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Just A Chirp

Grosse Pointe Audubon Spring 2012

Record temps, migration and photoperiod


The question on every birders mind this spring is an obvious one: What does this past winters record warm temperatures mean for bird migration? The short answer is, it depends. Now, for the long answer: This warm winter will generally not aect the arrival times for neo-tropical migrants because as they winter in Central and South America, they have no idea that the grass is already green and the trees have already begun to leaf out across North America. The movements of neo-tropical migrants are governed by photoperiod, which is the name of the phenomenon that causes physiological changes in animals based upon the angle of sun and the length of day. It causes our resident birds to molt, it causes short-range migrants to shift their range, and it causes neo-tropical migrants to begin their long journeys to and from their nesting grounds. At the same time, those migrants, along with the short-distance migrants coming from the southern United States, might have their migration accelerated because they are less likely to run into cold weather and a lack of food. On the other hand, many bird species time their travels to take advantage of certain events -- like the emergence of insects that time their hatch to the leaf-out of trees. When those long-distance migrants come north this year, they will nd a vasty dierent landscape from years past. Whats worse is that it is still April, and as we all know we could still very well have a hard freeze later this month. That would mean that insects that have emerged could be killed before they are able to breed and lay eggs, and plants that produce fruit would be unable to produce, making these valuable fats unavailable to birds in the coming fall
See From The President, Page 2

Spring Schedule
Put this schedule on your refrigerator to help you remember these important dates. April 16A Peruvian Birding Adventure. In 2007, 10 birders from southeastern Michigan went on a field trip to Peru led by Bryn Martin, a globetrotting school teacher. Martin will recount their adventures finding 360 species in 11 days while birding on a boat in the Pacific Ocean, high in the Andes, in lowland rainforest and dry desert-like habitat. May 1, 8, 15, 22Bird walks at the Country Club of Detroit. 6:30-8 a.m. More information inside this newsletter. May 8Bird walk at Patterson Park in Grosse Pointe Park. Meet at 6:30 p.m. in the parking lot. May 12Our annual trip to Seven Ponds Nature Center. May 14Grosse Pointe Birding Challenge. 5 a.m.-Noon. More information on how to participate is inside this newsletter. Rules are at our website, gpaudubon.blogspot.com. ! PAGE 1

From The President, from Page 1 migration. In that way, this springs unusual weather could be a double whammy.

eBird and a new app


I am nally the owner of a smart phone, and an entire new world has been opened up to me: birding apps. There are several of them out there, but there was one app that I could not pass up -BirdLog North America. I love this app for two reasons. First, it allows me to keep a running total of not just the number of species I see while birding, but Im also able to keep a running total of the number of individuals. That makes it very easy to keep the numbers straight when participating in something like the Christmas Bird Count. Second, when Im done, I can submit my data, location, and other information directly to Cornells eBird by just touching the screen. This sure beats keeping a running tally on paper, and then submitting the data via computer when I nally get home. Its available now for an introductory price of $9.99. Get it before the price goes up to the regular price of $14.99.

seventh annual Grosse Pointe Birding Challenge. Teams will be scouring the Grosse Pointe communities for as many bird species as they can count. Tabulation takes place at noon at Panera Bread in the Village, and the winner takes home a trophy and a feeling of smug superiority. Join a team for the entire morning or just for an hour. Sign up for a team at the April 16 meeting. See the GP Audubon blog for ocial rules.

Tuesday morning birders


Grosse Pointe Audubons Tuesday morning walks at the Country Club of Detroit will get under way on May 1 and continue every Tuesday until May 22. Well start at 6:30 a.m. and nish by 8 a.m. Enter the Country Clubs driveway, turn left in front of the clubhouse and go down the service road. Well meet at the woods. We will also have an evening bird walk at Patterson Park on May 8. This walk will start at 6:30 p.m. You do not need to make a reservation. Bird Walks at the Ford House Put a spring in your step! Join Rosann Kovalcik for walks on April 21, May 5 and 9-12. All walks start at 7:30. There is a $7 fee. Call (313) 884-4222 to register.

Annual Seven Ponds Trip


Our annual trip to Seven Ponds is set for May 14. Meet at the Nature Center at 10 a.m. for a naturalist-led bird walk. We will be gathering data for the North American Migratory Count, which is also being held that day. Meet at the Nature Center for a 10 a.m. walk led by Mike Champagne. Ink cartridges = $ We want your ink cartridges and old cell phones! Please bring these items to our meetings and deposit them in the box. Your waste will be recycled for cash that will help keep Grosse Pointe Audubon in the black. PAGE 2

Birding for Glory


Set your calendar now, and join Grosse Pointe Audubon on Monday, May 14, for the

Seven Ponds Nature Center


Call (810) 796-3200 for more information or to register for programs. Curious Canoers of Seven Ponds Saturday, April 14, 10:00 a.m. Join us for the first trip of the season out onto the ponds by canoe. We never know what we will find on our explorations, but we always have a great time. Dress warm as it tends to be chillier on the water. Preregistration is required. Fee: $5.00 per person ($3.00 for members) Minimum five years old, ten years old to paddle. Salamander Foray April 14 & 15, 2:00 p.m. Join us for a salamander day of discovery at Jonathan Woods. We will be looking for many examples of the six species that reside in the rich woods while learning about their natural history and conservation. Meet at Seven Ponds and carpool to the site. Limit 12 at each session. Preregistration is required. Fee: $3.00 per adult, $1.00 per child (members free). Jonathan Woods Frog Walk Sunday, April 22, 2:00 p.m. Join a naturalist to walk the trails at Jonathan Woods amidst the cacophony of frog songs. Spring Bird Walk #1 Wednesday, April 25, 8:00 a.m. This first spring bird walk will take us along the centers own trails in search of yeararound resident birds and those which have already come back from the south, including sandhill cranes, ducks, swallows, eastern bluebirds, eastern towhees, blackbirds, and others. All bird watching levels are welcome. Bring binoculars, field guide, and dress for the weather. Fee: $3.00 (no charge for members). Great Lakes Photo Tour Photo Excursion Sunday, April 29, 10:00 a.m. 3:00 p.m. This very special one-day Eco-Photo workshop is for beginner and advanced amateur photo-enthusiasts. There will be excellent classroom instruction along with tutored, in-the-field photography sessions. Take charge of your camera controls and exposure while improving your photographic composition skills. The instructors for this class are Naturalist photographer Mark S. Carlson and Digital Expert Bob Grzesiak of Great Lakes Photo. Pre-registration is required. Fee: $79.00 per person. Owl Prowl Thursday, May 3, 7:00 p.m. Our owl prowl will begin indoors with a short talk about the owls of Michigan. Well then hike along the trails in hopes of calling in one or more of the centers resident owls. Bring a flashlight. This program is limited to 25 participants. Pre-registration is required. Fee: $5.00 ($3.00 member). NatureFest and Native Plant Sale Saturday, May 5, 9:00 a.m. 5 p.m. Invasive Plant Workday Sunday, May 6, 1:00 p.m. We will spend the afternoon working on removing dames rocket and garlic mustard. Bring gloves and water. Spring Bird Walk #2 Wednesday, May 9, 8:00 a.m. For our second spring bird walk well take a short trip by car to the other side of the Seven Ponds to look for birds on the 18 acres of property added to the center at the end of 2011. Likely sightings include migrating warblers, orioles and bobolink.

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JUST A CHIRP!

SPRING 2012

About Grosse Pointe Audubon


Bill Rapai, president, (313) 885-6502 or BRapai@aol.com Sylvia Sanders, vice president, (313) 886-0869 Mark OKeefe, treasurer, (313) 884-7472 or Birds891357@aol.com Joanna Pease, representative to Seven Ponds Nature Center, strixvaria@sbcglobal.net www.gpaudubon.blogspot.com http://www.facebook.com/pages/Grosse-Pointe-Audubon/145490528869148 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!

Grosse Pointe Audubon 443 St. Clair Grosse Pointe, MI 48230