Birmingham Audubon Society

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September 2014
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Birmingham Audubon
Birmingham Audubon Bulletin Board PDF Print Email

Job Announcement:

Program Director

Birmingham Audubon seeks qualified candidates for the position of Program Director for conservation, education/outreach and membership programs. Read job announcement and download application here.


 

Tom Imhof Annual Field Trip
Birmingham Botanical Gardens
2612 Park Lane Road Birmingham, AL 35223
October 4, 2014, 8 a.m.

Summer Tanager eating dogwood berryJoin us for a walk through the Birmingham Botanical Gardens as we look for fall migrants. The garden covers 67.5 acres at the southern foot of Red Mountain and serves as home for many year-round species such as woodpeckers and hawks and an important stop along the way for many migrating species including warblers and vireos. Winter migrants such as sparrows and kinglets may also be present by this date.

Meet in the parking lot of Birmingham Botanical Gardens at 8 a.m. This is a half-day field trip involving   much walking. Bring liquid refreshment and snacks for the hike.

Trip Leader: Susan Barrow cell 205-253-8667; home 205-942-8667.

 

 

 

October 20, 2013 Field Trip
James  D. Martin Wildlife Park , Neely Henry Dam, Ten Islands Historical Park
Meet: 7:00 a.m., McDonald’s, 1569 Montclair, AL 35210

Great Blue Heron 28629Wintering waterfowl, migrating shorebirds, resident songbirds, long-legged waders and raptors will be among species expected at the three locations included in the October 20 Field Trip.  Meet and park at the rear of McDonald’s on Montclair and consider carpooling.  The three destinations include: James D. Martin Wildlife Park which boasts a 300-acre lake, three miles of walking/hiking trails (paved and unpaved), wetlands and mudflats, boardwalks bordered by thickets. It is sited on an extensive backwater of the Coosa River and behind Gadsden Mall. Neely Henry Dam is an Alabama Power hydroelectric dam on the Coosa River, approximately 40 miles southwest of Gadsden, near Ragland. Leading south from the parking area is a short nature trail winding through woods and allowing opportunities for observing songbirds. Ten Islands Historic Park, on the shore of Neely Henry Lake near the Dam, was the locale for a pitched battle between Federal and Confederate forces during the Civil War. The area was first used as a village and crossing or ford by the Creeks, named Otipalin (Ten Islands).  

Bring along your binoculars and camera, a picnic, drinks and snacks. Have a full tank of gas. Plan for a midday picnic at the James D. Martin Wildlife Park.

 

GPS: James D. Martin Wildlife Park    33.997351-86.008322

        Neely Henry Dam                     N 33.4708 W 86.0353

        Ten Islands Historic Park            3347.058 N 86. 3852 W

Trip leaders: Anne G. Miller 902-1389 (m) or Maureen Shaffer 205-822-8728 (h) or 205-222-2662 (m) .

 


Membership Program
Mixing It Up: Alternative Strategies for Reproduction in Amphibians
Dr. Megan Gibbons, Birmingham-Southern College
Birmingham Botanical Gardens, East Room
October 16, 2014
7:00 P.M.

Dr. Megan Gibbons will present some of the amazing reproductive adaptations of amphibians, including frog embryos in trees that can detect and escape snake predation, adults that tote their tadpoles from nests to nurseries, and moms who swallow eggs and rear their young in their stomachs. Who knew amphibian reproduction could be so unusual? Dr. Gibbons is a Professor of Biology at Birmingham-Southern College. Her areas of research include amphibian ecology and behavior, particularly heritability (the influence of genetics and environment on behavior) and maternal investment (how much energy does a female provide to her offspring). She earned her B. A. from Emory University and her M. S. and Ph.D. from University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Program is also open to non-members. Join Birmingham Audubon at 6:30 p.m. for refreshments and conversation.


Birds and Brews
Sunday October 26, 2014 
Meeting Time:  2:00 p.m. at Avondale Park

 

Avondale Park provides a wonderful example of the rich birdlife which may be found in an urban park.  Join Birmingham Audubon for a leisurely stroll around the park and its variety of habitats while we look for resident and migratory birds. Learn more about Birmingham Audubon’s Avondale Rose & Habitat Project, which in cooperation with Avondale Samaritan Place and other community groups, will restore heirloom gardens and introduce productive plants to attract birds, butterflies, bees and other pollinators. After our walk and garden talk we’ll visit the Avondale Brewery and / or Post Office Pies for refreshments and a snack.  Meet at the Rose Garden Pavilion behind the library at 2 PM for a fun and educational afternoon. We will have binoculars to loan to those who need them. Contact: Hans Paul,

 

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 30 September 2014 08:55 )
 
Upcoming Field Trips PDF Print Email

Birmingham Audubon Field Trips 2014-2015

Birders copyAll Birmingham Audubon field trips are free and open to the public. Field Trips are held on Saturdays. The Beginner Bird Walks are held another day; please note day.

 

 

SEPTEMBER 2014
9-1          Russell Bailey Memorial Labor Day Trip to Lake Purdy
9-6          Oak Mountain State Park - hawk watch
9-20        Cherokee Rock Village, Weiss Lake and Piedmont Airport

OCTOBER 2014
10-4        Tom Imhof Memorial trip to Birmingham Botanical Gardens

NOVEMBER 2014
11-1         Railroad Park, Avondale Park and East Lake
11-8         Prairie Seed Collecting and Habitat Restoration Field Trip 
11-11       Beginner Bird Walk –Veteran's Day

11-14/16  Foscue Creek Campground Campout
11-22       Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge

 

JANUARY 2015
1-10       Guntersville, AL
1-17       Cahaba Treatment Plant
1-19       Beginner Bird Walk – Martin Luther King Day

FEBURARY 2015
2-7         Beeswax Creek and Lake Purdy
2-14       Great Back Yard Bird Count - Birmingham Zoo
2-21       Fort Toulouse/Fort Jackson Wetumpka Astrobleme

MARCH 2015

3-7         Limestone Park and Ebenezer Swamp
3-21       Perry Lakes and environs
3-29       Beginner Bird Walk – Sunday

APRIL 2015
4-4         Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve
4-11       Vulcan Trail

MAY 2015
5-1,2,3   Campout - Wehle Nature Center with a field trip May 2nd for the day trippers
5-23       Hamilton Indian MoundsHamilton, First Marion County Courthouse and Military Road, Marion Public Fishing Lake, and environs

JUNE 2015

6-13        Beginner Bird Walk – Saturday
6-20        Paint Rock-Larkin Fork, Walls of Jericho, Skyline Wildlife Management Area

July 2015

7-28        Kite Trip #1  Prattville, Autaugaville, AL

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 30 September 2014 11:42 )
 
Field Trip Reports 2014 PDF Print Email

Old Cahawba, March 1, 2014

Coleman Lake, February 1, 2014

Wheeler NWR, January 20, 2014

Guntersville Lake, January 18, 2014

(Index to all Field Trip Reports)

Old Cahawba 3-1-2014

Autaugaville and Prattville 7-26-14

Saturday, July 26th, Birmingham Audubon members and guests ventured south in search of Mississippi and swallow-tailed kites on both sides of the Alabama River west of Prattville. And we're happy to report that our quest was successful!

Our first sighting was a lone Mississippi kite circling above the US 82 bypass just south of the turn at AL Hwy 14 on the west side of town. This proved to be typical of the remainder of the morning - single birds flying just above treetop level in two other locations along Hwy 14 or the county roads that extend south from it to the river. We checked CR 29, 27, 50 and 41, and found species typical of that area and this time if year - in other words, hordes of Rough-winged Swallows, vultures and a smattering of egrets and herons flapping past. The rough-wings were especially noticeable along CR 21 in a field opposite the model airplane site. Hundreds were barely buzzing the ground as they fed.

The south end of CR 21, at the large expanse of pasture, yielded no kites of either species but we did observe an Osprey flying above the trees in the distance as it followed the course of the river heading upstream (west to east).

The home-style cooking at Chef Lee's in Autaugaville was on tap for lunch as our birding trip morphed into a rolling mini-economic development engine. When our group of 35+ people descended we pretty much filled the entire seating capacity. Those already seated there quickly finished and headed out the door. I'm pretty sure we depleted them of their fried catfish while topping off our internal tanks with refreshing sweet tea.

swallow-tailed kite GH 2014We departed from there to the south side of the river, to CR 40 (aka Jones Bluff Road) where we had such success finding kites last year. Here we hit pay dirt in the form of two tractors cutting hay in the field on the north side of the road, about 1 mile north of the railroad tracks. There were approximately 15 swallow-tailed and 30 Mississippi kites working the scene, snatching insects out of the air in advance of the tractors. The scene we witnessed here pretty much explained the dearth of birds on the north side of the river; they are found wherever the action is - find a farmer cutting his hay and you'll likely find kites feeding.

Following this we retraced our route east on CR 40 to the "ghost town" at Robinson's Switch - collection of old wooden buildings gathered on either side of the road, adjacent to the railroad tracks. It's a site that always begs for a photography stop and a quiet moment as one strolls beneath the drapery of Spanish moss. Virginia Creeper, coated in a fine layer of clay the color of the South, cloaks the wooden boards - giving silent testimony to the small community that once breathed here.

Cattle egretOur final birding destination was the gator farm near Grady, but not before our dinner at Red's Little Schoolhouse. Once again, Southern cooking ruled the place and was tasty as always. The hordes of egrets and herons returning to the rookery are a spectacular sight. Mostly they are Cattle Egrets, but we did observe Little Blue Herons, White Ibises and Great Egrets among the masses. As has happened in the past, a splashing in the water or thrashing on the ground below the nest trees signaled the demise of another wayward nestling that strayed too far and met its fate in the jaws of a gator - a National Geographic moment in the heart of Alabama.

Photo Credits: Greg Harber and Kathleen Dunlap

Last Updated ( Sunday, 03 August 2014 10:54 )
Read more: Field Trip Reports 2014