Winter 2016-2017

Welcome to the latest edition of the Sycamore Warbler! Below, you will find the schedule of events that cover this issue.  Please note, the RIP Squad will resume in the spring.   Indiana Native Plant & Wildflower Society programs are listed below.

Programs are held on the second Thursday at 7:15 PM in the Lilly Nature Center in West Lafayette. People are invited to come before hand for “Dinner & Conversation” starting at 6:00 PM at the MCL Cafeteria.

EARLY BIRD HIKES will continue at 8 am Thursday mornings as long as interest continues. Typically this means a one hour walk as long as parts of Celery Bog have open water. Starting time may get adjusted if it gets too dark. Contact Barny (p 9) if you are unsure that a walk will occur.

You can find the latest issue here:  Warbler Winter 2016-2017

Dec 20-25, Jan 20-25, Feb 20-25 – Indiana Feeder Bird Count periods. See p.3. Simply record what birds show up in your yard during the official 5 day periods. Use the maximum number of birds you can confirm, e.g. if you see 2 male and 2 female cardinals one day and 5 male and one females the next. You should record 7 cardinals as you know there are at least 5 males and 2 females.

Wednesday, December 28 – Cass County Annual Christmas Bird Count.  The compiler is Landon Neumann (see p.1). Contact him for an area and any needed info. This count includes most of Logansport and adjacent areas.

Sunday, January 1 – Willow Slough-Iroquois Preserves Christmas Bird Count.   As above for the Dec 17 Lafayette CBC except there will be no compilation party afterwards. Compiler is Ed Hopkins, see p.1.

Thursday, January 12 – Program:  Images and Stories of a Careered Nature Photographer.  Dan Griggs is a nature photographer and conservationist. For about 15 years, Dan earned a living from his images, at times as assistant to a National Geographic photographer.”  7:15 p.m. Lilly Nature Center Celery Bog Park, WL.  There is free parking and refreshments.

Monday, January 23 – Indiana Native Plant & Wildflower Society.  Rare, threatened and Endangered Plants on NICHES Properties.  — Bob Easter, NICHES steward. Each property gives the potential thrill of discovery of something unexpected.

Saturday, January 28 – Winter Birds. Meet at 8:30 am from gravel parking lot at Celery Bog. We will look for species like Snow Buntings, Lapland Longspurs, winter owls, etc., depending on which species are being reported.  Half-day trip (subject to weather).

Thursday, February 9 – Program:  The DNR in Indiana: An Update. Allisyn-Marie Gillet, the new DNR biologist for our area is the speaker. This is a chance to meet Allisyn-Marie and learn about the DNR and how what she does helps Indiana’s Wildlife. 7:15 p.m. Lilly Nature Center in Celery Bog Park, WL. There is free parking and refreshments.

February 17-20, Friday-Monday – Great Backyard Bird Count.  See information on the back cover. An easy to do event that thousands of people all over the globe contribute to. See what usual and unusual birds you can find.

Saturday, February 25 – Early Migration at Celery Bog. Starts at 8 am.  Depending on the availability of open water, we will be looking to catch the start of waterfowl migration.  Half- day trip.

Monday, February 27 – Indiana Native Plant & Wildflower Society.  TBA.

Saturday, March 4 – Woodcock Ramble.  March forth and meet at 5:30 pm at the gravel parking lot of Celery Bog to carpool to an area where we can carpool to see / hear timberdoodles (AKA American Woodcocks) doing their breeding display.  We may go to the Purdue Wildlife Area or the Tippecanoe Amphitheater, depending on reports of active woodcocks. Sunset is at 6:40 pm.

Thursday, March 9 – Program: To be announced in the March newsletter.  7:15 p.m. Lilly Nature Center, Celery Bog Park, WL. Free parking and refreshments.

Saturday, March 25 – Audubon at the Overlook. The year’s first Audubon at the Overlook event at Prophetstown State Park. Audubon members will be at the overlook at the end of the park road from 6-8 p.m. to interact with visitors to the park and identify birds in the area. Usually one Overlook event is scheduled each month over spring and summer.

Monday, March 27 – Indiana Native Plant & Wildflower Society. Indiana Plant Atlas. Rebecca Dolan, Butler Herbarium. A new website for plant identification and learning. Local naturalist and photographer Ed Zschiedrich supplied a number of the images.

Sycamore Audubon Society Receives Grant

November 6, 2016 –  Grant from the Community Foundation of White County’s Women Giving Together Fund.  This grant goes to support the Audubon Nature Club after-school program in the amount of $1100.  Thank you for letting the Sycamore Audubon Society continue and advance the mission of the Audubon Nature Club.

Fall 2016

Welcome to the latest edition of the Sycamore Warbler! Below, you will find the schedule of events that cover this issue, including Wednesdays in the Wild, INPAWS Fall Programs and Sycamore Audubon events.

You can find the latest issue here:  Warbler Volume 41 Issue 3

Please note that the RIP Squad starts up again October 18th and is looking for new
and old volunteers to help. This fall the group is working on bush honeysuckle
& burning bush at Prophets Rock Woods on Tuesdays from 3:30-
5:30 and on honeysuckle & Autumn Olive at Ross Hills on Thursdays from 3:30-5:30. Schedule goes to Dec. 8. Contact Patty Jones (765-463-3050, email: for more information.

Programs are held on the 2nd Thursday at 7:15 PM in the Lilly Nature Center in West Lafayette. People are invited to come beforehand for “Dinner & Conversation” starting at 6:00 PM at the MCL Cafeteria (WL. Field trip times vary).

Thursday, September 1 and each Thursday – Early Bird Walks at Celery Bog start. 8 am at the gravel parking lot. We will continue until the water freezes and / or interest amongst the birders wanes.


Wednesdays in the Wild – Sept 7th 1-3pm Wings Wildflowers & at Prophetstown — outdoor pgm meet at Prophetstown– Seasonal Interpreter Rebekah Thomas leads this walk to visit a fen and prairie at their peak. Butterflies, birds, & blooming plants. $2/person gate fee waived. Ask at entrance for specific location in the park.


Thursday, September 8th – Program: Bring Your Own. People are invited to bring 5 minute mini programs from this past year: birds, travel, plants, scenery, etc. 7:15 p.m. Lilly Nature Center in Celery Bog Park, WL. Plus: Carry in Dinner before the meeting at 6 p.m. Bring a dish to share. SAS provides plates, utensils, cups and beverages. Always lots of good food.


Wednesdays in the Wild – Sep 14th 7-9pm Insect Songsters — indoor/outdoor pgm—Lilly NC. Tom Turpin (Purdue Entomologist) will talk about the why and how of insect songs and the species that fill the summer and night air with their clicks, scrapes and hums. Mostly inside, but may include a step outside for an actual performance.


Saturday, September 17th – Audubon at the Overlook, Prophetstown State Park. 9-11 am. Meet at the overlook near the parking lot at the end of the paved road in the park to see what birds are passing by.


Wednesdays in the Wild – Sep 21st 1-3pm Wabash River Fishes and Research Collection Methods — outdoor pgm—Fort Ouiatenon. The diversity of Wabash River fish reflects the unique characteristics needed for living in our river. Jay Beugly (Aquatics Ecology Specialist, Purdue Forestry & Natural Resources Dept.) will display fish caught with a boat electrofisher, & discuss their natural history and provide insight into the methods used to collect fish for research purposes.


Saturday, September 24th – Waterfowl Migration at Celery Bog. Should be around the peak of migration. The home football game shouldn’t be a problem. Meet at the gravel parking lot at Celery Bog at 8:30 a.m.


Monday, Sept.26.  INPAWS: Providing More than Aesthetics: How to Design for Pollinators. Mindy Appold. Purdue Landscape Architect.  7 pm, Lilly Nature Center, Celery Bog Park.


Wednesdays in the Wild – Sep 28th 1-3pm Literature & Nature Hike– outdoor-Granville Sand Barrens. Brooke Criswell (NICHES Education & Outreach Coordinator) leads a hike featuring quotes of noteworthy writers, and pose thought provoking questions while walking through a beautiful native sand barren and woodland habitat. Bring a water bottle & wear comfortable shoes.


Wednesdays in the Wild – Oct 5th 1-3pm Birds on the Wing (Migration) Bring binoculars but extras available!— indoor/outdoor pgm—Lilly NC Susan Ulrich (avid birder & naturalist) leads an indoor presentation followed by an outdoor hunt to see what bird species are moving through as well as what residents the group can find.


Saturday, October 8 – Waterfowl & Other Migrants in the area. Meet at the gravel parking lot at Celery Bog at 8:30 am to carpool. A search for interesting birds in the region. This date is between hunting seasons at Pine Creek (teal season ends 9/18, waterfowl season starts 10/22). A half-day trip.


Wednesdays in the Wild – Oct 12th 1-3pm Intro to Nature Apps —- indoor pgm—Lilly NC. Rosie Lerner, Purdue Extension & other presenters will introduce apps for our mobile devices.  Learn how to use your phone and tablet outdoors to help identify plants, trees and wildlife, as well as get an introduction to handy garden apps. Come and share your favorite apps for learning about nature.


Thursday, October 13 – Program: Visiting the Isle of Serendip: forest conservation in today’s Sri Lanka. Peter Waser, professor emeritus, Purdue Biology Department. Peter & his wife, Mary Sue, spent a month in Sri Lanka with Rasanayagam Rudran, retired from the Smithsonian, who is working to create forest buffers around Sri Lankan National Parks. Natural history, human history, plus contemporary tourism for this rarely visited area. 7 p.m. Lilly Nature Center Celery Bog Park. Free parking & refreshments.
Wednesdays in the Wild – Oct 19th 1-3pm Fall Color Walk — Happy Hollow Park. Remember road is currently one way. Fall is a great time to visit. Join Sally Weeks (Purdue Dendrologist) to identify the many different tree, shrub & wildflower species and enjoy their Fall colors.


Friday, Saturday, Sunday, October 21st-23rd – Fall Bake & Plant Sale. West Lafayette Public Library.  Benefits Warren County 4-H Bird Spark program.  See p.2. Volunteers to help at the sale along with plant & food donations to sell are needed.


Saturday, October 22nd – Audubon at the Overlook, Prophetstown State Park. 9-11 am. Meet at the overlook near the parking lot at the end of the paved road in the park.


Monday, October 24.  INPAWS: Backyard Habitat Design & Workshop. Steve Van Zant, Indiana Wildlife Federation.  7 pm, Lilly Nature Center, Celery Bog Park.
Wednesdays in the Wild – Oct 26th 7-9pm A Place Called Turkey Run — indoor pgm—Lilly NC. Dr. Dan Shepardson (Purdue’s Departments of Earth, Atmospheric & Planetary Sciences and Curriculum & Instruction) leads an exploration of the natural history of Turkey Run State Park using photos & text from his new book, A Place Called Turkey Run. Autographed books are available for $40 cash purchase.


Sunday, October 30 – “Pulling for Bats” Invasive Removal. 1:30—4 p.m. Ross Hills County Park, the first parking lot to the right. Tools, gloves, snacks, etc. provided or bring your own. Call Susan Ulrich, p. 7 for more info. Part of Bat International’s Bat Week program aimed at improving habitat for bats. Non-native invasives are detrimental to bats survival as they don’t support insects the bats need for food.


Wednesdays in the Wild – Nov 2nd 1-3pm What is Soil Health & How Do We Assess It? — indoor pgm—CLEGG. Diane Stott (National Soil Health Specialist for NRCS—Natural Resources Conservation Service) shares her in-depth knowledge of soil health.


Wednesdays in the Wild – Nov 2nd 7-9pm Subaru & the National Parks: Zero-Landfill Initiative –Lilly NC. America’s first automaker to achieve zero-landfill status was Lafayette’s local Subaru facility. Michelle Long, Assistant Manager for Environmental Compliance and Energy, will outline Subaru’s initiative to help our National Parks work towards the same zero-landfill goal—a project worthy of the centennial celebration of the National Park Service in 2016.


Saturday, November 5th – Lake Michigan Field Trip. Our annual fall trip to the lakeshore is a little later this year to give the group a better chance at Snowy Owl, Snow Bunting and other early winter birds in addition to late fall migrants. Meet at the gravel parking lot, Celery Bog, at 6 am to carpool. As usual we will stop at Jasper-Pulaski to listen and look at Sandhill Cranes on one leg of the trip. Full day trip.
Wednesdays in the Wild – Nov 9th 1-3pm A Virtual Tour of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore –indoor pgm—Lilly NC. Kip Walton, NPS Ranger. favorite landscapes & hidden gems.


Thursday, November 10th – Program: Happy Birthday National Parks Service & the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.  Paul Labovitz, Superintendent Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. 100 years of what has been called America’s Best Idea plus 50 years of a protected lakefront in Indiana. Hear about what the National Park Service has been doing in our region and what is to come. 7 p.m. Lilly Nature Center Celery Bog Park, WL. Free parking and refreshments.


Sunday, November 13th – Audubon at the Overlook, Prophetstown State Park. 4-6 pm. Meet at the overlook near the parking lot at the end of the paved road, to see the grasslands in the late afternoon.


Sunday, November 20th – Sandhill Cranes at Jasper-Pulaski State Wildlife Management Area. An afternoon jaunt to see thousands of cranes as they gather in the late afternoon. Maybe there will be a Whooping Crane among them. Meet at the gravel parking lot, Celery Bog, at 3:30 pm to carpool. We usually return about 6:30 pm.
Wednesdays in the Wild – Nov 16th 1-3pm At Long Last, Bison on the Prairies of Kankakee Sands —outdoor pgm—Kankakee Sands. Alyssa Nyberg (Kankakee Sands Nursery Mgr. & Outreach Coordinator) will lead a hike to the top of Bogus Island, famous site of outlaws, horse thieves and counterfeiters, and now buffalo.


Monday, November 28.  INPAWS:  The Waters of Jasper Pulaski. Ed Zschiedrich, local naturalist and photographer.  7 pm, Lilly Nature Center, Celery Bog Park.


Saturday, December 3rd – Warmup for the Christmas Bird Count. Get your binoculars ready and refresh your identification skills. 8 a.m. start and carpool at Celery Bog’s gravel parking area. A half day trip.


Thursday, December 8th – Program to be Announced later. 7:15 p.m. Lilly Nature Center Celery Bog Park. Come at 6:30 to get the forms and a territory for the various Christmas Bird Counts held in the area.


Saturday, December 17th – Lafayette Area Annual Christmas Bird Count. An all day count of birds seen or heard from midnight to midnight. Participants living in the circle can count feeder and yard birds, or sign up with Ed Hopkins and get a larger area to check. More on this and other local count in the next Warbler.

Summer 2016

Welcome to the latest edition of the Sycamore Warbler! Below, you will find the schedule of events that cover this issue.

You can find the latest issue here: Summer 2016

Every Thursday – Early Bird Hikes. Celery Bog Park, West Lafayette, 8 a.m. These will be held every Thursday until interest wanes. Check to see if they are still occurring by emailing/calling Barny Dunning (p.7)

Saturday, July 9 – Riverfest: A local celebration of the Wabash River and its corridor. Voyager Canoe Races, pony rides, bubble house, 5K run, lots of booths of various groups, etc. Kid friendly but lots of information for adults. Tapawingo Park, West Lafayette 9-4 p.m. Audubon will be there and can use a few people to help out at their booth (10-noon, and noon to 2). Contact Susan Ulrich (p.7)

Saturday, July 23 – Audubon at the Overlook. 9 a.m. Stick around the overlook and join SAS members to see and learn about local birds that might put in an appearance. Meet at the far end of the park road.
Contact Chuck Tuttle (see p.7) if you have any questions.

Friday and Saturday, August 12 and 13 – Hummingbird Banding at Mary Gray Sanctuary with Amy Wilms. Either carpool down Friday night and camp at the Sanctuary south of Connersville which is owned by the Indiana Audubon Society or drive down on your own VERY early Saturday. Songbird mist nets open at 6 a.m., hummingbird nets at 9 a.m. Banding goes to noon. Contact Barny Dunning (p.7) if you are interested in going.

Thursday, September 8 – Carry-in Dinner & Bring Your Own Program night. 6 p.m. for the dinner, 7:15 for the program. See page 2 for more details. SAS supplies plates, silverware, cups, napkins & beverages. Bring a dish to share. Lilly Nature Center, Celery Bog Park, West Lafayette. Free parking.

Spring 2016

Welcome to the latest edition of the Sycamore Warbler! Below, you will find the schedule of events that cover this issue. Also, please note that Wednesdays in the Wild events will now be included below. To get the entire list when it is ready via email, write Joan Mohr Samuels at or pick up a listing at Lilly Nature Center (LNC).

The latest issue of the Warbler can be found here -> Warbler Vol 41, Issue 1

Wednesdays in the Wild – March 30 1-3 p.m. Benefit of Controlled Burns. Brad Weigle, NICHES Steward. Outdoors at NICHES Granville Sand Barrens. Lots of sand so wear closed toe shoes! See and discuss the benefits of burning various ecosystems.

Wednesdays in the Wild – April 6 1-3 p.m. Exploring the Unique Features of the Big Pine Valley at Crow’s Grove – Bob Easter, NICHES Steward- outdoor pgm – NICHES Crow’s Grove Property, one of NICHES’s newest reserves. [12:15 LNC carpool]

Wednesdays in the Wild – April 13 TIME to be determined. INVASIVES – Ellen Jacquart, TNC. – indoor/outdoor pgm – LNC. Includes an UPDATE on local invasives work & a Garlic Mustard Pull!

Saturday, April 9 – Birds and Wildflowers of Fall Creek Gorge. 7:30 a.m. carpool at the gravel lot at Celery Bog or be at Fall Creek at 8:30 a.m. Note: parking space there is limited. Early Spring Wildflowers & birds.

Thursday, April 14 – Program: Have You Seen a Goatsucker Lately? Remember hearing Whip-poor-wills or flushing coveys of Bobwhite quail? Alan Bruner will discuss changes in populations of some of our bird friends that are now rare and/or difficult to find. Ten bird species that were once easily found in our area through the 1980’s will be highlighted and their current & past status and possible reasons for declines considered. Lilly Nature Center, WL 7:15 p.m. Free parking and refreshments.

Friday – Sunday, April 15-17 – Spring Bake & Plant Sale. See p. 2. Donations and helpers needed. Proceeds going to Hand of the Future Junior Nature Club. Contact Susan Ulrich (p.7) for questions or to volunteer to help.

Wednesdays in the Wild – Apr 20 1-3 p.m. WILD EDIBLES – Talk, Walk, Eat! – Angie Manuel, Prophetstown Naturalist – outdoor pgm at Prophetstown STPK [no park entry fee] . Learn and taste various wild edibles found in the park.

Saturday, April 23 – Garden Expo. See p. 2. 9:30-3 p.m. Tippecanoe Fair Grounds Hog Barn. Again donations are needed and people are urged to contact Susan Ulrich (p. 7) if they have questions, need to arrange to make donations, or volunteer to help out. Door prizes, lectures, loads of vendors.

Wednesdays in the Wild – Apr 27 1-3 p.m. Field Guides 101: Putting a Name with those Wildflower Faces– Mary Cutler. Indoor/outdoor pgm-LNC. Mary will talk about field guides and walk participants through the use of Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide (easily mastered by non-botanists). We’ll take our guides into the field and use them to ID spring flowers. Bring your Newcomb’s guide or borrow or purchase one that day (at discounted price of $15 courtesy of Von’s Book Store!).

Wednesdays in the Wild – April 27 7-9 p.m. National Park Service at 100 Years – Purdue Environmental Ed Students.- indoor pgm -LNC . America’s greatest idea turns 100 years old. What is the current status and history of this program?

Saturday, April 30 – Goose Pond Excursion. Contact Barny if interested. This is a 2.5 hour trip and may involve overnight arrangements such as going down Friday to bird that night and then the next morning.

Tuesday & Thursday, May 3 & 5 – Fifth Grade Camp Walks. People are needed to help teachers lead bird walks at Camp Tecumseh in White County. See story on p. 1. Carpool leaves from Celery Bog at 6:30 a.m. for 7 a.m. start.

Wednesdays in the Wild – May 4 1-3pm Spring Warblers & Other Migrants – Susan Ulrich. Indoor/outdoor pgm – LNC. Indoor talk about migration and the birds that are coming through, followed by an outdoor bird walk at Celery Bog. Binoculars available if needed.

Thursday – Sunday, May 5-8 – Indiana Dunes Birding Festival. See p.2 &/or People interested in carpooling should contact Barny Dunning, see p. 7.

Wednesdays in the Wild – May 11 1-3pm Moyer Gould Woods Wildflower Hike – Brad Wiegel – outdoor pgm—at NICHES/Moyer Gould Woods. (Carpool LNC time not yet specified). The property along the Tippecanoe River has a wealth of wildflower species.

Thursday, May 12 – Program: This Was Indiana: The Natural Landscape of the Hoosier State in 1816. Join Michael Homoya, botanist and plant ecologist with the Indiana DNR Division of Nature Preserves, as he takes us to a time when Indiana possessed a grandeur we can only imagine today. During this Indiana bicentennial year, it is appropriate to remember the Indiana that was. Prior to statehood Indiana was a land of vast forests, expansive wetlands, and prairie as far as the eye could see. Herds of bison traveled ancient paths, passenger pigeons darkened the skies, and wolves, bears and panthers roamed the land. All this we know from eyewitness accounts provided by early explorers, pioneers, and government surveyors. 7:15 p.m. Lilly Nature Center, WL. Free parking and refreshments.

Saturday, May 14 – Big Day In May Bird Count. See story on page 1. You can help with either the Tippecanoe or Warren County count. Any birds seen within the 24 hours of May 14 can be included. Please contact the county compiler to volunteer and get your territory to cover and the reporting forms.

Saturday, May 21 – Mind BOGgling Event. See story on p.1. Lots going on. More detailed information available shortly so watch for it, but it is sure to be a fun day for everyone attending.

Saturday, June 11 – Two Prophetstown Field Trips: Both meet at the far end of the park road. Species seen will count towards the 100 State and National Park birds needed for the Bicentennial Big Year.

+Grassland and Other Birds of Prophetstown. 6:30 a.m. to around 8:30 a.m. We’ll
look for the typical grassland species and see what else we can find in our local state park.

+Audubon at the Overlook. 9 a.m. Stick around the overlook and join SAS members to
see and learn about local birds that might put in an appearance.