This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
BOX 63 SIERRA VISTA, ARIZONA 85636
Volume XXXI Number 1
Bone Box Lessons
Jane Chambers, Catherine Newell and I recently took the Friends of the San Pedro/HAS “bone box” to the Pueblo del Sol Elementary School classes of Kimberly Moschetti, Jennifer Caputo, and Mary Scruggs. The box is designed to assist meeting state science standards while piquing students’ interest in nature. We used sample skulls to elicit inferences about animal size, senses of sight and smell, and food source, based on the skull and tooth traits. After introducing terms such as “carnivore,” “herbivore,” “omnivore,” “predator,” and “prey,” groups of students examined unidentified skulls and shared with the class their guesses and justifications about the animal’s role in a food web. At this point, we revealed the animal’s identity and diet, showed a photo, and gave students the chance to feel the pelt. A panel of animal tracks further encouraged students to relate structure to function. We observed students relating the skull teeth types to their own; placing the fox
by Virginia Bealer HAS Education Chairperson
pelt, which included the head, on the fox skull; compiling their inferences and organizing who would present them; and guessing the identity of the skull. With the assistance of Kriss Hagerl, Director of Human Relations and Operations, Sierra Vista Public Schools Superintendent Brett Agenbroad has forwarded our offer to present programs to grades 3–5 at all six elementary schools in the district. Schools now have fliers explaining our program, and we have received inquiries from teachers of other grade levels. We will be presenting our lesson to classes at Village Meadows Elementary School on March 11. After this trial run, my colleagues and I are looking forward to adapting the presentation to the abilities and science standards of younger students. For the students and us, our experiences in the classrooms have been rewarding and revealing.
Calendar Highlights • Apr 21 HAS program: Sandy & Betsy Kunzer / Arctic summer • May 9 International Migratory Bird Day, San Pedro House • May 19 HAS program: Lauren Hierl / NAS Alaska Road show • June 13 Potluck Picnic RC Preserve
March 17, 2009 HAS Program Priscilla and Hank Brodkin
7 p.m. Cochise College Room 313
Peru's Rivers of Butterflies
This presentation documents a five-week trip to the Tambopata and Manu reserves of southeastern Peru to study and photograph the butterflies of that amazingly biodiverse area. We’ll show these butterflies plus many of other insects, birds, mammals, reptiles, and plants. Join the Brodkins on a trip of a lifetime! BIOSKETCH: Hank and Priscilla, long-time birders, have taken dozens of trips to tropical areas. Some 15 years ago a friend introduced them to the fascinating world of butterflies. That interest has led to their co-authoring two books on the butterflies of Arizona and their photos appearing in several others. They had visited southeastern Arizona to bird many times from their home in Los Angeles, so when the time came to retire in 1997, this part of the country seemed the ideal place to settle down. They now live in beautiful Carr Canyon.
Trogon News Page 2
Q u a r t e r l y P r o g r a m L i n e u p ( 3 r d Tu e s d ay a t 7 p m )
Cochise College Room 313
April 21, 2009 Sandy and Betsy Kunzer Arctic Summer
Travel with Betsy (biologist) and Sandy (geologist) Kunzer, long-time nature photographers, from the high arctic of the Svalbard archipelago south along the fjords of Norway. Going from ice caps and pack ice to lush forests, this journey duplicates post glacial warming and illustrates the ecological changes that occur behind retreating glaciers. Along the way we'll look at large mammals, small to medium- sized birds and local color and culture.
May 19, 2009
Lauren Hierl, NAS
From Rainforests to Polar Bears: Tackling Alaska’s Conservation Challenges
Alaska contains our largest and most spectacular public lands, including National Parks, National Forests, and National Wildlife Refuges. Alaska is also home to incredibly diverse wildlife, from bald eagles, brown bears, and salmon in the south to polar bears, musk oxen, and snowy owls in the north. These public lands are facing critical conservation threats ranging from oil drilling on important wildlife habitats in the North Slope to logging rare old-growth temperate rainforest in the Tongass National Forest. Audubon is scientifically identifying and prioritizing the most important wildlife habitats in these threatened regions and is working hard to protect these priority areas from development. Learn what’s being done to protect Alaska’s public lands, and what you can do to help. Lauren Hierl is “Alaska Policy Associate” for the National Audubon Society and acts as a traveling ambassador for protecting Alaska’s natural riches. She has worked on conservation projects from Maine to southern California, and received her BA in Environmental Studies from Dartmouth College, and Master of Environmental Management and Master of Public Policy degrees from Duke University.
Huachuca Audubon Potluck Picnic Saturday June 13
We’ll end our “season” with a potluck picnic at Ramsey Canyon Preserve starting at 5 pm on June 13, so save the date. We may organize an afternoon bird walk beforehand. Full details will appear in the June Trogon News.
Number 1 Page 3
International Migratory Bird Day
May 9, 2009 at the San Pedro House
Save the date! The Sonoran Joint Venture, the Friends of the San Pedro River, and the Coronado National Forest are again collaborating to put together an International Migratory Bird Day Spring Festival at the San Pedro House in Sierra Vista on Saturday, May 9, 2009. Stay tuned for more info.
Hello. Within a background of growing international concern and distress I am pleased to offer some good tidings about our own small society. We had an excellent turnout for our January meeting when Rick Thompson entertained us with his fledgling audio/video recordings of a wide variety of bird species and locations. Attendance on our field trips has also been good, along with the numbers of birds located, and Ginny Bealer and her helpers have expanded their popular "bird/ mammal" trunk visits to local schools. Looking ahead we have funded a modest scholarship with Cochise College for a student pursuing a science or science education career, and with the aid of a grant from NAS we are significantly helping to fund this year’s Ramsey Canyon Kids Camp. We are waiting to hear about the balance of the funding, but plans are to run the camp for four weeks—two in June and two in July, managed by HAS member Jane Chambers and Judy Phillips. We have been invited to participate, for the third time, at Fort Huachuca’s Safety Fair in May and will again offer Nest Box construction for youngsters at Southwest Wings Festival in August. These are most commendable efforts, considering our small number of active volunteers. I thank you all. It is not too soon to remind you that our election of officers takes place in June. I’ll still have one year to run of my President’s term but all other positions will be open. We would be very pleased to have new people come forward and serve as an officer or Board member. Think about it - seriously! Regards, Mike
A Beautiful Walk on a Chilly Day
By Alan Blixt
On January 27, 2009, 15 folks from as far away as New York, Colorado, and Alaska met in freezing 8 am temperatures at San Pedro House. We recorded 45 species of birds on a 3½ hour walk south through the grasslands and back along the San Pedro River. At the beginning we got the sun behind us and started working on sparrow identification. We found Lark and White-crowned sparrows. Then we identified Brewer's, Vesper, and Chipping sparrows. In the grasslands we found Loggerhead Shrikes, American Kestrels, and Northern Harriers. In the big dead tree in Garden Wash we found a perched Prairie Falcon. Definitely the bird of the day and the photographers all got great pictures. We found several Lazuli Buntings, a flock of Gambel's Quail, and many sparrows and towhees in Garden Wash. On the river we found a small flock of seven or eight Black-throated Sparrows coming down for a drink. Also
along the river, we spotted several woodpeckers, Rubycrowned Kinglets, and both a Gray and a Hammond's Flycatcher. We enjoyed seeing the beaver dams and had a great time. Come take a walk with us.
American Kestrel USFWS Photo
Trogon News Page 4
• Mar 23 Grasslands / San Pedro • Apr 4 San Bernardino NWR • Apr 18 St David / San Pedro • Apr 21 Grasslands / San Pedro • May 2 Monitoring Carr Canyon • May 4 Garden & Scheelite canyons • May 16 Lewis Springs • May 18 Grasslands / San Pedro • May 25 Miller Canyon and Beatty’s • June 7 Monitoring Hunter Canyon • June 13 Charleston and points north • June 24 Ramsey Canyon Preserve • June 28 Carr Reef • July 15 Ramsey Canyon Preserve • July 18 San Pedro / Boquillas • July 27 Grasslands / del Valle Road • Aug 2 Monitoring Miller Canyon WEEKLY Sundays at 8 am October through March (7 am during summer months). Bird Walk at Sierra Vista Environmental Operations Park. Limited to 20 participants with two docents. Mondays at 8 am (for March and April), Bird Walks on the San Pedro River. 2-3
Check the web site (http://www.huachucaaudubon.org) for the latest updates to the schedule MONTHLY 2nd Wednesday at 8 am October-March; 7 am AprilSeptember: Bird Walk at San Pedro House. 4th Saturday at 8 am October-March; 7 am AprilSeptember: Bird Walk at San Pedro House. (South off Hwy 90 just west of the San Pedro River)
hour birding field trips to Gordon Lewis' property on the San Pedro River. Meet at the pulloff just west of the bridge on the north side of Highway 92 (near Palominas, gate numbered 10663).TIME CHANGES TO 7 am for May. No walks during June, July, August.
HAS Spring Field Trips
Monday March 23: Grasslands and San Pedro River
Trek through the grasslands and down to the San Pedro River to see lingering winter residents give way to early spring migrants. Meet 7:30 am at San Pedro House. Bring hat, water, snacks. Free and open to the public. Leaders: Erika Wilson (234-4359, firstname.lastname@example.org) / Alan Blixt (515-9458, email@example.com)
Saturday April 4: San Bernardino National Wildlife Refuge (NWR)
San Bernardino NWR affords protection for over 280 bird species, 62 mammal species, and 55 reptile and amphibian species. The refuge is located on the U.S.-Mexican border, situated at 3,720 to 3,920 feet elevation in the bottom of a wide valley. It encompasses a portion of the headquarters of the Rio Yaqui, which drains primarily western Chihuahua and eastern Sonora, Mexico. Meet 7:00 am at Sierra Vista City Hall to carpool to the refuge. Bring hat, water, snacks. Free and open to the public. Leader: Bill Radke (364-2104 x101, Bill_Radke@fws.gov)
Tuesday April 21 and Monday May 18: Grasslands and San Pedro River
Trek through the grasslands and down to the San Pedro River to see warblers, flycatchers, and other spring migratory delights. Meet 7:00 am at San Pedro House. Bring hat, water, snacks. Free and open to the public. Leaders: Erika Wilson (234-4359, firstname.lastname@example.org) / Alan Blixt (515-9458, email@example.com)
Monday May 4: Garden and Scheelite Canyons
2-3 hour walk up Garden and Scheelite canyons on Fort Huachuca along an uphill, rocky trail. Meet 7 am at Gateway Park near the fort’s main gate. Please carpool. Bring sturdy shoes, water, snacks. Photo ID required. Auto registration and proof of insurance required to drive on post. Leaders: TBD
Monday May 25: Miller Canyon and Beatty’s Orchard
We will hike up Miller Canyon trail to the “second stream crossing” in search of Huachuca Mountain specialties such as Red-faced and Grace’s warblers, Hepatic Tanager, Greater Pewee, then we will spend time at the hummingbird feeders at Beatty’s orchard. The trail is rough and steep, so bring water, wear sturdy shoes, and be prepared for a 2-mile uphill hike at a relaxed pace. Meet 6:30 am at the Forest Service parking lot, located just below the Beatty’s Orchard at the upper end of Miller Canyon Road (west off Highway 92). A small fee is required to access the upper feeders at Beatty’s. Leaders: TBD
See page 6 for the summer trip schedule
Number 1 Page 5
Friends of the San Pedro Spring and Summer Field Trips
Saturday April 18: Bird Walk at Holy Trinity Monastery in St. David
This trip covers the monastery grounds, ponds, and adjacent San Pedro River. Be prepared to get your feet wet along the river. Spring migration is in full swing in prime riparian habitat. We can expect 60-65 species, including many neotropical migrants, especially flycatchers, tanagers, and warblers. The monastery is located on Hwy 80 between mile markers 302 and 303—roughly 9 miles south of Benson and 14 miles north of Tombstone. Meet: 6:45 am at Sierra Vista City Hall to carpool or 7:30 am at the monastery. Bring hat, water, snacks. Free and open to the public. Leaders: Robert Weissler (803-0794, firstname.lastname@example.org) and Alan Blixt (515-9458, email@example.com)
Forest Service Monitoring Tr a i n i n g S e s s i o n s
Learn about the Coronado National Forest’s study of the effects of fuels treatments (thinning, prescribed burns, and other methods to reduce the risk of high-severity wildfire and improve forest health) on birds and other wildlife. Three field trips will demonstrate the methods and skills required to carry out the protocol for collecting data on cavity-nesting and other breeding birds of the Huachuca Mountains for this multi-year Forest Service study. Bring sturdy boots, water, hat, snacks. Leader: Robert Weissler (803-0794, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Saturday May 2 Lower Carr Canyon
Meet 7:00 am at the Perimeter Trail parking lot on Carr Canyon Rd., then regroup at Carr House to practice the protocol there. Co-leader Alan Blixt (515-9458, email@example.com).
Saturday May 16: Lewis Springs
Strenuous 8-mile hike from San Pedro house to Lewis Springs and back should have plenty of birds along the river. Be prepared to bush-whack and get your feet wet! Spring migrants and breeding birds along the riparian corridor. Meet: 7:00 am at San Pedro House. Bring sturdy footwear, hat, water, snacks. Free and open to the public. Leader: Mike Foster (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sunday June 7 Hunter Canyon Spring
Meet 7:00 am at the Hunter Canyon parking lot adjacent to Highway 92 (south on Hwy 92 past 3 Canyons Rd at the top of the rise before Stump Cyn), then carpool 0.6 mile up to the spring. Learn the monitoring protocol and get to know this hidden delight with large sycamores and bubbling spring.
Saturday June 13: Charleston and Points North
Strenuous 10-mile hike north from the Charleston Rd Bridge, passing rock art, the Narrows, and other points of interest. Meet: 7:00 am at the Millville Trailhead 1/4 mile east of the San Pedro River on Charleston Rd. Bring sturdy shoes, hat, water, snacks. Free and open to the public. Leader: Alan Blixt (515-9458, email@example.com)
Sunday August 2 Miller Canyon
Meet: 7:00 am at the Forest Service trailhead parking lot, located just below Beatty’s Orchard at the upper end of Miller Canyon Road (west off Highway 92). After trying out the bird monitoring protocol (and we find Huachuca specialties such as Red-faced and Grace’s warblers, Hepatic Tanager, Greater Pewee), participants have the option to spend time at the hummingbird feeders at Beatty’s orchard. The trail is rough and steep, so bring water and wear sturdy shoes and be prepared for a 2 mile uphill hike at a relaxed pace. A small fee is required to access the upper feeders at Beatty’s. The actual monitoring will be a solitary or very small group activity taking place at dozens of locations on the Sierra Vista Ranger District.
Sunday July 18 Boquillas Section of San Pedro Trail
Moderate 8-mile hike south on the San Pedro Trail from Fairbank to historic Little Boquillas Ranch and the ruins of Boston Mill, then back along the adjacent San Pedro River. There should be plenty of birds at the ranch and the vicinity of the river. Meet 7:00 am at the Fairbank parking lot 1/4 mile east of the river on Hwy 82.Bring hat, water, snacks. Free and open to the public. Leader: Alan Blixt (515-9458, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Note: Carpool passengers are expected to provide adequate compensation to their drivers, about 8 cents per mile. ¡Gracias!
Trogon News Page 6
Bino Box Available
Huachuca Audubon Society, in partnership with Audubon Arizona, is pleased to offer a free educational resource to the community. We have a portable box containing 24 binoculars, several field guides and a copy of the “Science Takes Wing” lesson set. Teachers are encouraged to checkout the box for use with their students. Scout and other community groups may also use the box. Conservation starts with understanding so share the wonder of birds with your favorite club or class this year! The box is available for one-week periods. To reserve the box, please contact Tricia Gerrodette in Sierra Vista at email@example.com or (520) 378-4937.
Summer 2009 Field Trip Preview
Wednesday June 24 and Wednesday July 15: Ramsey Canyon Preserve Join us for a 2-3 hour Monday morning bird walk at The Nature Conservancy’s Ramsey Canyon Preserve. The walk will go about 1 mile up through the preserve at a very relaxed pace with some uphill walking. Meet 6:30 am at the Ramsey Canyon Preserve parking lot at the end of Ramsey Canyon Road. Wear sturdy shoes. Open to the public, but standard preserve entrance fees apply: $5/person for a weekly pass; $3 Nature Conservancy members and Cochise County residents. Leader: Alan Blixt (515-9458, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sunday June 28: Carr Reef and High-elevation Birds of the Huachucas Meet at 6:30 am at the Perimeter Trail parking lot, then carpool to head up to the Reef Townsite campground where the birding begins. Bring sturdy boots, hat, water, snacks. Leaders: Robert Weissler (803-0794, email@example.com) and Alan Blixt (515-9458, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Monday July 27: Grasslands and Del Valle Road Field trip through the grasslands along Del Valle Road during the monsoon season with numerous singing Cassin's and Botteri's Sparrows. Meet 6:00 am at San Pedro House. Free and open to the public. Bring hat, snacks, and plenty of water. Should finish by 9:00 am. Leaders: Erika Wilson (234-4359, email@example.com) and Alan Blixt (515-9458, firstname.lastname@example.org)
We l co m e N ew M e mb e r s
Rose Allan, Willcox Mary Cragg, Portal Sean & Verna Dougherty, Sierra Vista James L. Harper, Sierra Vista Paul Imbroglia, Benson Herb & Alice King, Ararat, VA Laurie Kintzele, Bisbee James & Gloria Lawrence, Casper, WY Matt Marlow, Hereford Lloyd & Ingrid Minor, Sierra Vista Gerald Noonan, Sierra Vista Bob & Diane Parks, Hereford Reed Peters, Portal James R. Sprigg, Sierra Vista Jennifer Tate, Sierra Vista Susan Walls-Bortman, Hereford Lisa Williams, Bisbee
Opuntia spinosior Cane Cholla
1911 watercolor By Kako Morita Smithsonian Botanical Illustrations
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Old cell phones plus laser and ink-jet cartridges are still being recycled by Mike Guest on behalf of HAS, with over 300 items collected to date. Drop items off at Wild Birds Unlimited, Ramsey Canyon Preserve, or the San Pedro House, plus during any HAS meeting or field trip.
HUACHUCA AUDUBON SOCIETY P.O. BOX 63 SIERRA VISTA, ARIZONA 85636
Ginny Bealer Tricia Gerrodette Dave Cunningham Sherry Cunningham Alan Blixt 378-6341 378-4937 378-2201 378-2201 515-9458
Huachuca Audubon Society Directory
President Secretary Treasurer Mike Guest Anne Graf Phil Tucker email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org wbunlimited1013 @qwestoffice.net Vice President Robert Weissler email@example.com
(520 area code)
378-0667 803-0794 603-2674 803-8440
Arizona Audubon Council Representative Tricia Gerrodette
Committee Chairs Field Trips Education Robert Weissler firstname.lastname@example.org Alan Blixt Ginny Bealer Ginny Bealer vacant vacant Membership Conservation Programs email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com 803-0794 515-9458 378-6341 378-6341
Visit the website for current information:
www.huachuca-audubon.org Webmaster, Robert Weissler Submit Trogon News items to: firstname.lastname@example.org “Print” Trogon News Editor, Brooke Gebow