SPECIAL EVENTS - 2016
May 1st- 31st
The Birdathon has been a fundraiser of WMAS for many years. It is an opportunity to help White Mountain Audubon Society raise money for the educational programs we sponsor and support. The main program is our $1,000 scholarship awarded to a White Mountain area high school senior. Audubon Adventures is the other program that we make available to teachers in grades 3-5 in area schools. It is an environmental education program which presents basic, scientifically accurate facts about birds, wildlife and their habitats.
The steps to participate are: volunteers ask their family, friends and coworkers to sponsor them with a donation to WMAS. Then spend time birdwatching to see how many different species you can see in the month. Inform your sponsors of the birds you saw, how many total species and where seen. Collect money from sponsors and turn in to Chuck Bittorf, WMAS treasurer in June. Turn in a list of all the birds you see in June to Mary Ellen Bittorf.
Please consider doing the Birdathon yourself or sponsor someone who is doing it. May is the perfect time to bird in the White Mountains with all the local birds and the migrants returning or passing through. It is also a wonderful way to support the young people of our communities through our educational programs.
Beginning Birder's Workshop
White Mountain Audubon Society offers the Beginning Birder's Workshop each year to the public to help people learn the basics of bird identification. The workshop begins at 6:30 pm and will end at approx. 8:30pm. A small handout will be available.
Topics that will be covered are:
- How to attract birds to your yard
- How to select and use your binoculars
- Use of a field guide for identifying, and an opportunity to see various bird guides
- How to care for bird feeders in your yard
- Local areas to see birds
- Plantings for your yard that birds will enjoy
A field trip is scheduled for Saturday, May 7th in order to look for birds and use your new skills. The field trip will be to Woodland Lake; meet at the tennis courts at 8am. This is a once a year, wonderful opportunity to learn more about bird watching and improve your ability to identify the birds in your yard and on your walks.
Changes to the North American Migration Count
Saturday, May 14th
The North American Migration Count (NAMC) has been an ongoing activity for birders in Arizona and across the country for several years. It has grown now to be a global annual event, called the "Global Big Day," using the term often referred to as a day to scheduled get out and see as many birds as possible. The Global Big Day in Arizona is Saturday, May 14.
Much like the Christmas Bird Count, birders record their species seen, and individuals counted, and contribute to a growing database of changes or trends in bird populations and movements over time.
Along with the change in name, the Global Big Day has "migrated" to a new way of managing bird sightings. Data will now be collected and organized through the free, open website eBird (www.ebird.org), making it much easier for birders to submit their information. No longer will people have to complete detailed checklists and mail them to their coordinator; all bird sightings can be uploaded to eBird! That means any of you can go birding on May 14, and if you enter your bird list on eBird, you will help support the growing information on migrating birds along with other birdwatchers from around the world, and contribute to the Global Big Day. Be a part of Global Big Day in Arizona! Go birding anywhere on Saturday, May 14 (of course we are keen to get some good bird sightings in Navajo, Apache, and Greenlee counties). Keep track of the birds you see and the number of individuals. After your wonderful birdwatching outing, log onto eBird and input your data under the "Submit Observations" tab at the top. If you have used eBird before, it is handled like any other trip list. If you have not used eBird, this is a great opportunity to get started. Set up a free account and then submit your observations. From now on, you can create online trip lists that others can see, and you can start creating your permanent electronic journal of your bird sightings. You can add older trips to your account, and use eBird as a digital diary of your life list.
You can also use eBird to seek out bird lists from places you're planning on visiting to better prepare you for your next trip. All in all, eBird is a phenomenal resource, a result of a partnership between National Audubon Society and the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. Why not start using it for the Global Big Day? If you have questions, this year's coordinator to help you along is Doug Jenness (email@example.com), and more information can be found at http://www.azfo.org/namc/aznamc.html May 14 is not only the Global Big Day, it also marks the official International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD). This is a special year for the IMBD as it marks the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, one of the most significant pieces of legislation that protects all migratory birds in the United States. Truly a remarkable milestone for our birds! To learn more about ongoing celebrations of this special day, please visit http:fws.gov/birdsMBTreaty100 or contact Jennie Duberstein at firstname.lastname@example.org visithttp://www.fws.gov/birds/MBTreaty100/ or contact Jennie Duberstein at email@example.com
White Mountain Nature Film Festival
Friday & Saturday, June 24th & 25th
White Mountain Audubon and White Mountain Nature Center are holding the 5th Annual Nature Film Festival on June 24 and 25. The Festival begins with a reception/dinner at El Rancho restaurant on June 24 from 5 to 7:30 pm. The evening will include a lasagna buffet dinner, several short films, and an opportunity to meet filmmakers.
Films will be shown on Saturday, June 25 at the Nature Center, 425 S. Woodland Lane, in Lakeside. The Film Festival provides enjoyment, entertainment and information about nature, wildlife, and conservation and raises funds for the educational programs that WMAS and the Nature Center sponsors each year. These programs include a scholarship to a graduating senior from a local high school and a school science program and Nature Center's Discovery programs. Dinner tickets are $25.
Tickets can be purchased from the Nature Center, Pinetop-Lakeside Chamber of Commerce, El Rancho Restaurant or from WMAS Board members. Admission to the films will be by a $5 suggested donation. For more information, contact Mary Ellen Bittorf at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (928) 367-2462 or Liz Jernigan at email@example.com or (928) 532-1510.
Film Program on Saturday, June 25
- 9:00 - 9:40 Life Through a Lens- Tom Magnusson
- 9:45 - 10:00 White Mountain Wildlife and Nature Center –Judi Bassett
- 10:00 – 11:00 Spring Birding in Arizona's High Country –Barb Davis
- 11:00 – 12:00 Exploring the Amazon River –Sue Sitko
- 1:00 - 2:15 Born to Rewild –Kelly Burke & Bryan Reinhart
- 2:15 – 3:30 Preserving Bhutan's Biodiversity –Norris Dodd
- 3:30 – 4:30 Milking the Rhino –Jeannie McGill
- 4:30 – 5:25 Duckumentary – PBS
High Country Hummer's Festival
Saturday, July 30th
The 13th annual High Country Hummers Festival will again be sponsored by AZ G & F Department. Sheri Williamson, with Southeastern Bird Observatory, along with her banding crew will return to Sipe Wildlife Area for an activity filled morning on July 30th. Southeastern Bird Observatory is a non-profit scientific and educational organization located in Bisbee. Activities begin at 8am and end at approx. noon.
Other organizations that partner with AZ G & F are White Mountain Audubon Society, U.S. Forest Service and the Round Valley Chamber of Commerce.
Activities will be ongoing during the morning, but the main event is watching the hundreds of hummingbirds that visit the area in summer and seeing Sheri and her volunteers collect, measure, weigh, asses and band the birds. Some of the activities planned for this year are:
- Birding for kids - the kids may make their own hummingbird feeder
- Tom Wood will present information on hummingbird natural history
- Adobe Mountain Wildlife Center will have an exhibit with live birds and other wildlife
- Hummers that may be seen are Calliope, Broad-tailed, Black-chinned and Rufous. Many other bird species may be sighted in the area as well.
Remember to wear comfortable walking shoes, a hat, and sunscreen; bring water snacks/lunch and your camera in order to enjoy a morning in the beautiful White Mountains of eastern Arizona.
Sipe Wildlife Area is located south of Eagar. Take Hgwy 191 going toward Alpine and turn right off of 191 approx 2 miles at the signed turn off at the top of the first hill. Follow the dirt road for 5 miles. For more information call, AZ G &F Department in Pinetop at 928-367-4281.
Timber Mesa Christmas Bird Count
Date to be determined
The Timber Mesa CBC is held each year between Dec 14th and Jan 5th. The first CBC was held in 1900 and is the largest, longest-running animal census on earth. The citizen science program collects data each year that is vital for land management decisions and wildlife policy. There is no fee to participate and the annual published report, American Birds, will be available on line.
We meet at 7am at Darby's Restaurant in Pinetop for breakfast. Then we divide into groups to cover as much as possible of the designated 15-mile wide diameter circle. Birders count species and numbers of each species, record and then turn in what they saw to the count compiler, Mary Ellen Bittorf at 928-367-2462 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The White Mountain area is known for its wintering waterfowl and Bald Eagles. Some birds seen on recent CBC's are: Canvasback, Redhead Duck, Hooded Merganser, Common Goldeneye, Common Merganser, Northern Harrier, Sharp-shinned Hawk, American Kestral, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Townsend's Solitaire and Belted Kingfisher.
Remember to wear layered clothing and bring water, snacks/lunch, binoculars, bird guides, paper and pen and plan for a great day of winter birding. All levels of birding skill are welcome and encouraged to participate.