Thursday, February 25, 2010

Dr. Doug James to present free slide show and lecture on hawks and owls at Nightbird Books on March 7

Northwest Arkansas Audubon Society will sponsor a special program on “Raptors: hawks and owls of Arkansas” on Sunday March 7, 4 PM at Nightbird Books, 205 W. Dickson Street in Fayetteville (bookstore phone: 479-443-2080). The slide and lecture will be presented by Doug James, a founder of Arkansas Audubon Society & professor at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville. Doug is chief author of Arkansas Birds (U of A Press, 1986) and many technical articles. He has now taught ornithology and ecology to more than two generations of students, and he has been an inspirational leader of field trips throughout Arkansas, the United States, and overseas. He is also currently president of NWAAS. This will be a chance to hear Doug on a specialized topic in the relaxed & intimate setting of Nightbird Books, adjacent a deli that also serves bottled beer. There is no cost for the program. Everyone who attends will be part of a drawing for a bird book (field guide) of their choice from Night
bird, awarded at the meeting.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Joe Neal says woodcock outing set for 5:30 p.m. Saturday, February 29, 2010, at Wedington management area

This is a friendly reminder about the Northwest Arkansas Audubon Society-sponsored field trip to view mating rituals of American Woodcocks. We are meeting woodcock expert David Krementz of the UA-Fayetteville, at 5:30 PM, Saturday February 20, near the Ozark National Forest’s Wedington Small Game Management Area, west of Fayetteville and just east of Siloam Springs. Besides woodcocks, a highlight will be Dr Krementz’s guiding & explaining what’s going on. Road and bridge access from last year are repaired and little walking will be required. Please bring a flashlight (since we will be there until early dark) and a folding chair if you wish. I have previously sent out directions for the meeting place, but I’ll send them again if needed. Email me or call 479-521-1858 for more information.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Great Backyard Bird Count today through Monday: Click this headline for detail

Great Backyard Bird Count began today runs through Monday. Just received the Northwest Arkansas Audubon Newsletter in today's mail. Sorry for late notice.
For information go to Backyard Bird Count

Towhee sits for portrait 10 feet from fence of World Peace Wetland Prairie but finally goes for the corn on February 11, 2010

Please click on images to ENLARGE view of towhee on February 11, 2010, at World Peace Wetland Prairie.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Close encounter with trumpeter swan: the Joe Neal report

JOE NEAL reports:
An astonishing bird day February 10, 2010, began when I went with Doug James to Holla Bend NWR for the release of Iowa-reared Trumpeter Swans. Karen Rowe of Arkansas Game & Fish has been working with Iowa Department of Natural Resources to move Trumpeters to Arkansas. This is part of a daring experiment called reverse migration imprinting. The idea is that young swans will use their instincts to return north for nesting and later, return south for the non-breeding season.

The ground was snow covered in Fayetteville when we left and snow covered at Holla Bend two hours later. I had my binoculars, but yikes (!) forgot my coat. Doug loaned me a light blanket, which I stuffed indecorously under my fuzzy shirt. When we got near the Arkansas River to the release site, Karen was rounding up folks to carry swans from cages to water’s edge. I was soon honored by a close encounter with Trumpeters -- 25-30 pounds of swan & it’s pleasantly warm down, in my arms.

You first must hold their feet tightly – web feet the size of my hands. You firmly hug ‘em to keep that 8-foot wing span closed. Then there is the famous trumpet, a very, very long neck, with an anxious, intelligent dark-eyed creature winding it around your neck, over your head, serpent-like, watching all, honking and hissing, way, way ready for release. Even standing in the snow and coatless, I was quite warm and fully employed hanging on to my swan!

When Doug and I worked on the book Arkansas Birds in 1986, there had been no certain Trumpeter records for the state since the early 1900s. Due to efforts by folks like Karen, Iowa DNR, and others, Trumpeters are coming back. For example, the flock now wintering each year at Magness Lake is a frequent topic of interest among birders in Arkansas.

In tough times with lots of bad news, it is easy to feel, as Mark Twain put it, that we are just “the damned human race.” Yet, 16 Trumpeters found their freedom in Arkansas yesterday. Maybe this is not a banner line for Fox News, but it fairly reflects our hopes and aspirations. We are willing to put our amazing brains to work to put right what, in the case of loss of our wintering Trumpeters, had in past years unintentionally gone wrong.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Birding trip to Trinidad now open to general public


Doug James requested that I post this information about a birding trip:

Doug James and Ragupathy Kannan have organized a biology student trip this
coming May to the Asa Wright Nature Centre in Trinidad, a nation in the
Caribbean. The Centre is a world famous destination for tropical birding.
The trip is coordinated by the combined University of Arkansas campuses in
Fayetteville and Fort Smith. The details given below is the text from the
fancy flier for the trip.

Students have not fill all the slots for the trip so now we are opening
the opportunity to the general birding public in Arkansas.

You will have to go through the motions of registering as a student at the
University of Arkansas in Fort Smith. One hour credit is earned for just
participating in the trip. If you might want 2 or 3 hours credit, contact
Drs. James and Kannan for descriptions of added work required.

If you do not have a passport, application forms are available at the
local Post Office. If you need to hasten the process that can be



*For University of Arkansas-Fort Smith and Fayetteville students*

*Apply for and register with University of Arkansas-Fort Smith*

credit hrs.)*

*Credits can be transferred to UA Fayetteville as electives*.

See Dr.Kannan's article about last year's trip at:

*Course fee: $1500 (excluding tuition). Includes airfare, accommodation
and all meals at the Asa Wright Nature Centre.

*Dates: 9 to 15 May 2010 (five days plus two days for travel)

*Faculty leader: Dr. R. Kannan (UA Fort Smith). Dr. Douglas A. James (UA
Fayetteville) will accompany if enrollment reaches 16 students.

*Deadlines: $1500 program fee February 26, 2010 (not refundable after
that date)

Register with UA Fort Smith and pay tuitio%yn (about $200/cr. hr)
by February 26, 2010

� Five days in the world famous Asa Wright Nature Centre, one of the
world�s best and well-known birding destinations

� Over 50 tropical bird species right from the veranda, including
about a dozen hummingbirds

� Daily hikes into the rainforest to observe and study exotic
tropical flora and fauna with trained local naturalist guides

� A trip to the caves to see the unique oil birds

� Boating among mangrove forests at dusk to view the spectacular
aggregation of hundreds of scarlet ibises

� A night trip to a secluded beach to see the ancient ritual of
1000-pound leatherback sea turtles nesting

� Resort style accommodations with sumptuous local food served

*Additional expenses: Travel health insurance required for the
duration of the trip (obtained on line by each participant)

It is advisable, but not required, to take vaccinations as
recommended by CDC (check

*Biology majors will enjoy first priority; a waiting list of others will be
compiled to fill any vacant slots; all must register for the course at UA
Fort Smith. (There are now vacancies)

Fayetteville) 575-6364; Dr. R. Kannan (UAFS) 788-7616.
James , Kannan

Saturday, February 6, 2010

OMNI Center for Peace, Justice and Ecology invites all to open house from 3 to 6 p.m. today

View Larger Map

OMNI Center for Peace Justice and Ecology opens new house to all TODAY!
Office Phone: (479)935-4422
“OMNI Center for Peace, Justice & Ecology
educates and empowers people to actively
build a non-violent, sustainable and just world.”
February 2010
3:00—6:00 PM
3274 N. Lee Ave
You are invited to celebrate the dedication of
OMNI Center’s new building! Enjoy music, re-
freshments, good fellowship, speakers, and
tours! Learn more than 35 ways to be involved
in OMNI. Help build a culture of peace in an
earth restored, that includes everyone.
Will Be
Open House!