Naturalist Ann Walter-Fromson will be leading a series of Wednesday morning wildflower walks at area parks, preserves, and watershed trails again this year.
You’re welcome to join in for any or all of these walks. Our first walk will be at Northeast Park on March 15, where we will search for Trout Lily and Spring Beauty on the Buffalo Creek Trail.
Mark your calendars for additional wildflower walks on March 29, and April 5, 12, 19, and 26. Be sure to check next month’s Nature Notes for information about our destinations for these walks.
We will meet for each trip at 9:30 a.m. in the Whole Foods parking lot at the area closest to Friendly Avenue, and carpool to our field trip site. We expect to return between 12:30 and 1 p.m., depending on the trip location.
Participants should wear sturdy, closed-toe walking shoes because trails may be muddy or slippery in places. Close-focus binoculars and a wildflower field guide would be helpful to have with you, as well as insect repellent (in warm weather), a camera, water, and a snack. No pets, please.
Each year for four days, people all over the world count birds that they see in their yards, parks, and neighborhoods. The Great Backyard Bird Count is a citizen science project of National Audubon Society, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and Bird Studies Canada held on Presidents’ Day weekend. Data you provide by recording the birds you see helps scientists understand what’s happening with birds and helps in planning for bird conservation. Participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count is good for the birds and fun for you.
The Great Back Yard Bird Count (GBBC) this year will be on Friday, Feb. 17 through Monday, Feb. 20. You can count on one or all of the days, in your own backyard or in other places, by yourself or with a group. Just start a new list for each day, for each location where you count birds, and for the same location if you count birds at two different times of day. Count birds for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the GBBC and estimate the number of individuals of each species you saw during your count period.
To enter your results, first register for the count (you can do this ahead of time) or use your existing login name and password. You will already have an account if you created one for last year’s GBBC or if you are registered with eBird or another Cornell Lab citizen-science project such as FeederWatch. Once you are registered or logged in, click “Submit Observations” on the GBBC home page, and follow the instructions.
If you have a mobile device, you can download the free eBird Mobile app to enter your data. Any observations entered on eBird from Feb. 17 to Feb. 20 will count toward the GBBC. GBBC offers two other free apps to assist you with bird identification: the Merlin Bird ID App With Photo ID and Audubon Bird Guide. The new photo ID feature on Merlin lets you submit a photo of a bird; then Merlin provides you a list of the most likely possibilities for identification. The Audubon Bird Guide provides sounds, images, and range maps for 821 North American birds.
Participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count is an easy way to make a positive difference for birds. Find a friend, neighbor, or family member to count with you and share the fun. This is a great way to introduce folks to birding. Anyone can count!
The 2017 Audubon Photography Awards, in association with Nature’s Best Photography, are now open!
Every year the Audubon Photo Awards showcase the best in bird photography. If your members love birds and photography, encourage them to submit their best shots in either the Amateur, Professional, or Youth category. There are great prizes to be won and winning photos will be published in Audubon magazine and in Nature’s Best Photography magazine. Winners will also have their photos displayed within the 2017 Nature’s Best Photography Exhibition at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C.
Entry period runs from January 6, 2017–February 20, 2017. All the information on how to enter this year’s content can be found at audubonphotoawards.org.