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.

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.

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  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 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:

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