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From The President:

I cannot remember how long Ive been president of

Grosse Pointe Audubon. I just remember being elected in
a meeting held in Patty Schemms summer home at Seven
Ponds Nature Center. I also remember the sense of relief in
the room when a guy who nobody knew who was attending
his first Annual Meeting agreed to be president.
I sensed at that moment that longtime members
were willing to trust me because Grosse Pointe Audubon
meant a lot to people in the room, and they did not want to
see the organization fold because of a lack of leadership. I
left that day knowing that I could not let them down.
Since then, Ive joked that I was elected president
for life simply because no one else wants the job. But in the
last few years, Ive felt my enthusiasm and energy wane.
Yes, we still have great meetings with interesting speakers,
but every year the burden of finding those speakers seems
to get a little heavier and the chore of getting the newsletter
out the door seems to take a little longer. I started thinking
last fall that maybe it was time for someone else to become
presidentor at least volunteer to help.
My cry for help in the spring newsletter was an-
swered! I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am that at
our annual meeting in April, Trina Bresser-Matous and An-
na Wuerfel raised their hands and agreed to take officer
positions as vice president and secretary respectively. Im
already feeling buoyed by their enthusiasm, and I think you
will feel more of their impact on the organization as the year
goes on. Their assistance, along with steadiness of Mark
OKeefe as treasurer, will help rejuvenate Grosse Pointe
Before I go any further, I need to thankwe all
need to thankSylvia Sanders for her service to Grosse
Pointe Audubon. Sylvia served as vice president for many
years, and did everything asked of her with much grace and
In addition to Trina and Anna, Annie Crary has
agreed to work with Macomb Audubon and Blue Water
Audubon to explore a possible Belle Isle to Blue Water
Birding Trail.
With the addition of Trina, Anna and Annie, I am
looking forward to Grosse Pointe Audubons future with
enthusiasm again. Speaking on their behalf, we look for-
ward to helping Grosse Pointe Audubon grow into an im-
portant organization that will serve the Grosse Pointes and
neighboring communities with new vitality and programs.
Now, on to bigger and more important things.
Over the summer, lots of interesting things came to
me by email and
Twitter. The
coolest (in my
opinion) was a
photo of a Belted
Kingfishers foot
taken by Allen
Chartier. Chart-

Just A Chirp
Grosse Pointe Audubon September 2014
New Officers, New Outlook
More on Page 2
Fall Schedule
Cut out this schedule and put it on your refrigerator to help you remember these important dates:

September 15 -Veteran birder Don Chafont will present a humorous look at birds and birders in his
talk, "Birding Humor."
October 20 - Ornithologist and Grosse Pointe Audubon member Annie Crary will guide us through
"The Galapagos."
November 17 - New Grosse Pointe Audubon Vice President Trina Bresser Matous will explore "Ecuador."

ier, as you might know, bands birds at Lake St. Clair
Metropark, and occasionally something unusuallike a
Kingfisherwanders into his nets.
I knew that Kingfishers had syndactyly feet,
which means the inner toes are fused together, but no
Kingfisher has ever landed in my hand to allow me to
examine it up close. This unusual toe arrangement
makes the bird appear to have a single, long, flattened
toe. That fusion of toes allows the bird to excavate
nesting cavities in riverbanks. Is that cool, or what?
Bird Walks At The Ford House
Join Rosann Kovalcik for Saturday morning
bird walks at the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House on
Sept. 27, Oct. 25, and Nov. 22. All walks start at 8 a.m.
Advance registration is required and there is a $7 fee.
Register online at, or call 313-884-4222.
Fall Schedule
For our first meeting, we will have Don Chal-
font help us start the year
off on our funny bone.
Then in October
we have Annie Crarys trip
with her husband to the
Galapagos Islands, which
are well known as one of Charles Darwin's stops during
his journey aboard the HMS
Beagle. His observations
there helped him develop his
theory of natural selection.
Annie traveled there in 2010
to see the birds, wildlife, and
habitats, and she will share
photographic highlights of her trip.
And in November, member Trina Bresser Ma-
tous will share her opportunity to bird in Ecuador earli-
er this year. Ecuador has the largest
biodiversity of any country in the
world and as such offers a wide varie-
ty of birds. During the trip, Trina saw
300 different species from tiny hum-
mingbirds to Andean condor and
many birds in between. Join us for a
glimpse of the birds of Ecuador.

We want your leftovers Not your lunch leftovers,
although I am a bit peckish. We want your leftover ink
cartridges and old cell phones. Bring them to the Sep-
tember and you will ease the clutter in your house and
help fill Grosse Pointe Audubons treasury.
Pay your dues!
Got that? Save yourself the price of a postage
stamp and bring your check (or cash) to the next meet-
ing. Easy peazy.
Grosse Pointe Birding Challenge
For the fifth straight year, the Grosse Pointe
Woods team of Rosann Kovalcik and Annie Crary has
won the annual Grosse Pointe Birding Challenge, this
time with 71 species of birds.
The competition, which was held May 7, pits
teams from the Grosse Pointes in a seven-hour race to
find as many bird species as possible between 5 a.m.
and noon in their respective communities. At noon, all
teams gather to tabulate results, declare a winner and
swap stories of the day. Each team reports their sight-
ings on the honor system
Annie started her day with a calling Eastern
Screech-Owl in her own yard before sunrise. Mark
OKeefe, the lone member of the Grosse Pointe Farms
team, found 40 species of birds. In Grosse Pointe
Park, the team of Mike and Judy Florian and Trina
Bresser Matous found 32 species. Bill Rapai, the lone
member of the Grosse Pointe City team, found 42 spe-
cies. Think about joining next time!
Michigan Audubon Announces CraneFest Keynote
Michigan Audubon will host the 20th Anniver-
sary of the Sandhill Crane & Art Festival, better known
as CraneFest on October 11 -12,
2014. The event is held from noon
to 7 p.m. each day at the Kiwanis
Youth Conservation Area located at
22300 I5 Mile Road just south of
0n Friday evening, October 10, we kick off
CraneFest with the Birder's Soiree, a fun littlegathering
held at the Convis Township Hall. We are happy to
announce that Julie Langenburg will be the keynote
speaker for the evening. Julie is vice president Conser-
vation Science at the International Crane Foundation
( ICS) in Baraboo, Wisconsin.

Julie's specialty is the investigation and
mitigation of disease and pollution risks for
cranes. The program for Friday evening will be,
"North American Crane Conservation and the
International Crane Foundation." We will learn
about the important work that ICF does for all 15
species of cranes around the world but specifically
to conserve both Sandhill and the endangered
Whooping Crane. More details, including registra-
tion information, will be forthcoming in the Sep-
tember issue of Chapter Connection.

Call (810) 796-3200, or check for
more information or to register for programs.

Invasive Plant Workday #1
Thursday, September 18, 3:00 pm
We will be working on non-native invasive plants in-
vading the nature center. This is a great chance to
earn community service or Master Gardener hours.
Bring your own work gloves.

Invasive Plant Workday #2
Sunday, September 21, 3:00 pm
For more, see website.

Fall Bird Walk #2
Wednesday, September 24, 8:00 am
The fall migration will be in full swing and we will hope
to see white-throated, and white-crowned sparrows,
kinglets, warblers, thrushes, and more. Bring binocu-
lars, snacks, and your field guide.

Invasive Plant Workday #3
, September 24, 3:00 pm
For more, see website.

Workshops for the Garden
Saturday, September 27
For more, see website.

Introduction to Rain Barrels: A Make It and Take It
10:00 am to 12:00 pm
For more, see website.

Build a Backyard Hypertufa Water Feature
1:00 to 3:00 pm
For more, see website.

Crisp Air and Changing Times
Sunday, September 28, 2:00 p.m.
We will discuss the many plants and animals that are
timed not by the temperature but by day length.

Enchanted Woodland
Saturday, October 4, 6:30 8:30 pm
For more, see website.

Invasive Plant Workday #4
Sunday, October 5, 1:00 pm
For more, see website.

Invasive Plant Workday #5
Wednesday, October 8, 3:00 pm
For more, see website.

Curious Canoers
Friday, October 10, 6:00 pm
For more, see website. Note evening time!
Mushroom Magic
Sunday, October 12, 2:00 pm
Some are beautiful, some will kill, and some move
along on their ownwe never know which mush-
rooms will be out, but we will discover as many as we
can as we walk the trails.

Fall Bird Walk #3
Wednesday, October 15, 8:00 am
Our final fall bird walk will take us in search of red-
breasted nuthatch, ruby-crowned and golden-crowned
kinglets, dark-eyed junco, Lincolns sparrow, purple
finch, and other species. It is also a good time to see
migrating hawks overhead. Bring binoculars, snacks,
and your field guide.

Birdseed Saturday
Saturday, October 18, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
For more, see website.

Invasive Plant Workday #6
Sunday, October 19, 1:00 pm
For more, see website.

Invasive Plant Workday #7
Wednesday, October 22, 1:00 pm
For more, see website.

Jonathan Woods Walk
Sunday, October 26, 2:00 pm
We will carpool from the centers building to explore
our satellite property.
Prairie Seed Collecting
Sunday, November 2, 1:00 pm
Come out to our tall grass prairie to learn all about the
prairie and its plants while collecting seeds for your
own yard or garden. Bring some paper bags and a
bucket if you plan on collecting seeds.
Seven Ponds Nature Center

Invasive Plant Workday #8
Wednesday, November 5, 3:00 pm
For more, see website.

November Winds
Sunday, November 9, 2:00 pm
The brisk winds of November are natures way of turning a page of the year. Find out how
these winds effect the life around us.

Giving Thanks to Nature
Sunday, November 23, 2:00 pm
Explore the many ways that we can assist nature in our yards and around the homestead.

Morning Walk-Around
Sunday, November 16, 9:00 am
This will be a brisk walk around the perimeter of the N-80 and Earls Prairie as we breathe in
the fresh morning air.

Thanksgiving Holiday
Thursday, November 27 & Friday, November 28
The nature center will be closed on these two days; members are welcome to walk the trails.

Skeleton Trees
Sunday, November 30, 2:00 pm
Now that most of the trees are bare lets see if we can figure out which tree is which during this
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Just A Chirp
Grosse Pointe Audubon
443 St. Clair
Grosse Pointe, MI 48230
FALL 2014
About Grosse Pointe Audubon
Bill Rapai, president, (313)-885-6502 or
Trina Bressler Matous, vice president,
Mark OKeefe, treasurer, (313) 8847472 or
Anna Wuerfel, secretary,
Joanna Pease, representative to Seven Ponds Nature Center,
Go to for an online copy of Just A Chirp, membership
form, rules for the G.P. Birding Challenge in the spring, and more.
Keep up with other Grosse Pointe birders (and Like us) on Facebook!
Grosse Pointe Audubon meets in the Annex of the Pointe Unitarian Church at 17150 Maumee,
between St. Clair and Neff in Grosse Pointe. Social hour starts at 7 p.m. and the meeting starts
at 7:30. Our meetings are free and open to all, so bring a friend!