|Field Trips and Events Calendar|
Anchorage Audubon field trips and events are open to the public unless stated otherwise in the field trip announcement! We welcome all ages and levels of birders and non-birders on our trips. Contact trip leader for more information about each field trip, or contact Field Trip Coordinator Aaron Bowman, 563-0151. We strongly encourage carpooling on all our field trips if possible.
Anchorage Audubon is very grateful to the wonderful field trip leaders who volunteer their time and share their extensive knowledge of birds and natural history. We could not offer these excellent field trips without you! Thank you to Chris Maack, Delesta Fox, John Wenger, Dianne Toebe, Mr. Whitekeys, Aaron Bowman, Sirena Brownlee, Kenna Sue Trickey, Bob Dittrick, Paul Fritz, and Joanna Hubbard.
The calendar includes Audubon sponsored field trips, monthly membership meetings, and other events and trips that may be of interest to the members of the Chapter.
March 7--May 15
Counts Hawks at Gunsight Mountain
Mile 118.8 Glenn Highway
This spring, a decades-long goal will finally happen. We have always wanted to do a complete and thorough HawkWatch for an entire season at Gunsight Mountain. This year, thanks to Neil Paprocki, it will become a reality!
Neil monitored our HawkWatch site for 2 weeks last spring, and this year Neil will return with TWO additional hawk watchers for the entire season.
Last spring, we asked for local help for Neil because “The More Eyes on the Sky, The Better.” We will be doing that again this year, and we’ll let everyone know about the particulars when we have more information.
Saturday & Sunday, April 16 & 17
The Gunsight Mountain HawkWatch Weekend
Mile 118.8 on the Glenn Highway
Our Annual HawkWatch Weekend in collaboration with the Mat-Su Birders will take place on April 16 & 17th.
Celebrate the return of spring migrating raptors with this annual Anchorage Audubon first field trip of the spring. Migrating raptors that can be seen along the ridgeline near MP 118.8 include golden eagle, red-tailed hawk, rough-legged hawk, sharp-shinned hawk, northern goshawk, American kestrel, peregrine falcon and merlin. Swainson's hawk and osprey have also been seen migrating through this area. Bring warm clothing, binoculars, spotting scopes, lunch, snacks, and lawn chairs and sit back while you watch migrating raptors glide over the nearby ridge.
The Hawkwatch is a spectacle that is unrivaled in Alaska. It's a great gathering, a fabulous party, and the birds are astounding. If you have never attended the Hawkwatch, you'll never be the same.
Meet at 10:00 AM at the wayside at Milepost 118.8, Glenn Highway. A short raptor identification talk will take place at 10:30 AM. On Sunday, April 17, the Mat-Su Birders will host their annual Hawk Watch Potluck BBQ at the same location. For details on the Mat-Su Hawk Watch - www.matsubirders.org/html/calendar.html.
And once again, Anchorage Audubon and the Mat-Su Birders are honored to supply Port-A-Potties at the event for your Hawkwatching pleasure.
Thursday, April 21
Beginning Birding Class
7:00 pm, The BP Energy Center
If you’re looking for the perfect way to learn what birding is all about, we will present a course in "Birding for Beginners" at our April Meeting. This is a prime opportunity to learn about Birds and Birding from the beginning, and it's just in time for our Spring Migration arrivals.
W. Keys, Aaron Bowman, and the Audubon Board will attempt to cover it all in one evening: What you need to begin, How to use a field guide, What to look for in the field, Where to find birds in Anchorage, How to use binoculars, How to hear birds, What is migration all about, as well as basic bird identification and behaviors. It's a simple look into what's happening outside your living room window every single day.
Why do we like birding? Author Thomas Dunlap said it best: "It's easy to begin and impossible fully to master."
Everyone is welcome. Bring the kids. This evening will be a fabulous chance to learn about birdwatching without having to wear funny hats.
Thursdays, May 5, 12, 19, & 26
Campbell Creek Early Morning Birdwalks
Meet at the Campbell Creek Science Center parking lot
Develop and fine-tune your birding skills and witness the progression of songbird migration through the Campbell Tract this spring. Join BLM staff and Anchorage Audubon Society members for a series of early morning outdoor bird walks May 5, 12, 19, & 26. Walks are from 6:30am-8:30am.
Please meet in the Campbell Creek Science Center parking lot. Dress appropriately for the weather and for walking on uneven terrain. Hot cocoa and coffee will be available at the Science Center afterwards, courtesy of Friends of the Campbell Creek Science Center.
Please call 267-1241 for more information.
Sunday, May 8
Mat-Su Birders' Goose Bay Bird Walk
Join Trip Leader Dan Crowson for a hike into the marshes of the Knik Arm at Goose Bay. Rarities galore have been found in this area, and this promises to be a fabulous day. For Details on this and other Mat-Su Birders events, to to their website at http://www.matsubirders.org/
Thursday, May 26
Monthly Meeting Potluck
and Pro-Am Bird Walk
6:00pm. Westchester Lagoon Boat Launch Parking Lot
Because Spring Birding is at it’s peak, Anchorage Audubon has decided to CANCEL our regular third-Thursday monthly program at the BP Energy Center and have a party instead. It’s a potluck, a chance to tell birding lies, and a chance to casually stroll around the Westchester Lagoon area with other birders looking for new arrivals. PLEASE NOTE that we've pushed the date back one week because the weather is totally guaranteed to be warmer.
We will also feature our Spring Pro-Am Birding Tournament. Experienced birders will pair up with inexperienced birders for a 30 minute contest to find the most species on Westchester Lagoon. The time goes by like lightning, and it’s always a treat to see what can be found in a very short period of time. Bring a dish to share, tales to tell, binoculars, and gear appropriate for the day’s weather. We’ll bring plates, utensils, and Audubon Society approved napkins for sloppy eaters.
ALASKA BIRDING FESTIVALS:
The 26th Annual Copper River Delta Shorebird Festival. May 5-8
Highlighting a vast number of migratory shorebirds stopping over on the Copper River Delta, this is truly a great festival in the fabulous town of Cordova. This is where you go for Avian Tonnage! Keynote Speaker is award winning nature photographer and writer Amy Gulick.
Also featured will be esteemed shorebird biologist Samantha Franks and a special presentation on Hummingbirds on Top of the World - The Alaska Hummingbird Project, by Kate McLaughlin
For more information go to http://www.copperriverdeltashorebirdfestival.com to find out why 5 Million Shorebirds Can’t be Wrong.
Also this year, Major Marine Tours will feature a special birding boat trip from Whittier to Cordova.
Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival. May 12-15
Alaska's largest birding festival features a huge array of field trips, seminars, and speakers. 2016 festival highlights include Keynote Speakers Kevin Karlson and Dale Rosselet (Birding By Impression); Sharon Stiteler, and Festival Artist Ram Papish. Located in the bustling town of Homer, this will certainly be a birding highlight of the year. For more information go to http://www.kachemakshorebird.org .
Kenai Peninsula Birding Festival. May 19-22
The Kenai Birding Festival is growing every year. This year's weekend features their signature Kenai River Birding Float Trip, a 24 Hour Midnight Sun Big Sit, and plenty of walks & tours. For complete information, visit http://kenaibirdfest.com/ The Kenai River Viewing Platform is always a hotspot, and there's no telling what will show up during the festival weekend.
Keynote Speaker is Lynn Barber. She broke the Texas big year record with 522 species, and in 2008 she tallied 723 bird species in the ABA Area. She is currently doing an Alaska Big Year, and an account of her ABA Big Year, entitled Extreme Birder: One Woman’s Big Year, was published in the spring of 2011.
Their Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/Kenai-Peninsula-Birding-Festival-111688202199649/
The Yakutat Tern Festival. June 2-5
Alaska's newest Birding Festival is a treat for all. This year's festival features numerous speakers and guides, and will also feature special rates on Alaska Airlines. For more information go to http://www.yakutatternfestival.org .
Saturday, June 11
The Potter Marsh-A-Thon Birding Smackdown
7:30 am. Potter Marsh Boardwalk Parking Lot
Once again it's Anchorage’s greatest Birding Smackdown. How many bird species can your team find within Potter Marsh between 8:00 am and Noon? How much food can you bring to the Potluck Picnic immediately following the contest period at Noon? Whose team has the best name?
Fabulous Prizes will be awarded for most species seen. Teams may consist of 2-6 people. The team must remain within voice or sight contact and must fit into one vehicle. Species may only be counted if they are seen/heard by the entire team (Exceptions: 6-person teams may count birds seen by 5 members, and 5-person teams may count birds seen by 4 members.)
Check-In is at 7:30 am in the parking lot at the north end of the marsh. Teams will be given a check list and a Potter Marsh map on which to log the location of each species seen. At the end of the contest, species locations will be plotted on a gigantic master map to allow all participants to re-locate desired species.
Entry fee is $20.00 per team. Exact Change is required. The Official Smackdown ends precisely at Noon. Teams will be penalized one species per minute late. Birds may be counted Only if seen from designated roads and trails in the Potter Marsh area. No stopping or walking will be allowed on the West side of the New Seward Highway. Birds seen in non-designated areas may be counted if the observers are standing within a designated area.
SPECIAL SAFETY RULES: No stopping is allowed on the New Seward Highway except in designated turn-outs on the East side of the highway, and pulling into the designated turn-outs is only allowed for vehicles traveling NORTH. Parking in a manner that blocks other teams from using a pull-out will result in a penalty of 15 species.
Everybody is welcome, so assemble your team, whip up a dish to share, and meet us Saturday Morning at 7:30 for a hilarious birding field trip with Fabulous Prizes! Birding will be limited to the Potter Marsh area, and who knows what rarities will show up when there are birders combing every inch of an area that usually just gets the once-over.
Will Audubon Alaska get their clock cleaned by Anchorage Audubon? Can members of the Mat-Su Birders hang with the guys from the big city? If you don’t have a team, show up anyway and we’ll try to assemble teams on the spot. It’s the anti-social event of the ornithological season. If another team won’t tell you where they just saw a Pectoral Sandpiper, you are totally allowed to use “enhanced interrogation techniques.” This is not your Mother’s Birding Contest. We hope to see you May 31 at the Potter Marsh North Parking Lot.