The Chippewa Valley Audubon Club is a chapter of the Michigan Audubon Society and is affiliated with the National Audubon Society. We were established in 1951 to promote the appreciation of nature and the responsible use of our natural resources. Membership is open to anyone, of any age, who enjoys the natural world and who would enjoy the fellowship of others of the same concerns and interests. We encourage the involvement of kids through programs and outings of particular interest to them.
You like the weather to be fabulous for field trips, but the birding gods were against us today. Windy and cold. With that said, our group of seven intrepid souls did manage 48 species in the Houghton Lake area, with some great looks. For me the bird of the day was Red Crossbill. We saw at least 22 of these birds drinking (eating) snow back on a gravel road below Houghton Lake.
On March 13, 2013, Nancy Seefelt of the CMU Biology Department spoke to the group about changes in Michigan bird populations over the past 3 decades. There have been many changes, both downward and upward within individual species. Many of the changes can be attributed to the usual causes, habitat loss, use of pesticides, whether here in Michigan or on the wintering grounds, and changes in farming practices, including earlier and more frequent mowing of hay fields, which can severely impact grassland nesting species.
Our February 13 meeting featured Chippewa Nature Center (CNC) Senior Naturalist Janea Little. Janea, who has worked at the CNC for 25 years, has been a featured speaker for the CVAC many times on a wide variety of topics. But this year she came to tell us about the CNC.
On January 9, 2013, Myles McNally wowed the audience at our first meeting of the new year with pictures and tales of his effort to see 100 species of birds in every county in the State. He began by pointing out the mathematics of such an effort. In order to be successful, one would have to complete at least 8,300 "ticks," or birds seen. If one saw an average of 20 species every day, it would take 415 days to complete 8,300 ticks, and that's before factoring in the distances involved in covering every county.
The December meeting of the Chippewa Valley Audubon Club is traditionally reserved for club members to share digital and hard copy pictures, crafts, art work, anything that tells a story of nature-related activities they have experienced. This year the club had the opportunity to see and hear stories from nine members over the course of the evening.
Sally Van Cise shared a framed image of a Bald Eagle she had taken in Alaska, and related a story of how the captain of a local boat catering to tourists enticed the eagles of the area to "pose" for photos.