Next AVA Meeting is April 11 at 7 P.M.

Schools were closed, snow plows were delayed in getting to side roads and  the wind was blowing, so we regretfully cancelled our Audubon meeting for Tuesday, March 14.

Our next meeting will be as scheduled, April 11 at 7:00 p.m. at the Camp Inn Lodge on U.S. 23 just south of Oscoda. 

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Iosco County In Top Ten: Great Backyard Bird Count!

(The article was posted in the local Iosco County News-Herald and is presented here by permission of Peggy Ridgway)

Bird counters in Iosco County chalked up an impressive number of species during the 20th annual Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) held Feb. 17-20. A total of 63 species were tallied.  That number ranked Iosco among the top ten counties with the highest number of species recorded  during the four day event . First in the state was Washtenaw county totaling 83 species, followed by Macomb & Ottawa with 77, Jackson 73, Berrien 71,  Kalamazoo and Monroe with 67, Oakland with 66, Branch with 65, Muskegon with 64, and Iosco, Bay, and Calhoun all with 63.

According to Peggy Ridgway, local ambassador for the event, “ half of the top ten species observed in our area were waterfowl.  The vast amount of open water along the river corridor and the lakeshore made for these unusually high  numbers. “  Northern cardinals and several species of woodpeckers were lower in count numbers than in past years.

Ranked among the Iosco top ten species observed were redhead ducks (222), European starling (212), long- tailed duck (160), snow bunting (100), Canada goose (85), cedar waxwing (83), horned lark (62), American goldfinch (55), mallard (54) , and herring gull (40).

“It’s quite rare that we would see that many geese and gulls, as they usually depart this region during the winter,” added Ridgway.

Downstate many of the spring migrants were already making their way north which accounted for the unusually high  totals in some southern counties.

“The state as a whole ended up with 140 species, which is quite impressive at this time of year,” commented Ridgway.

Throughout the United Sates, Michigan ranked among the top ten states  recording the most species.

Worldwide there were 5,937 species observed and a total  of 2, 836, 488 individuals recorded.

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Rescheduled AVA Meeting

JamesRenn-USFS-135119Our featured speaker was James Renn, an archeologist with the U. S. Forest Service.  Mr. Renn has extensive experience in excavating local artifacts, including those from snorkeling adventures in the AuSable River. He has conducted workshops as part of the Michigan Heritage Program. He presented a great program about the challenges and benefits of exploring and identifying archeological heritage sites within the areas of the Huron-Manistee National Forests. He spoke to some of his current projects and the work he is doing to identify potential sites of the pre-1800 time period and the challenges of targeting locations because of the geologic and hydrologic changes in Michigan since the glaciers receded approximately 13,000 years ago.  The program was very well received by the attending members.

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New Date for January AVA Meeting and Speaker Jan. 24

AuSable Valley Audubon Archeologist Talk Rescheduled to January 24

The AuSable Valley Audubon January meeting has been rescheduled for Tuesday, January 24 at 1:00 p.m. at the East Tawas Community Center,  located at at 760 Newman Street.

Featured speaker is James Renn, an archeologist with the U. S. Forest Service.  Mr. Renn has extensive experience in excavating local artifacts, including those from snorkeling adventures in the AuSable River. He has conducted workshops as part of the Michigan Heritage Program. Attendees will hear about his discoveries and learn how they can participate in uncovering local history.  Questions call 989-701-5471

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AVA Meeting Tuesday Jan. 10 cancelled due to weather

The meeting and lunch scheduled for Tuesday, January 10th has been cancelled due to the snowy weather. Further information available via the AVA mail list.

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Christmas Bird Count Preview

img_2155-webimg_2151-webBoth views of the table at H’sings Chinese Garden on December 17, 2017, when hungry birders gathered to discuss their morning successes. The Tawas Circle had 55 species compared to Oscoda which had 32 species. Many factors affect these numbers.

Hear more about the 2016 Christmas Bird Count at 1pm at the January 10, 2017  meeting at the East Tawas Community Center.  Call Larry 362-2522 for directions.

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January 10th Meeting of the AuSable Valley Audubon

Join us January 10th at 1 PM at the East Tawas Community Center. Our guest speaker will be James Renn, an archeologist with the USFS.

Do you like to dig in the dirt? Do you consider other people’s trash a potential treasure? Do you find yourself humming the theme song to Indiana Jones? This is the presentation for you!

This Forest Archaeologist will be on hand to talk about methods of excavating, snorkel recovery on the AuSable River and to tell many stories of the items from history that he has found throughout the years.

MICHIGAN ARCHAEOLOGY From Detroit to Copper Harbor and Ironwood to Drummond Island, archaeological sites reveal how people have lived in Michigan for nearly 14,000 years. Archaeology is the scientific study of the human past, using places and objects to understand changing people and environments. It is the study of sand dunes and forests, seas and cities, hardship and resourcefulness, ingenuity and innovation, and above all, communities. Across time and space, archaeology helps us know the past, understand the present, and plan for a sustainable and vibrant future.

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Happy Birthday Ed

Several AVA members honor Ed Cole’s 94th.

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday!

A number of us were able to be there to enjoy lunch with Ed. All thanks go  to Peggy for initiating the plan and providing a lovely and delicious carrot cake.

post and image courtesy of Sue Duncan.

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Giving Tuesday – Help Non-profits in NE Michigan

Have you heard of Giving Tuesday? Last year, this world day of giving raised over $116 million online for nonprofits by tapping into the holiday giving season. Held the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, this year Giving Tuesday is on November 29.

AuSable Valley Audubon is thrilled to be participating in this giving event through the Community Foundation for Northeast Michigan, and hope you will support our AuSable Valley Audubon by making a donation (no matter how small)! The services we provide to our local area are vital to our community, and on November 29 there is potential to create a huge amount of support for our organization in a 24-hour period.

Click on image for a larger view.

Click on image for a larger view.

So how can you help? Visit the Community Foundation’s website at www.cfnem.org/givingtuesday on November 29 from 12 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. Look for AuSable Valley Audubon and click on it to make your Giving Tuesday gift.

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Sandhill Crane Counts

From Sue Duncan on 11/9:

We watched cranes circle in a ‘whirl wind’ shape tonight… one of their behaviors prior to departure. It was really awesome and accompanied a fabulous and unique sunset… a bonus!  Larry estimates nearly the same number of birds have gathered as the high count of 2015. Las year there were approximately 2,300.  The count is a rough estimate this year as the birds are not all coming to roost in the wetlands or flying off before dark in a predictable pattern. He/we may go out again in a day or so and see if they are gone or not, and maybe to try and get a better estimate, but that might entail a lot of luck or three more observer cars!

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