The next step in Conservation for May 2018 brought Northern Arizona Audubon Society (NAAS) opportunities and – WOW – are we kicking norms and taking names in new frontiers:

Western Rivers Bird Count:  Holly Kleindienst graciously accepted the task of coordinating surveyors to boldly go where they’ve never gone before (a la Star Trek – but the only flying things are birds).  Ten volunteers are going to 17 underbirded points to list target species: Yellow-breasted Chat, Yellow Warbler, Summer Tanagers and Bell’s Vireo. Their numbers along the Verde River, Oak Creek and Clear Creek demonstrate the necessity of our Western waters. NAAS is happy doing work to preserve water at every turn of our rivers .

“Climate Watch”:  Chair of our Conservation Committee, Amy Zimmermann, is coordinating NAAS members and 16 Northern Arizona University (NAU) students in a new community science program that “explores how North American birds are responding to Climate Change.” Documenting White-breasted Nuthatches’ reaction to hotter climes is the scientific object. NAU students jumped at the chance to help with Climate Change surveys. The students are in the process of forming an Audubon club at NAU. Their involvement is a long-time goal realized!

Marshbird Surveys: Sam Hough, Julie Wills, Rita Faruki, Kristen Rothrock and Kay Hawklee have joined in a National effort to monitor marshland species at Sedona Wetlands and Bubbling Ponds Preserve. Volunteers meet at 6:00 a.m. to hear the grunts of rails and whinnies of Soras. We aren’t the only ones who are tickled by the duet of grunts – several kids from the Mingus High School Life Science class remarked that they enjoyed learning that this species “grunts like a pig.”

Global Big Day: Together coordinators Rich Armstrong and Trevor Hinckley  enrolled over 49 Volunteers who helped break the record for the most species counted on one single day:

eBirders gathered more than 1.6 million bird sightings on 5 May, which are now freely available to researchers and conservationists. As a global birding team, together we can gather information on where, when, and how birds make use of the landscape and we can use that information to aid conservation and research that can help keep birds around.

We are all part of a “global birding team”; whether you are listing from the outback – or your armchair – your lists are critical for the largest citizen’s science project in history. Congratulations to all our volunteers.

Bird on!

Kay Hawklee Board and Conservation Committee Member