Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Rules for the 2012 Grosse Pointe Birding Challenge

Join us on Monday, May 14, for the seventh annual Grosse Pointe Birding Challenge. Teams from each of the five Grosse Pointes will be spreading out across their communities to count as many bird species as possible. The team that gets the most points at the end of the competition wins.

The rules are pretty simple:

1. The competition starts at 5 a.m.

2. The Ford House is off limits -- too easy.

3. We're on the honor system. Nevertheless, claims of extremely rare birds will likely be challenged by the other competitors. You may be asked to provide proof.

4. The bonus bird this year is the Ruby-crowned Kinglet.

5. Meet at Panera Bread in the Village in Grosse Pointe at noon sharp to tabulate. Each team will receive one point for every species they see. You will receive one extra point for any species you see that no other team sees. The bonus bird is worth five points.

6. Be on time for the tabulation. One point will be deducted for each minute you are late.

7. All decisions of the Commissioner of the Grosse Pointe Birding Challenge are final and are not reviewable by a court of law or by congressional committee.

Non-Grosse Pointe residents are welcome. Sign up for a team at our April 16 meeting. Good luck!

Spring Newsletter

Spring 2010 Newsletter

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

"Asian Adventures: Ornithological Discoveries and Rediscoveries"


Grosse Pointe Audubon has hosted lots of great speakers and interesting people, but on Monday, April 19, we're going to be visited by an absolute superstar in the ornithological world. Pam Rasmussen, assistant curator at the Michigan State University Museum and assistant professor in the MSU Department of Zoology, will present "Asian Adventures: Ornithological Discoveries and Rediscoveries". Rasmussen will recount stories of her involvement in the descriptions of five bird species new to science and the rediscoveries and taxonomic re-evaluations of three others thought possibly extinct. One of the birds she re-discovered, the critically endangered forest owlet, is pictured above in an 1891 painting.

Rasmussen is co-author of "Birds of South Asia: The Ripley Guide" and is a member of the American Ornithologists Union's Committee on Classification & Nomenclature.

As always, social hour starts at 7 p.m., and the meeting starts at 7:30. This meeting is free and open to the public.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Spring at last!

Significantly warmer weather has ushered the first migrating birds into Grosse Pointe over the past week. Red-winged Blackbirds are already staking out territories along the Lake St. Clair shoreline, Common Grackles are dominating the feeders, Killdeer plovers are crying their names and Song Sparrows are singing happily. It's not too early to be thinking about butterflies, either. The first hibernating butterflies -- Mourning Cloak and Eastern Commas -- should be emerging in this warmer weather. It's also time to monitor the migration of the Monarch Butterflies from their winter home in Mexico. For more information see: http://www.learner.org/jnorth/monarch/index.htm .

Grosse Pointe Audubon will be holding is monthly meeting on Monday, March 15. The speaker that night will be Mike Fitzpatrick, who will present, "A Closer Look At Whitefish Point."

Finally, the date for the 2010 Grosse Pointe Birding Challenge has been set. We've had to juggle a little to accommodate everybody, but join us on Saturday, May 22, for this fun day of competitive birding. More information and rules will follow in the spring newsletter.