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May 2018

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Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
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NIAS Membership Meeting and Potluck: Experience the Beauty of the PrairieField Trip: Spring Birding at Whitefish Point
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Field Trip: Spring Birding at Whitefish Point
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Field Trip: Spring Birding at Whitefish PointBird Walk: Northern Jane Addams Trail, Orangeville
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Field Trip: Spring Birding at Whitefish Point
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Annual Birdathon Fundraiser
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Bird Walk: Krape Park, Freeport, IL
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Stewardship: Freeport Prairie
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Annual Bird Festival at Silver Creek Biodiversity Preserve
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NIAS Board of Directors MeetingMeeting: Conservation Committee
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Bird Walk: Oakdale Nature Preserve, Newell Tract
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Stewardship: Elkhorn Creek Biodiversity Preserve
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Bird Walk: Harry and Dorothy Espenscheid Forest Preserve
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Meeting:
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Field Trip: An Evening of Birding at Lost MoundStewardship: Elkhorn Creek Biodiversity Preserve, Swamp Sparrow Wetland
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Stewardship: Silver Creek Biodiversity Preserve
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Bird Walk: Elkhorn Creek Biodiversity Preserve
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First Campfire at Silver Creek Biodiversity Preserve
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MeetingsNIAS Membership Meeting and Potluck: Experience the Beauty of the Prairie

Tuesday, May 1, 2018
6 p.m.
St. John United Church of Christ, 1010 Park Blvd., Freeport, IL

Experience the Beauty of the Prairie

Join John and Joyce Mori for this exciting presentation!

May meeting is a potluck at 6:00 PM, followed by the program at 7:15 PM.

This meeting starts an hour earlier than most because it begins with a delicious potluck dinner. Bring a dish to share and your own table service. Our chapter will provide beverages. The meeting and program will follow immediately after the dinner. If you only want to attend the meeting and program, plan to arrive around 7:15.

Our program will feature Joyce and John Mori who will be presenting a virtual walk through the prairies in Illinois, exploring through photography the hidden and often-missed beauty of our local prairies. As Henry David Thoreau wrote, “It’s not what you look at that matters; it’s what you see.” John and Joyce encourage you to see prairies in a new way, experiencing the prairie as a means of increasing both learning and enjoyment. During the presentation you will not just see the prairie but you will experience the prairie features. The program will include numerous delightful close up images of the prairie to spark your enthusiasm for the wonderful prairies we have in our Prairie State.

Our meetings are free and open to the public!

Field TripsBird Walk: Northern Jane Addams Trail, Orangeville

Thursday, May 3, 2018
7:30 – 11 a.m.
Jane Addams Trail, Orangeville, IL
Leader: Somer Bozovsky 815-275-0719

Northern Jane Addams Trail and the Orangeville Wetlands. Meet at the trailhead in Orangeville, just east of the BP gas station.

All of the walks will begin at 8 a.m. and conclude at 11 a.m. Feel free to join or depart the group at any time during those three hours. Join the carpool at the Staples east lot in Freeport at 7:30 a.m.

EventsAnnual Birdathon Fundraiser

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Leader: Mary Blackmore, 815-938-3204

39th Annual Birdathon Fundraiser!  Your pledge is MOST welcome! See page 8 of the current newsletter for how you can make a contribution that will help birds on their wintering grounds, migration corridors and nesting habitats.

This year our chapter marks its 39th year of sponsoring a BIRDATHON fundraising event! In that time thousands of dollars have been raised for bird conservation. Please join us in making this year’s effort our best yet! We invite you to make a pledge to any of the birders who will be participating in our chapter’s annual BIRDATHON on May 6.

Field TripsBird Walk: Krape Park, Freeport, IL

Tuesday, May 8, 2018
8 – 11 a.m.
Krape Park, 1799 Park Blvd, Freeport, IL
Leader: Laura Dufford 815-947-2720

Meet in the parking lot by the dam.

All of the walks will begin at 8 a.m. and conclude at 11 a.m. Feel free to join or depart the group at any time during those three hours.

Stewardship DaysStewardship: Freeport Prairie

Thursday, May 10, 2018
10 a.m. – noon
Freeport Prairie, Freeport, IL
Leaders: Mary Blackmore, 815-938-3204 or Nancy Ocken, rnocken@gmail.com

We'll be working on Wild Parsnip and Garlic Mustard at the Freeport Prairie. Early removal means we just slice and fling with our trusty parsnip predator tools and don’t have to carry out seedheads. Be sure to wear a hat, long sleeves, long pants (light colored is best) and socks long enough to tuck your pant legs into (for tick detection).

Tools, gloves, water and snacks will be provided. If weather is questionable call Mary at 815-938-3204 or email Nancy at rnocken@gmail.com. The Freeport Prairie is located off of Walnut Rd. on Freeport’s south side. Park in the small grassy area on the east side of Walnut.

EventsAnnual Bird Festival at Silver Creek Biodiversity Preserve

Saturday, May 12, 2018
8 – 11 a.m.
Silver Creek Biodiversity Preserve, Leaf River, IL
Leader: Mary Blackmore, 815-938-3204

Join us on May 12 for an informative, fun, family-friendly morning as we explore the Silver
Creek Biodiversity Preserve for the many migrating and resident birds found there.

One hundred and one species of birds have been documented in the grasslands, woodlands and stream sides of Silver Creek. If the weather cooperates, we should observe lots of migrating and resident songbirds.

Tours will begin at 8:00, 9:00 and 10:00 a.m. Free “Illinois Birds” pocket guides will be distributed while supplies last. We’ll have a shady rest area with chairs, as well as a restroom, beverages and snacks. There are no fees.

The preserve is located about 2 miles south of Leaf River (S. Main St. in Leaf River becomes Leaf River Rd.), with parking just off of Leaf River Rd. If weather is questionable, call Mary at 815-938-3204. We hope to see you there!

MeetingsMeeting: Conservation Committee

Monday, May 14, 2018
6 – 7 p.m.
St. John United Church of Christ, 1010 Park Blvd., Freeport, IL

MeetingsNIAS Board of Directors Meeting

Monday, May 14, 2018
7 – 9 p.m.
St. John United Church of Christ, 1010 Park Blvd., Freeport, IL

Field TripsBird Walk: Oakdale Nature Preserve, Newell Tract

Wednesday, May 16, 2018
8 – 11 a.m.
Oakdale Nature Preserve, 4433 S. Cranes Grove Rd., Freeport, IL
Leader: Anne Straight 815-938-3263

Newell Tract, Oakdale Nature Preserve, rural Freeport. Meet in the parking area of the Newell Tract (the part of Oakdale on the west side of Crane’s Grove Rd.)

Stewardship DaysStewardship: Elkhorn Creek Biodiversity Preserve

Friday, May 18, 2018
10 a.m. – noon
Elkhorn Creek Biodiversity Preserve
Leaders: Mary Blackmore, 815-938-3204 or Nancy Ocken, rnocken@gmail.com

We'll be working on Wild Parsnip and Garlic Mustard at our Elkhorn Creek Biodiversity Preserve. Early removal means we just slice and fling with our trusty parsnip predator tools and don’t have to carry out seedheads. Be sure to wear a hat, long sleeves, long pants (light colored is best) and socks long enough to tuck your pant legs into (for tick detection).

Tools, gloves, water and snacks will be provided. If weather is questionable call Mary at 815-938-3204 or email Nancy at rnocken@gmail.com. The preserve is located about 3 miles southwest of Forreston in the southwest corner of West Grove and Freeport Rds. The parking lot is off of West Grove Rd. Carpool from the Staples east lot in Freeport at 9:30 a.m.

Field TripsBird Walk: Harry and Dorothy Espenscheid Forest Preserve

Monday, May 21, 2018
8 – 11 a.m.
Espenscheid Forest Preserve, northeast of Freeport, IL
Leader: Richard Benning 815-865-5279

Carpool at 7:30 a.m. or follow these directions: from the junction of HWY 20 Bypass and HWY 75, take HWY 75 about 5 miles to Cedarville Rd., turn right (east) on Cedarville Rd. and drive 4.2 miles to Eggert Rd., turn left (north) on Eggert and go 1.8 miles to Farm School Rd. turn right (east) and go 0.3 miles to the preserve (on north side of the road).

MeetingsMeeting: "Talking About the Issues"

Wednesday, May 23, 2018
7 – 9 p.m.
1809 Parkview Circle, Freeport, IL
Leaders: Fred and Carol Redmore, 815-721-3375

“Talking About the Issues” monthly discussion session, 7-9 p.m. at the home of Fred and Carol Redmore, 1809 Parkview Circle, Freeport, 815-721-3375. The first hour topic will be announced; for a copy of the article contact Redmores. The second hour will be discussion of whatever issues are brought forth by participants. All are welcome.

Other/MiscellaneousStewardship: Elkhorn Creek Biodiversity Preserve, Swamp Sparrow Wetland

Thursday, May 24, 2018
8 – 10 a.m.
Elkhorn Creek Biodiversity Preserve, Forreston, IL
Leader: Juliet Moderow, 201-233-0946

Please join us for this stewardship session. Depending upon the site or week, we will be doing a variety of tasks such as removing sweet clover, burdock and wild parsnip, cutting brush, gir­dling saplings or otherwise reducing the competition to our native prairie, woodland and wetland remnants.

You Supply: Wear long pants, long sleeves, socks long enough to tuck your pant legs into (for tick avoidance), a hat and footwear that can get wet (earlier is dewier!). Take along insect repellent and sunscreen.

We Supply: Tools, gloves, water, snacks and directions about our work always will be provided.

Carpool from the Staples east lot in Freeport at 6:30 a.m. The preserve is located about 3 miles southwest of Forreston in the southeast of West Grove and Freeport Rds. The parking lot is off West Grove Rd.

If the weather is questionable or you need more information, contact the listed leader(s).

Field TripsField Trip: An Evening of Birding at Lost Mound

Thursday, May 24, 2018
5:30 – 10:30 p.m.
Lost Mound Unit of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge, Savanna, IL
Leader: Mary Blackmore, 815-938-3204

Join us as we travel alongside sand prairies, sand savannas, and the mighty Mississippi in search of birds at the Lost Mound Unit of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge just north of Savanna. Of primary interest will be the awesome courtship display of the Common Nighthawk, as well as vocalizations of both the Whip-poor-wills and American Woodcocks. There will be enough time to observe many of the grassland species of Lost Mound as well.

Carpool from Staples east lot in Freeport at 5:30 p.m. or meet at the Fish and Wildlife office building at 6:30. Return to Freeport around 10:30 p.m. Call Mary to confirm your attendance.

Stewardship DaysStewardship: Silver Creek Biodiversity Preserve

Saturday, May 26, 2018
9 – 11 a.m.
Silver Creek Biodiversity Preserve
Leaders: Mary Blackmore, 815-938-3204 or Nancy Ocken, rnocken@gmail.com

We'll be working on Wild Parsnip and Garlic Mustard at our Silver Creek Biodiversity Preserve. Early removal means we just slice and fling with our trusty parsnip predator tools and don’t have to carry out seedheads. Be sure to wear a hat, long sleeves, long pants (light colored is best) and socks long enough to tuck your pant legs into (for tick detection).

Tools, gloves, water and snacks will be provided. If weather is questionable call Mary at 815-938-3204 or email Nancy at rnocken@gmail.com. Our Silver Creek preserve is located about 2 miles south of Leaf River (S. Main St. in Leaf River becomes Leaf River Rd.), with parking just off of Leaf River Rd. Carpool from the Staples parking lot at 8:15 a.m.

Field TripsBird Walk: Elkhorn Creek Biodiversity Preserve

Tuesday, May 29, 2018
8 – 11 a.m.
Elkhorn Creek Biodiversity Preserve, Forreston, IL
Leader: Mary Blackmore 815-938-3204

Elkhorn Creek Biodiversity Preserve, 3 miles southwest of Forreston in the southeast corner of West Grove and Freeport Rds. The parking area is off of West Grove Rd. Carpool at 7:30 a.m. We also hope to observe blooming spring prairie flowers.

EventsFirst Campfire at Silver Creek Biodiversity Preserve

Wednesday, May 30, 2018
7 p.m.
Silver Creek Biodiversity Preserve, Leaf River, IL
Leader: Mary Blackmore, 815-938-3204

First Campfire of the year at our Silver Creek Biodiversity Preserve. At 7 p.m. we’ll take a leisurely stroll to observe blooming plants and nesting birds. The campfire will start at 8 p.m. S’mores and water will be provided. Bring a lawn chair and flashlight.

Carpool from the Staples east lot in Freeport at 6:15. The preserve is located about 2 miles south of Leaf River (S. Main St. in Leaf River becomes Leaf River Rd.), with parking just off of Leaf River Rd. If weather is questionable call Mary at 815-938-3204.