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On Thursday, April 8, Otter Creek Audubon held a special online Cabin Fever Lecture series event, Green Mountain Meadowlarks: Ecology and Conservation of an Imperiled Grassland Bird. Presented by Kevin Tolan, Staff Biologist and Grassland Bird Outreach Coordinator from The Vermont Center for Ecostudies, he told us about a new effort to conserve Eastern Meadowlarks. If you weren’t able to attend live, we have recorded it so that you can view it at your leisure.

Eastern Meadowlarks in the Northeast are rapidly declining; based on the latest USGS Breeding Bird Survey results, they’re undergoing an estimated 8.7% and 8.8% annual decline in Vermont and New Hampshire, respectively. With their recent designation of Threatened in New Hampshire, and imminent listing in Vermont, now is a golden opportunity for targeted survey efforts. VCE is partnering up with New Hampshire Audubon to launch a bi-state “blitz” this spring to encourage birders and community scientists to target areas of grassland habitat with the goal of seeking out meadowlarks. Participants are encouraged to adopt a local block to survey for meadowlarks and track land management. To learn more about the Blitz and how to participate please visit val.vtecostudies.org/projects/eastern-meadowlark-blitz/ or reach out via email at grasslands@vtecostudies.org

This was our final lecture of 2021. We plan to be back again next year with three more lectures to help you get through the winter, hopefully as in person events!

On Thursday, March 11, Otter Creek Audubon held the second our our Cabin Fever Lectures for this year, Birding New Zealand presented by OCAS Board Member, Gary Starr. In this presentation, Gary invites you to quell your wanderlust with a virtual birding tour of New Zealand, its birds, and its best bathrooms(?). New Zealand’s isolation gives it a collection of some of the most interesting, rare, and unique birds in the world. Kiwis, and many other charismatic species were on display in this entertaining show.

Though we had only planned two talks this years, we have now put together a third to help you get through whatever is left of winter. Next up, Green Mountain Meadowlarks: Ecology and Conservation of an Imperiled Grassland Bird Presented by Kevin Tolan, Staff Biologist and Grassland Bird Outreach Coordinator from The Vermont Center for Ecostudies. Kevin will tell us about a new effort to conserve Eastern Meadowlarks in our area that you can participate in. This event will take place on Thurs. Apr. 8, 7pm. Email us at ocasvt@gmail.com to register for this online event.

In the meantime, if you would like to see more, many of our past presentations can be viewed at this link.

On Thursday, February 17, The Green Mountain Audubon Society and Otter Creek Audubon held a joint online presentation, Black-capped Chickadees and The Fine Line Between Friend and Foe presented by OCAS Board Member, Dr. David Hof. Black-capped Chickadees are one of the most ubiquitous of our year-round bird species, and yet somehow always remain a joy to encounter. In this presentation we learned about these charismatic birds surprising and complex, life histories. If you missed it, you can watch it in its entirety in the embedded video above.

This was the first of two Cabin Fever Lectures we will be holding online this year. Next up, Birding New Zealand presented by Gary Starr, will take place on Thurs. Mar. 11, 7pm. Email us at ocasvt@gmail.com to sign up to register for this event. In the meantime, if you would like to see more, many of our past presentations can be viewed at this link.

On Thursday, March 12, at the Ilsley Public Library in Middlebury, Otter Creek Audubon held the last of our three Cabin Fever Lecture series presentations for 2020. ‘Why Ghana?’ presented by world-traveling birder, Hank Kaestner. Ghana is a seldom visited West African nation which is rich in history, culture and, of course, birds, many of which are range restricted to western Africa. From the rain forests in the south, to the sub-Saharan desert in the north, colorful birds abound. Hank spent two weeks chasing “lifers” there, seeing almost 300 species of birds, one third of which were new for his life list. If you missed this presentation it can viewed online here thanks to the production facilities of Middlebury Community Television.

Hank Kaestner

We will be back again next year with three new presentations, but in the meantime, if you would like to see more, many of our past presentations can be viewed at this link.

On Thursday, February 13, at the Ilsley Public Library in Middlebury, Otter Creek Audubon held the second of three Cabin Fever Lecture series presentations for 2020. ‘Plants for Birds’ was presented by Gwendolyn Causer, Audubon Vermont, teacher/naturalist and Communications Director. Native plants provide food and shelter for birds and wildlife. To survive, birds need native plants and the insects that have co-evolved with them. Bird-friendly landscaping provides food, saves water, and fights climate change. If you missed this presentation it can viewed online here thanks to the production facilities of Middlebury Community Television.

Our next lecture will be, ‘Why Ghana’ presented by Hank Kaestner. Ghana is a seldom visited West African nation which is rich in history, culture and, of course, birds, many of which are range restricted to western Africa. From the rain forests in the south, to the sub-Saharan desert in the north, colorful birds abound. Hank spent two weeks chasing “lifers” there, seeing almost 300 species of birds, one third of which were new for his life list.This will take place on March 11, 7pm at the Ilsley Library in Middlebury. In the meantime, if you would like to see more, many of our past presentations can be viewed at this link.

On Thursday, January 9, at the Ilsley Public Library in Middlebury, Otter Creek Audubon held our first of three Cabin Fever Lecture series presentations for 2020. Titled ‘The Search for Long-eared Owl in Addsion County,’ OCAS Board President, Ron Payne told us about a successful collaborative search to learn how to reliably find these elusive owls in our area. If you missed this presentation it can viewed online here thanks to the production facilities of Middlebury Community Television.

Our next lecture will be, ‘Plants for Birds,’ presented by Gwendolyn Causer, Audubon Vermont, teacher/naturalist and Communications Director. Native plants provide food and shelter for birds and wildlife. To survive, birds need native plants and the insects that have co-evolved with them. Bird-friendly landscaping provides food, saves water, and fights climate change. This will take place on February 13, 7pm at the Ilsley Library in Middlebury. In the meantime, if you would like to see more, many of our past presentations can be viewed at this link.

On Thursday, February 14,  at the Ilsley Public Library in Middlebury, Otter Creek Audubon held our second Cabin Fever Lecture series presentation of the winter. Titled Antarctic Birding Adventure, OCAS Board members, Gary & Kathy Starr gave us a photo travelogue of their 2017 trip to Tierra del Fuego and the southern terminus of the Andes, the Falklands, South Georgia, the Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula. If you missed this presentation it can viewed online here thanks to the production facilities of Middlebury Community Television. Read the rest of this entry »

On Thursday, January 10,  at the Ilsley Public Library in Middlebury, Otter Creek Audubon held our first Cabin Fever Lecture series presentation of the winter. Titled Iceland and Ice Land, world-traveling bird, Hank Kaestner talked about two recent trips he took to Icleand and Alaska. If you missed this presentation it can viewed online here thanks to the production facilities of Middlebury Community Television. Read the rest of this entry »

On Thursday, March 15,  at the Ilsley Public Library in Middlebury, Otter Creek Audubon held our third Cabin Fever Lecture series presentation of the winter on Pine Martens, presented by Vermont Fish & Wildlife biologist, Chris Bernier. This talk centered on reintroduction efforts for this weasel family species, explained their current status in Vermont and their difficult relationship with Fishers. If you missed this presentation it can viewed online here thanks to the production facilities of Middlebury Community Television.

bernier

Chris Bernier

Normally we only hold three presentations over the winter, but next moth we will be hosting a special presentation by Mark LaBarr and Margaret Fowle giving us the results of their Golden-winged Warbler migration tracking project. That will take place April 12, 7pm at the Ilsley Library in Middlebury. In the meantime, if you would like to see more, many of our past presentations can be viewed at this link.

– Ron Payne

tracksfooter

On Thursday, February 15,  at the Ilsley Public Library in Middlebury, Otter Creek Audubon held our second of three Cabin Fever Lecture series presentation of the winter with Hank Kaestner giving a talk about a recent trip he took to Ecuador where he saw almost 400 bird species in one week, including 45 different hummingbirds! They are the jewels of Ecuador! If you missed this presentation it can viewed online here thanks to the production facilities of Middlebury Community Television. Read the rest of this entry »

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