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!