say ‘Hi’.

April 25- Saturday – Garden Expo. Put on by the Master Gardener’s, this is a must-go stop for anyone who loves plants or gardens. SAS will be passing out information and selling donated plants, garden equipment, and bird items. Donations needed. See story p.2. Tippecanoe County Fair Grounds east side of Teal Road.

May 5 & 7, Tues and Thurs – Fifth Grade Camp Bird Walks. Leaders and assistants needed for 5th grade student bird hikes. The kids are great. Meet at Camp Tecumseh at 7 a.m. or at Celery Bog at 6:30 to carpool. See p. 2.

Big Day in May Warm-up. Martell Forest 7:30 a.m. A chance to learn to identify birds by sound as well as sight & a great refresher for rusty ears & eyes. Entrance is on E side of Tippecanoe Co 725W.

May 2 – Saturday – Big Day In May Bird Counts. Rain, sun, snow or fog, large leaves or no leaves, this is the day birders all over Indiana and other states go out to count birds in their area. We have several counts locally and all can use people to help. See more on page 1. The compilation party for the Lafayette Count is at the Wild Bird Shoppe at 9 p.m. Bring a snack to share. Beverages, etc. provided.

May 14 – Thursday – Program: Indiana’s Other Dunes: the Restoration of Prairie Border. Derek Luchik, North Central Indiana Field Steward for The Nature Conservancy, works to protect and restore some of our state’s most unique and imperiled habitats. Tonight’s focus is the oak savannas and wetlands of the Eastern Kankakee Sands formation and its unique and imperiled wildlife. Lilly Nature Center 7:15 p.m.  Free parking & refreshments.

June 13 – Saturday – Bird Ramble at Prophetstown. Grassland nesting species such as the Henslow’s Sparrow should be back on territory while some migrants may still be lingering. Meet at the eastern parking area with the basketball standards at 6:30 a.m. Birds seen will be included in the Tippecanoe Summer Bird Count.

 

 

Winter 2014

Welcome to the latest issue of the Sycamore Warbler! Attached is a copy of the latest issue.  Below you will find our scheduled activities you’re welcome to participate in. WEDNESDAYS IN THE WILD – Weekly programs on various natural history topics for adults and interested young people.  Usually from 1-3 p.m. or 7-9 p.m.   Sites Vary. For a complete description     of these programs email Joan Mohr Samuels at  mohrsamuels@comcast.net  or pick up a schedule at Lilly Nature Center in Celery Bog Park.   The new schedule will be out around late December.

Winter 2014

 January 1 Thursday  – Willow Slough-Iroquois Preserves Christmas Bird Count. All day count. Ed Hopkins is the compiler. To participate call him (see p.1) or come to the Dec. 11th meeting.

January 3 Saturday  – Cass County Christmas Bird Count. The second year for this CBC. Landon Neumann is the compiler. To participate email him (see p.1).

January 20 Tuesday  – Special January Program . Hope is the thing with Feathers: Americans and Three Birds. Joel Greenberg, author of ”A Feathered River Across the Sky”. 7:30 p.m. room 216 Purdue Forestry Building (parking in Purdue Garages is free in the evening). This is replacing SS’s usual 2nd Thursday meeting at Lilly Nature Center. Joel is also giving a talk to the Forestry & Natural Resource Department at 3:30 p.m., “The Echoes of their Wings: the life and legacy of the Passenger Pigeon in the Deans Auditorium of Pfendler Hall (the old Entomology Building).

January 20-25  – January Feeder Count. See page 6.

February 7 Saturday -Winter Birds Field Trip. 8:30 a.m. Celery Bog Park gravel parking lot. We’ll carpool to where the interesting birds are being reported—hawks, longspurs, maybe a Snowy Owl. Local Bald Eagles should have started to nest, too. 1/2 day trip.

February 12 Thursday – February Program: Through their Eyes: Female Choice and Male-Male Competition in Peafowl”. Jessica Yorzinski, Purdue postdoctoral research associate. Learn how Peahens choose their mates and peacocks assess their rivals. Jessica’s research uses eye-tracking technology to see what the birds base these decisions on. Lilly Nature Center, Celery Bog Park 7:15 p.m. Free parking and refreshments. REMEMBER: Dinner & Conversation at MCL with the speaker at 6 p.m.

February 13-16 Fri-Monday  – Great Backyard Bird Count. See back cover for more information. Count one day or four, one spot or many and report what you see on line at http://gbbc.birdcount.org

Feb 21 Saturday  – February Work Day at Ross Hills Park. 10 a.m. Weather permitting. Meet at the Ross Biological Reserve (just east of the Park on the left side of the road that runs between the two sections of the Ravine Golf Course. Watch for the small sign). We will work on stacking already cut large honeysuckle and clearing out smaller ones. Email or call Susan Ulrich if you have any questions (see p 7).

Feb 20-25  – February Feeder Count. See page 6.

March 12 Thursday  – March Program: Tentative: BIGBY Birding & Photography. Joel Hess. Lilly Nature Center, Celery Bog Park 7:15 p.m. Free parking and refreshments.

March 28 Saturday – March Workday at Ross Hills Park. 10 a.m. Weather permitting Meet at the Ross Biological Reserve (just east of the Park on the left side of the road that runs between the two sections of the Ravine Golf Course. Watch for the small sign). We will work on stacking already cut large honeysuckle and clearing out smaller ones. Email or call Susan Ulrich if you have any questions (see p. 7).