Dear Friends of Sonoran Audubon Society and Invited Friends of Friends: The SAS ANNUAL BIRD WALKS AND PICNIC AT HORSESHOE RANCH is Saturday April 27, 2019 from 8:00 AM to about 1 PM. We’ll be in the shade on the lovely campus of the Horseshoe Ranch complex using one of the full-service houses as our base of operations. HORSESHOE RANCH is a AZ Game & Fish inholding in the Agua Fria National Monument on Bloody Basin Road (Directions below). Come on out-RAIN or SHINE!
The Bird Walks: Start times: 7:30 AM: Depending upon attendance, there will be one or more of these hikes below. Guides may (or may not) be: Jim “Plants for Birds” Consolloy, Tice (“AZ Audubon”) Supplee, Bob “McBob” McCormick, Karen “Still Learning the Birds” LaFrance, Andree’ (“Super Volunteer”) Tarby and others.
Silver Creek Hike—NEW ROUTE: Lower Silver Creek to the confluence with the Upper Agua Fria River and back to cars parked at the restrooms—should be some good sightings and avoids the hot 1/2 mile walk to get to the upper Silver Creek’s “good parts.” Tice Supplee will be your guide.
A Maybe Hike: Indian Creek from the Ranch, possibly with Bob “McBob”. This is truly a hike, so appropriate footwear, hats and water are required.
Around the Ranch Easy Walk OR The Big Sit Not-A-Walk: Yep: around the Ranch—big trees full of birds… A Golden Eagle flew right over a few years ago! And last year we had the curlew in the field next to the picnic area…all day. Bring your lawn chairs & look for birds from your catbird’s seat. Little exertion required.
The Agua Fria Ford Big Sit: The ford at Horseshoe Ranch can be very “birdy” so you can bring your chairs and watch for birds there. We plan to have a “guide” with you to find the right “perch”.
The Picnic: SAS will provide The Main Course—hamburgers, veggie burgers and kielbasa on the grill—plus Soft Drinks and water, condiments and utensils. Please bring a side dish or dessert for pot luck.
Bring your boots, hats, sun screen and binocs!…AND, for hanging out doing the Big Sits and for eating, lawn chairs. There will likely be Plants for Birds raffles courtesy of Jim and Tom.
RSVP BY WED APRIL 24th to Karen at 602-809-3360 or firstname.lastname@example.org OR to Donna, email@example.com so SAS has an accurate count of attendees for food planning purposes. Many of you have signed up at the recent SAS meeting or have already replied to the above persons so no need to repeat…. SEE YOU SOON!
Directions: Drive north toward Flagstaff on Route 17 out of Phoenix to the Bloody Ba-sin Road exit #259 about 50-60 miles from Phoenix. Drive EAST on BB Road for six miles. The dirt road is probably OK for regular cars; just go slow in some places as there may be rough spots with all the rain lately. As you come over the rise at about Mile 6 and see the Upper Agua Fria River/big trees below in the valley you will also see the Ranch complex across the river. Turn LEFT into the Ranch Road, drive OVER (through!) the stream (yes, it is the river) and up into the Ranch yard to park.
For the first Chapter Meeting of the 2019-2020 Season, we will be outdoors and watching birds! Your SAS Board invites you to go bird-watching at Horseshoe Ranch on Saturday, October 12, 2019, starting at 8 AM and finishing up around noon.
Tice Supplee from Audubon Arizona, who is also a Founding Member of the Chapter, and Bob McCormick (“McBob”), SAS Volunteer Extraordinaire, are scheduled to lead bird walks in the area of the Upper Agua Fria River Important Bird Area. SAS volunteers regularly monitor the birdlife in this beautiful habitat. Over ten years ago, Tice guided the Chapter in documenting the bird diversity that earned the Upper Agua Fria River the National Audubon Important Bird Area designation.
“McBob” and his intrepid volunteer partner and SAS member Tim Flood count birds each year to monitor the habitat. Additionally, they participate in the Western Yellow-Billed Cuckoo surveys each year. While walking, you can ask your guides about their experiences with these surveys and about how you can get involved.
SAS Co-Chair Jim Consolloy has scheduled an easy walk on the Horseshoe Ranch property. You can also enjoy a “big sit” at the Cook Shack, SAS’ assigned location.
Great birds could be seen on any and all of these routes. The walks will be finished by 11 AM; of course, if your walk finishes early, you can unfurl your lawn chair and relax.
Bring a Bag Lunch/ smaller cooler for your midday meal. The Chapter will provide coffee and donuts in the morning and all the drinks to accompany your picnic at picturesque Horseshoe Ranch.
YOU MUST RSVP TO SAS IN ORDER TO ATTEND! BY Thursday, October 10, 2019. Reply to Donna Smith at: firstname.lastname@example.org or Karen LaFrance at email@example.com
Directions to Horseshoe Ranch: Drive north toward Flagstaff on Route 17 out of Phoenix to the Bloody Basin Road exit #259 about 50-60 miles from Phoenix. Drive EAST on BB Road for 6 miles. The dirt road is probably OK for regular cars; just go slow in some places as there may be rough spots. As you come over the rise at about Mile 6 and see the Upper Agua Fria River/big trees below in the valley you will also see the Ranch complex across the river. Turn LEFT into the Ranch Road, drive OVER (through!) the stream (yes, it is the river) and up into the Ranch yard to park.
Click above to see Audubon Arizona’s Steven Prager’s article on Western Yellow-Billed Cuckoo Surveys and mention of our Chapter—Sonoran Audubon—which for many years has counted these fantastic birds on the Upper Agua Fria River sections of the Important Bird Area there.
Charles Babbitt, former President of Maricopa Audubon and intrepid Arizona birder will be our speaker at the November 13th SAS Chapter meeting. The program starts at 7:00 PM at the Glendale Unitarian Universalist Church, NW corner of 59th Avenue and Cholla in Glendale.
At 6:30 PM, SASers will greet you over snacks and soft drinks for informal conversation, so come a bit early on Wednesday. You are welcome to bring kids and guests; we may have some “plants for birds” to raffle….
Mr. Babbitt has written a new book entitled Birding Arizona—What to Know; Where to Go. He will have copies to sell with him and, of course, will remain after the program to sign copies.
Mr. Babbitt’s program will take us on a tour around Arizona to some of the State’s most productive and interesting birding spots including some we don’t even know! We’ll hear about a variety of habitats that attract birds. Have you experienced the summer migration of birds from California or a fall “hawk watch” or shorebirds at Glendale Recharge Ponds? Now’s your chance to become acquainted with these special events and places.
Mr. Babbitt will also touch on “Fun Ways to Count Birds” and citizen science projects such as the Christmas Bird Count and Breeding Bird Surveys…. And…oh, the many stories…!
Tice Supplee, Bird Conservation Director at Audubon Arizona, and a founding member of Sonoran Audubon, will be our guest speaker. She will highlight the latest science report on climate change from National Audubon and will focus on effects of climate change on Arizona’s birds. The program will start at 7:00 PM with mill around and home made cookies and fudge at 6:30 PM thanks to David and Joan Kennedy and Kathy Wheeler!
Join us as we welcome back Dominic Sherony who will present on Argentina.
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2020
6:30 FOR CONVERSATION & SNACKS
7:00 PM PROGRAM
Says Dominic: “In 2014 I birded Argentina on a Field Guides Tour. I was able to visit four regions of the country that had very different habitats. Some parts of Argentina are similar to the Sonoran Desert and, as a result, there are a few species of birds are also similar to their northern counterparts in terms of how they have adapted. I will focus on many of the habitats we visited and the species found in these environments. Of the birds we saw, certain species which are unfamiliar to most of us will be given special attention such as penguins, caracaras, seedsnipe, rheas, and others.”
BRING YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY!!