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Nature Notes - September 2017
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Great Blue Heron/Dennis Burnette
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The job means putting articles and images on it, keeping it fresh and up to date for the world to see. No writing involved! No meetings!

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Thanks!

See Chimney Swifts This Month! 

Please join us on Wednesday, Sept. 6, for our first Swifts Night Out near the Carolina Theater in downtown Greensboro. 
 
This is a joint activity with T. Gilbert Pearson Audubon Society and Piedmont Bird Club.
 
Chimney Swifts
start to band together into large roost groups before their fall migration to South America.  Last year we saw thousands of these birds roosting in the chimney at the Carolina Theatre.  It was quite impressive to watch them in this annual behavior, as they circled above and all around, then finally spiraled into the building.  We hope to see this again.
 
The Carolina Theatre is located at 310 S. Greene St., but we will meet at the rear of the building near the corner of Federal Place and Exchange Place.  There is street and lot parking nearby. Sunset will be at 7:36 p.m..  Many will meet at at 6 p.m. M'Coul's Public House, 110 W. McGee St., for social time before the short walk over to the chimney area. 

If for some reason the swifts are not using the Carolina Theater on Sept. 6, we will announce a new location.  Please watch for updates by email.
 
A second Swifts Night Out will be held Thursday, Sept. 21.  The time and place will be announced closer to time by an email blast.  Because Chimney Swifts change locations during migration, the Swift Team will need to look for another good location.

(Chimney Swift/photo from National Audubon Society website)

The Great Audubon Day & Birdseed Sale

Audubon Day at New a Garden Landscaping and Nursery Gazebo will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14. 
 
In addition to a seed sale, the proceeds of which will be used for environmental education, visitors can participate in a full day of activities sponsored jointly by TGPAS and New Garden.
 
Free talks feature:
  • Butterfly Gardening, Dennis Burnette, 9:30 a.m.
  • Using native plants to attract birds and butterflies, Jeremy Warren of New Garden, 10:30 a.m. 
  • Frequently asked questions about bird feeding, Lynn Moseley, 1:30 p.m.
Naturalists 5 years and older can paint birdhouses at 11:30 a.m. Pre-registration will be required along with a $10 fee. An adult must accompany each child. 

And bird seed will be for sale – don't forget that!

More details on the birdseed sale will be coming , so mark your calendar for Oct. 14 and watch for more information.

New Welcome Postcard Mailed


In mid August
our chapter mailed a “Welcome” postcard to all current members of National Audubon who live in our service area.
 
One reason we did this is that our area of coverage has been expanded to include Zip Codes in Alamance and Randolph counties, as well as the current addresses in Guilford County. We intend to send our postcard to new folks from now on as they join.
 
Almost a year ago
TGPAS put together a committee to design the “Welcome” postcard. The committee solicited nature photographs from our members and received more than 60! Of these, the group completed the difficult task narrowing the field of possibilities to a representative few.
 
The final six photos were selected to represent various aspects of nature that we see on our nature walks and enjoy in our monthly programs. Many thanks go to all those members who submitted their nature photographs.
 
Thanks especially to the committee members, including Lynn Allison, Dennis Burnette, Lynn Burnette, Jack Jezorek, Fiona Meisner, Wallie Meisner, Lynn Moseley, and Phyllis Shaw for the hours that they spent collecting and evaluating photographs, designing the card, and writing the welcome message.


Chapter Day at the Zoo: A Great Time

By Jack Jezorek
Eight TGPAS members joined folks from six other chapters to share ideas and projects at Audubon North Carolina's 2017 Chapter Day on Aug. 5 at the NC Zoo near Asheboro.
 
Pearson’s Board Chair Lynn Moseley described in the chapter-sharing session how our chapter has partnered with several other organizations to move our projects forward. We heard from David Ringer, chief network officer of National Audubon, and from Greg Andeck and Curtis Smalling of Audubon NC about ways in which chapters can work with the national organization and the state office, as well as with each other, to effect both legislative and ecological success.
 
After the regular session ended several participants joined a behind-the-scenes tour of the zoo’s avian holding area. Curator of birds Debbie Zombeck explained that this staging area is for birds that will transition into the aviary or are in the midst of their breeding cycle. We then went into the aviary itself to enjoy the 40-some species of tropical birds that inhabit that exhibit.
 
As always, Chapter Day was a valuable and fun experience with Auduboners from across the state as we shared ideas and challenges to our mission of saving birds and  habitat. Let's have an even larger TGPAS presence at the 2018 Chapter Day.

(American Gold Finch/photo by Lynn Allison)

Birds Are Counting on Our Climate Watch Teams

Nine TGPAS members met Aug. 9 with Kim Brand, field officer for Audubon North Carolina, to review the procedures for National Audubon’s Climate Watch project.

Our chapter will participate in this bird survey beginning in late January 2018 and will continue to monitor our assigned areas twice a year in January and June for the near future. 

At the meeting, each team selected a territory from the map prepared by the scientists at National Audubon who are directing this project.  We specifically chose sections that included the open pine woodlands that are favored by Brown-headed Nuthatches, the target species for these surveys. 

Each team will count birds at 12 pre-selected points within a 6 x 6 mile area, focusing on nuthatches and Eastern Bluebirds but including all birds heard or seen for five minutes.  Each point in the territory must be at least 200 meters from all other points. 

We would like to have two more teams (one person alone or a maximum of two people per team) to conduct surveys within our chapter’s assigned area. Anyone interested in joining this important effort to document the effect of climate change on birds, specifically Brown-headed Nuthatches, should contact Lynn Moseley (lmoseley@guilford.edu).

TGPAS Board Email Addresses


(click name to send email)

Dennis Burnette
Lynn Burnette

Sue Cole
Sarah Gilley
Lynne Gray
Judy Hoag
Jack Jezorek
Lynn Moseley
Marie Poteat
Stella Wear
Tom Wear
Click here for our website
Click here for National Audubon website

Monarchs:
The King of Butterflies

 
What: September Chapter Meeting
When: 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017
Where: Kathleen Clay Edwards Family Branch Library, 1420 Price Park Drive Greensboro
Who: Amateur naturalist/photographer Dennis Burnette, retired assistant professor, GTCC

 
Our opening program for the 2017-18 season will be “Monarchs: The King of Butterflies” on Thursday, Sept. 14, at 7 p.m. in the Kathleen Clay Edwards Family Branch Library, 1420 Price Park Drive Greensboro.
 
We invite you to arrive a bit early for social time before the program begins.
 
Presenting the program is Dennis Burnette, founder of the two-state Carolina Butterfly Society and current coordinator of the Triad Chapter of that organization. The butterfly group has just celebrated its 20th anniversary.
 
Dennis is an amateur naturalist and nature photographer who will use his own photos to illustrate his presentation, including photos of an extensive winter Monarch roost in Mexico. He is on the TGPAS board and a past chairperson of our chapter.
 
The Monarch butterfly is a champion long-distance migrant, spending the winter in the western mountains of Mexico and then making its way through North America all the way to the southern tier of Canada. In September the Monarchs pass through our area on the trip to Mexico.
 
Through discussion and photos, we’ll take a look at this beautiful creature’s lifestyle, some of the threats it encounters, and how we can help ensure its survival.

(Monarch butterfly/photo by Dennis Burnette)

Second Sunday Nature Walk: Price Park Bird & Butterfly Meadow

 
Who: Audubon members and guests
What: Second Sunday Nature Walk
When: Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017
Where: Bird & Butterfly Meadow in Greensboro’s Price Park
Carpooling: Meet at 1:45 p.m. in front of the Whole Foods Market in Friendly Shopping Center under the Sears sign between BB&T and Chick-Fil-A next the Friendly Avenue.  If going directly to Price Park, meet in the Bird & Butterfly Meadow parking lot by about 2:15 p.m.
 
Our Second Sunday Nature Walk this month will be held Sept. 10. We will start in the Bird & Butterfly Meadow in Greensboro’s Price Park.

If we have time, we’ll also walk along the paved greenway and possibly a part of the woodland trail.
 
As the name implies, the Bird & Butterfly Meadow was designated to attract butterflies and other pollinators to the grassy meadow as well as birds in the meadow and along the woodland edge. In addition, we’ll look for other wildlife such as the beautiful dragonflies that are on the wing in late summer and early fall.
 
As usual for our Second Sunday Nature Walks, we will meet at 1:45 p.m. in front of the Whole Foods Market in Friendly Shopping Center under the Sears sign between BB&T and Chick-Fil-A next the Friendly Avenue. If you would prefer to meet us at Price Park, we will be in the Bird & Butterfly Meadow parking lot by about 2:15 p.m. We expect to return to the shopping center by 5 p.m.
 
Price Park is located at 1420 Price Park Drive, Greensboro, at the intersection of New Garden and Hobbs roads.
 
Wear clothing appropriate for an early September afternoon, which often can be a hot and sunny. You’ll appreciate a hat and comfortable footwear. Although the KCE Family Library up the hill has restrooms and a water fountain, bring plenty of water to drink during the walk. Other items you might bring are binoculars, a camera, and field guides if you have them.
 
TGPAS nature walks are open to the public. Family and friends are welcome. No pets, please.

(American Lady at the Bird & Butterfly Meadow/photo by Dennis Burnette)

Making the Big Sweep Sept. 16
at Our Fantastic ANA

We hope you can join the crew for the Big Sweep Waterway Cleanup from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 16, at the Audubon Natural Area.

We need folks to pick up litter along Tankersley Drive as well as in the Natural Area, including Buffalo Creek itself.  Sturdy shoes, gloves, and tick/chigger repellent (e.g. Deep Woods Off!) are highly recommended. Trash bags, grabbers, and cold water will be provided.  We will appreciate anyone willing to wade the creek.  

In addition to looking for litter, we'd like you to keep an eye out for box turtles. The Natural Area is a study site for the Box Turtle Connection.  We'll discuss protocols at the site at the start of the activity. The Natural Area is located along Tankersley Drive between North Church and North Elm streets, behind Moses Cone Hospital, and easily found by the entrance sign.  The area is a mixture of woods and meadows, has several trails, and borders Buffalo Creek.

Parking is available by bumping over the curb at the entrance sign and parking on the grass, or by using the parking lot behind the bank at Tankersley Drive and North Church Street.
 
Greensboro Beautiful serves free pizza and water at the trash collection site after the event.
 
Please check in with the site leader, Jim Eldrett, Audubon Natural Area steward, when you arrive and when you leave.  It would be helpful if you RSVP so that we can plan for the number of volunteers.  You may do this at jimeldrett@gmail.com.  You may also contact him at 336-609-0070 if you have any questions.
 
Thanks in advance.


(Audubon Natural Area/photo by Jim Eldrett)

Blue Ridge Parkway Field Trip for Naturalists Sept. 30

Our annual field trip for naturalists of all kinds will be held Saturday, Sept. 30, near the peak of migration for hawks along the Blue Ridge Parkway. It also is prime time for Monarch Butterfly migration – these butterflies tend to follow the Parkway on their journey south to Mexico.
 
Late summer wildflowers will be blooming in profusion. There will be something to see for just about everyone.
 
We will meet at 9:30 a.m. in the parking lot of the Blue Ridge Music Center just across the Virginia state line at Milepost 213. From there we’ll work our way southwest toward Sparta, stopping frequently at meadows and along woodland edges to look for interesting wildlife. No extensive walking will be involved.
 
The area has no nearby restaurants or stores, so bring a picnic lunch and plenty of water. Wear sturdy shoes and a hat. Bring field guides that suit your particular naturalist interests and any field equipment you like to use, such as hand lens, binoculars, and scopes. DO NOT bring nets for butterflies and dragonflies. (No collecting of any kind is permitted on the Blue Ridge Parkway.) Photography is welcome.
 
This will be a fun outing for the whole family. Supervised children are welcome. (However, no pets, please.) In addition to our Audubon members, we’re also inviting other nature groups such as Carolina Butterfly Society, NC Native Plant Society, and Piedmont Bird Club, so we should have knowledgeable folks to discuss just about any nature topic that interests folks. Bring family and friends!
 
The trip will be canceled if the forecast is for inclement weather all day. (Fog will be no problem.) Check the forecast for Sparta, NC, before departing for the trip. Contact person: Dennis Burnette,  deburnette@triad.rr.com.

(Auduboners on the Blue Ridge/photo by Dennis Burnette)

Autumn Social Event: Homeland Creamery Hayride, Tour & Ice Cream

 
On Saturday afternoon, Oct. 28, TGPAS has planned a social event for the whole family.
 
We will take a tractor-pulled hayride and behind-the-scenes tour of Bowman Dairy in southeastern Guilford County, then sample ice cream made on the spot at the dairy’s Homeland Creamery.
 
We won’t ignore
the birds, of course. The dairy pastures are home to Eastern Meadowlarks, Eastern Bluebirds, and several species of sparrows.
 
The tour includes a 20-30 minute hayride to view the farm; hand milking the simulated cow, Miss Betty; and viewing the milking parlor. Because TGPAS needs to know how many people to accommodate, RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED.
 
Homeland Creamery is located at 6506 Bowman Dairy Road, Julian, NC 27283. Those who would like to carpool or caravan from Greensboro should meet at 9 a.m. in Friendly Shopping Center in front of the Whole Foods Market in the parking lot under the Sears sign closest to Friendly Avenue. We plan to arrive at the dairy by 9:45.
 
Bring cash for the tour fee of about $8 per person including children 2 years and older. Wear warm clothes appropriate for late October. Bring binoculars to look at grassland birds. The event will be canceled if the forecast is for rain or icy conditions all morning.
 
This will be
a fun outing both adults and kids/grandkids. To reserve your spot, contact Dennis Burnette, (deburnette@triad.rr.com).


(Homeland Creamery/photo by Dennis Burnette)

100 New Homes for Brown-headed Nuthatches

Two local Boy Scouts, Michael Duszka (at right) and Cole Bailey (below), each led other Scouts in the building of 50 Brown-headed Nuthatch houses to complete their Eagle Scout Leadership Service Projects. 

Each Boy Scout planned, built, and found locations for these birdhouses. They spent time teaching each participating Scout how to install, care for, monitor, and report data for the boxes. The Boy Scouts were able to fund their projects through community donations. 

TGPAS was excited to collaborate with Michael and Cole as they worked through their plans to complete the projects.

Audubon thanks them for helping the Brown-headed Nuthatch, a regional bird with a declining population, find new homes.
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TG Pearson Audubon Society · P.O. Box 10157 · Greensboro, NC 27404 · USA

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