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March 2017

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Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
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Audubon in the Library: National Parks
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The Prairie Enthusiasts 29th Annual Conference
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NIAS Monthly Meeting: Citizen Science, Dan Williams
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Elkhorn Creek Woodcock Watch
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Audubon in the Library: Special National Parks Centennial Program
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Family Event: First day of Spring Hike at Oakdale Nature PreserveField Trip: Skunk Cabbage at Castle Rock State Park
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Elkhorn Creek Woodcock Watch
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Conservation Conversations
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Elkhorn Creek Woodcock Watch
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EventsAudubon in the Library: National Parks

Wednesday, March 1, 2017
10:30 – 11 a.m.
Freeport Public Library, 100 E Douglas St, Freeport, IL

Wildlife Wednesday:
"National Parks"

An Audubon member hosts a monthly series called Wildlife Wednesdays at the Freeport
Public Library. During the program, there is first a special story time followed by an activity related to the theme. This free program is appropriate for ages 2-7.

Other/MiscellaneousThe Prairie Enthusiasts 29th Annual Conference

Saturday, March 4, 2017
Eagle Ridge Resort, Galena, IL
 
The event, hosted by the Northwest Illinois chapter, will be held at the Eagle Ridge Resort
and Spa in Galena, IL. This year’s theme will be Landscapes of the Future: Challenges & Opportunities. More details will be posted at www.theprairieenthusiasts.org as they become available.

MeetingsNIAS Monthly Meeting: Citizen Science, Dan Williams

Tuesday, March 7, 2017
7 p.m.
St. John United Church of Christ, 1010 Park Blvd., Freeport, IL

Dan Williams will discuss Citizen Scientist contributions to ornithology. Williams was one of the founding members and later president of the Sinnissippi Audubon Society of Rockford in the early 1970s. He has been involved in in the North Central Illinois Ornithology Society, American Birding Association, Burpee Museum of Natural History, Illinois Audubon Society, and Bat Conservation International. He is a current board member of the Natural Land Institute (and former president) and serves on the Land Advisory Council for the Forest Preserves of Winnebago County. He is a retired attorney spending more time than ever on birding adventures.

Other/MiscellaneousElkhorn Creek Woodcock Watch

Thursday, March 16, 2017
7 p.m.
Elkhorn Creek Biodiversity Preserve
Leader: Mary Blackmore, 815-938-3204

Join us for this evening outing to watch and listen for American Woodcocks performing their amazing courtship display . The “Sky Dance” itself is part ground-strutting and part flight zig-zagging, barely visible in the early evening sky. More fascinating perhaps are the sounds that go with it, the repetitious vocal “peent!” followed by the twittering and chirping sounds made when air rushes through primary flight feathers during the birds’ descent. On a quiet evening it is pure audio magic.

In the past we have had 2-6 woodcocks performing their twighlight display for about 2-3 weeks. When and if this begins is an educated guess so be sure to call the listed leader before you make the trip to confirm that the birds are back and that the weather is suitable.

Carpool from the Staples lot in Freeport at 6:30 p.m. or meet at the preserve at 7:00. The preserve is located about 3 miles southwest of Forreston in the southeast corner of West Grove and Freeport Roads. The parking lot is off of West Grove Rd. Make time to experience this unique avian harbinger of spring. The joy will be all yours.

EventsAudubon in the Library: Special National Parks Centennial Program

Friday, March 17, 2017
3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Freeport Public Library, 100 E Douglas St, Freeport, IL
Leader: Juliet Moderow

The National Park Service (NPS) turned 100 on August 25, 2016. Juliet Moderow will talk to the kids about the NPS, share the locations of many parks, explain their importance, and help get the kids excited about visiting the parks someday. She will have activities about exploring federal lands and waters, environmental stewardship, our nation’s native peoples, and citizen science. This program is targeted for older children.

EventsFamily Event: First day of Spring Hike at Oakdale Nature Preserve

Saturday, March 18, 2017
10 – 11:30 a.m.
Oakdale Nature Preserve, 4433 S. Cranes Grove Rd., Freeport, IL
Leader: Juliet Moderow, 201-233-0946

Open to ALL ages. Celebrate the first day of spring by being outside! Juliet will provide binoculars for the kids to use to see which birds have returned to the area and find the resident birds as well. We will look for other signs of wildlife and any emerging plant life ready for spring.

Dress appropriately for weather! Sign-ups are encouraged – please use Facebook or call Juliet at 201-233-0946. Call if weather is questionable. Meet in the parking area of the Newell Tract, found on the West side of Cranes Grove Road.

Field TripsField Trip: Skunk Cabbage at Castle Rock State Park

Saturday, March 18, 2017
1:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Castle Rock State Park Overlook
Leader: Mary Blackmore, 815-938-3204

Finding that wetland harbinger of spring, Skunk Cabbage, is always a delight. Often heat from the growing plant melts a circle of snow around it as it emerges from the ground. This portion of Castle Rock includes the Fell Nature Preserve. A walking stick will be handy as the ground is uneven in this area.

Carpool from the Forreston Municipal lot at 1:30 p.m. or meet us in the parking lot of the Castle Rock State Park Overlook, about 4 miles south of Oregon on Hwy. 2. Predicting plant emergence is an educated guess; be sure to sign up for this trip so that you can be contacted if cancellation is necessary.

Meetings"Talking About the Issues"

Tuesday, March 21, 2017
7 – 9 p.m.
201 W Zimmerman S, Dakota, IL
Leader: Chris Kruger, 815-238-9259

Our monthly discussion will be at the home of Chris Kruger. The topic for the first hour will be the way that greenhouse gases affect the retention of solar radiation and the effect these gases have had on Earth’s climate over the course of millions of years. Information on this topic will be available at the March meeting. The second hour will be the customary discussion of whatever issues are brought forth by participants. All are welcome to attend
this issues discussion.

Carpool from the Staples parking lot in Freeport at 6:30 or call Chris for directions.

Other/MiscellaneousElkhorn Creek Woodcock Watch

Wednesday, March 22, 2017
7 p.m.
Elkhorn Creek Biodiversity Preserve
Leader: Anne Straight, 815-938-3263

Join us for this evening outing to watch and listen for American Woodcocks performing their amazing courtship display . The “Sky Dance” itself is part ground-strutting and part flight zig-zagging, barely visible in the early evening sky. More fascinating perhaps are the sounds that go with it, the repetitious vocal “peent!” followed by the twittering and chirping sounds made when air rushes through primary flight feathers during the birds’ descent. On a quiet evening it is pure audio magic.

In the past we have had 2-6 woodcocks performing their twighlight display for about 2-3 weeks. When and if this begins is an educated guess so be sure to call the listed leader before you make the trip to confirm that the birds are back and that the weather is suitable.

Carpool from the Staples lot in Freeport at 6:30 p.m. or meet at the preserve at 7:00. The preserve is located about 3 miles southwest of Forreston in the southeast corner of West Grove and Freeport Roads. The parking lot is off of West Grove Rd. Make time to experience this unique avian harbinger of spring. The joy will be all yours.

MeetingsConservation Conversations

Thursday, March 23, 2017
5:30 p.m.
Amigos, 306 N Galena Ave, Freeport, IL

Conservation Conversations
Please join us for good company, good food and the chance to talk about conservation issues.

Other/MiscellaneousElkhorn Creek Woodcock Watch

Wednesday, March 29, 2017
7 p.m.
Elkhorn Creek Biodiversity Preserve
Leader: Mary Blackmore, 815-938-3204

Join us for this evening outing to watch and listen for American Woodcocks performing their amazing courtship display . The “Sky Dance” itself is part ground-strutting and part flight zig-zagging, barely visible in the early evening sky. More fascinating perhaps are the sounds that go with it, the repetitious vocal “peent!” followed by the twittering and chirping sounds made when air rushes through primary flight feathers during the birds’ descent. On a quiet evening it is pure audio magic.

In the past we have had 2-6 woodcocks performing their twighlight display for about 2-3 weeks. When and if this begins is an educated guess so be sure to call the listed leader before you make the trip to confirm that the birds are back and that the weather is suitable.

Carpool from the Staples lot in Freeport at 6:30 p.m. or meet at the preserve at 7:00. The preserve is located about 3 miles southwest of Forreston in the southeast corner of West Grove and Freeport Roads. The parking lot is off of West Grove Rd. Make time to experience this unique avian harbinger of spring. The joy will be all yours.