|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.
January Meeting & Program
Aaron Bowman's Big Anchorage Year
Thursday, January 15, 7:00 pm
BP Energy Center
Our January program will finally present the December talk which was unfortunately cancelled due to an encounter with an unknown illness which got the better of our esteemed speaker. But once again, Anchorage Audubon presents another fabulous birding talk, and this one will be a total treat to start your New Year! Aaron Bowman, Anchorage Audubon's Field Trip Czar, has been on a year-long quest to do an Anchorage Big Year. And now that it's over, and Aaron will share his quest with us at this month's meeting and program.
During 2014, Aaron scoured the Municipality and has found at least one "First Ever Anchorage Bird" which turned up on the foulest day of the year. Only Aaron would have even left the safety of his house on that day!
Aaron's Big Year is a glimpse into what we can all find without leaving our own back yard, and it's an evening you won't want to miss.
And we wouldn't even Think about starting the New Year without cookies!
February Meeting & Program
Owl Banding In Homer, Alaska
Thursday, February 19, 7:00 pm
BP Energy Center
Ever since we heard about Jason Sodergren's incredible owl banding results in Homer, we've wanted to know more about this. In one season, he found more Saw-whets and Boreal Owls in his yard than most of us have ever seen in a lifetime.
Jason will describe his effort to operate an owl banding operation in Homer in order to examine abundance and migration of Northern Saw-whet and Boreal Owls. This effort is operated in cooperation with Project Owlnet (http://projectowlnet.org/), and the talk will include details about how the banding operation works, seasonal totals, and lots of photos of banded owls (and people holding banded owls).
Jason Sodergren has been involved in raptor migration studies for about 15 years; He runs the website http://hawkcount.org/ which tracks hawkwatch data for near 300 hawkwatch sites across the continent. He's been banding owls in Homer for 6 years and has banded hawks, owls, passerines in southern Ontario since 1999. Locally he's the current chair of the Kachemak Bay Birders group, and is involved in the local shorebird festival and shorebird monitoring efforts.
In his alternate life he works as an electrical engineer, designing test/engineering tools for the auto industry.
And since Owls like cookies, we'll serve some for you, too.
Seward Winter Birding Field Trip
Date To Be Announced
Anchorage Audubon's annual Seward Winter Birding Field Trip is always an incredible mid-winter treat. We're totally looking forward to this year's outing because Seward found an amazing 69 species of birds on their Christmas Bird Count.
We'll try to carpool, meet at the Seward Harbormaster's Office, and spend the day scouring a gorgeous and astounding habitat.
Full details will be posted soon.
March Meeting & Program
"How To Be A Better Birder" Forum
Thursday, March 19, 7:00 pm
BP Energy Center
The Spring Birding Season is right around the corner, and the Anchorage Audubon Society's March program is an exceptional treat. We'll gather a truly phenomenal panel for our Sixth annual forum on "How to Be a Better Birder." They will share their knowledge, tips, and techniques in order to help the rest of us see more birds. This is an opportunity to go to school with the big guys.
We've all seen highly respected birders, and when the rest of us see one of them in action, we always seem to ask ourselves the same question: "How the heck did he know That?" Moderator W. Keys will lead the questioning with the goal of allowing us to learn more about birding in one evening than we would usually learn in a whole week!
March's meeting is on our usual third Thursday, March 19. Meet us at the BP Energy Center at 7:00 pm., and of course, there will be fabulous prizes and cookies.
April Meeting & Program
Beginning Birding Class
Thursday, April 16, 7:00 pm
BP Energy Center
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.
The Gunsight Mountain Hawkwatch Weekend
Saturday and Sunday, April 18 & 19, 7:00 pm
Mile 118.8 on the Glenn Highway
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 19, 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.