Tech Night, April 9, 2013, Smartphones and Other Technology Helping Hikers and Wildlife in AZ

Desert Rivers Audubon's mobile birding sites app in development.

Desert Rivers Audubon’s mobile birding sites app in development.

Join us Tuesday, April 9, 2013, 7:00 pm, Gilbert Community Center, 130 North Oak Street, Gilbert for Tech Night-Smartphones & Other Technology Helping Hikers & Wildlife in AZ.

We’ll demonstrate our own app, 101+ Birding Sites-Phoenix  (available for iOS & Android), as well as eBird, the citizen science database from Cornell Lab of Ornithology used by tens of thousands of wildlife enthusiasts  for bird sightings & locations.
“I’ll also talk about apps used to identify native plants and Arizona Games & Fish Department’s mobile technology,” said Eileen M. Kane, Desert Rivers Audubon Communications Director and this night’s presenter. “We have free versions of our own app available as well.”

Jamie Bradford (far right), Desert Rivers Audubon's Education Director, works with developers from Spark Design, Tempe.

Jamie Bradford (far right), Desert Rivers Audubon’s Education Director, works with developers from Spark Design, Tempe.

Come early to browse our mobile book shop, visit, and discover volunteer opportunities with Desert Rivers Audubon.

FREE. Light refreshments served.

Audubon launches multistate Rivers Advocacy Network

Black-crowned Night Heron

Black-crowned Night Heron

In the arid West we are all connected by rivers; they are the lifeblood of our land, our economy, our way of life. Western rivers—including the Colorado, the Verde, the Gila and the San Pedro, provide water for tens of millions of people, including twenty-two Native American tribes and the cities of Denver, Phoenix, Albuquerque and Tucson.

We aren’t alone in our reliance on western rivers. Ninety percent of Central Flyway birds depend on these waterways for their survival.

Unfortunately our rivers are in jeopardy. Drought, invasive species, over-allocation and unsustainable management are running our rivers dry. Many of the birds that depend on them, like the Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo and Bell’s Vireo, are in decline, and the future of the communities and economies surrounding our rivers is uncertain.

Audubon is taking a major step to address the threats to our western rivers. This spring we’re launching the Western Rivers Action Network, a multistate grassroots coalition to advocate for our rivers and the bird species that depend on them.

To lead the development of the Arizona network, we’ve engaged Sarah Luna, a seasoned conservation professional who brings a MGatRioSalado7wealth of skills to Audubon. Sarah will be reaching out to Audubon members across the state to get your input on how to make the Western Rivers Action Network a success and to find out how the network can support your chapter’s riparian conservation work.

Interested in being a part of the Western Rivers Action Network? There are many opportunities for volunteer advocates! Contact us to find out more. Email riosalado@audubon.org or Sarah Porter at sporter@audubon.org.

‘Second Chance for Wild Wings’ with Liberty Wildlife, part of the Arizona SciTech Festival, March 12

Join us Tuesday, March 12, 7:00 pm, Gilbert Community Center, 130 North Oak Street, Gilbert for Second Chance for Wild Wings as volunteers with Liberty Wildlife demonstrate the resilience and care required of injured Arizona wildlife.

Bring kids and cameras and be ready for raptor stare-downs.

Bring kids and cameras and be ready for raptor stare-downs.

Bring kids & cameras as we visit with some of Arizona’s most charismatic birds (which may include eagles, owls or hawks).
Come early to browse our mobile book shop, visit, and discover volunteer opportunities with Desert Rivers Audubon.
FREE. Light refreshments served.

Feb2012DRAS2Part of the Arizona Scitech Festival.

Spearheaded by Arizona Science Center, the Arizona Technology Council Foundation, Arizona Commerce Authority, Arizona State University, and the University of Arizona and over 350 organizations statewide, the Arizona SciTech Festival, held annually in February and March celebrates the scientific wonders, resources, and opportunities in our state and their potential global impact.

Join Desert Rivers Audubon for the Great Backyard Bird Count February 15-18, 2013

Kick-off Saturday, February 16th @ Gilbert Riparian Preserve

Join Desert Rivers Audubon at the Gilbert Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch, 2757 E. Guadalupe Road Gilbert, to kick-off the Great Backyard Bird Count, Saturday, February 16, 2013, 8am-12 noon.

The goal of The Great Backyard Bird Count is to watch birds for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count then enter tallies at the Count’s website. Watch live data coming in and look up your area by zip code to see the Count progress in your city. Anyone can participate; it’s free. Participants can count anywhere they wish, not just in backyards, but in neighborhoods, parks, nature centers, or anywhere they see birds.

The Great Backyard Bird Count is a joint project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, National Audubon Society, Bird Studies Canada and sponsored by Wild Birds Unlimited.

“This year’s count will give us a whole new perspective as sightings pour in from around the globe in real time,” said Marshall Iliff at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. “Millions of people encounter birds every day all over the world. Imagine what scientists will learn if each one of us shares observations from our own area!

“Once again, we’ll be able to coach East Valley residents in their bird identification skills Saturday during our free Family Birdwalk at Gilbert Riparian Preserve, Saturday, February 16, 2013, 8am-noon,” added Eileen Kane, Communications Director, Desert Rivers Audubon Society. “We hope to see those citizen scientists who helped us last year as well as new folks interested in knowing more about their neighborhood wildlife. Kids can count, too!”

During the 2012 count, participants reported 17.4 million bird observations on 104,000 checklists.

Keep watch for American Goldfinch.

“The GBBC is an ideal opportunity for young and old to connect with nature by discovering birds and to participate in a huge science project,” said Gary Langham, Audubon’s Chief Scientist. “This year, we hope people on all seven continents, oceans, and islands, will head out into their neighborhoods, rural areas, parks, and wilderness to further our understanding of birds across the hemispheres.”

Part of the Arizona SciTech Festival.

‘Arizona Raptors: Off and On the Radar’ part of the Arizona SciTech Festival, February 12

Join us Tuesday, February 12, 7:00 pm, Gilbert Community Center, 130 North Oak Street, Gilbert as Richard Glinski, editor of Raptors of Arizona, discusses Arizona Raptors: Off and On the Radar.

Glinski, Park Supervisor, Desert Outdoor Center at Lake Pleasant, Maricopa County Parks & Recreation Department, shares stories about and his passion for conserving the eagles, hawks, kites, and owls of Arizona.

With over 40 species of birds of prey calling Arizona home, there will be ample time to admire these amazing raptor in photographs and descriptions of personal encounters.

Come early to browse our mobile book shop, visit, and discover volunteer opportunities with Desert Rivers Audubon.
FREE. Light refreshments served.

Part of the Arizona SciTech Festival.

Join us as we celebrate the Great Backyard Bird Count at Gilbert Riparian Preserve with the Arizona SciTech Festival February 16: http://azscitechfest.org/events/great-backyard-bird-count-gilbert-riparian-preserve

Join us as we celebrate the Great Backyard Bird Count at Gilbert Riparian Preserve with the Arizona SciTech Festival February 16, 2013, 8 am-noon.

For those who are not familiar with the Arizona SciTech Festival, this annual five-week festivity celebrates the scientific wonders, resources, and opportunities in our state and their potential global impact. The Festival integrates its interactive messaging in all corners of the state to all ages by collaborating with Arizona’s cultural, educational, research and business communities to explore the vital roles of science, engineering and technology in our own environments, across our nation and the world.

S3C: STEM Student Science Cafes, science fun for tweens & teens first Tuesdays, Bookmans, Mesa

In partnership with the Arizona SciTech Festival & Bookman’s Entertainment Exchange, Mesa, Desert Rivers Audubon Stem Science Cafe FB2hosts monthly Science Cafes for Middle & High School Students on the first Tuesday of the month.
STEM Student Science Cafe (“S3C”) is an event that takes place in a casual setting; is open to Middle & High Schools Students, their parents & siblings; and features an engaging conversation with a scientist about a particular topic. Learn something new, ask questions, and meet other science fans!

Run by students for students

Lori Whipple, Mesa Community Relations, Bookmans Entertainment Exchange

“Run by students for the students, we love the new direction the Bookmans Science Cafe is taking,” said Lori Whipple, Mesa Community Relations, Bookmans Entertainment Exchange. “Our continuing partnership with Desert Rivers Audubon and The Arizona SciTech Festival will ensure that STEM is something to be celebrated year round.”

“We’re looking forward to having the students moderate and choose topics they would like to discuss with a scientist or engineer,” said Desert Rivers Audubon Communications Director Eileen Kane, “instead of having a science cafe done by adults for or at students.”

“Stuff About the Universe” Tuesday, February 5

ASU physicist Subir Sabharwal talks with students about the cosmos with volunteer student moderator Emma.

ASU physicist Subir Sabharwal talks with students about the cosmos with volunteer student moderator Emma.

Our pre-Festival cafe features ASU Physics Dept. cosmologist Subir Sabharwal discussing “Stuff About the Universe,” with middle school volunteer moderator, Emma, Tuesday, February 5, 2013, 6:30pm, Bookmans Mesa, 1056 S. County Club Dr., Mesa, 480-835-0505.

 “Citizen Science”  Tuesday, March 5

Gail Morris will let students know how they can participate in Monarch butterfly tagging.

Gail Morris will let students know how they can participate in Monarch butterfly tagging.

During the Arizona SciTech Festival, March 5, 2013, 6:30pm and again at Bookmans Mesa, we’ll feature the topic of “Citizen Science” with Eric Proctor, Arizona Game and Fish Department and Gail Morris of MonarchWatch and the Southwest Monarch Study. Eric will highlight the many citizen science projects that support our understanding of our unique desert ecosystems and how you can help. Gail will discusses her work tagging and tracking Monarch butterflies.

Kids’ vote counts, Tuesday, April 9

Our next STEM Student Science Cafe topic, April 9, 2013, will be decided by the participants in the two previous S3C events.

Dedicated citizen scientist Tom Cole talks Gilbert’s Neely ponds January 8th

TomColebookTuesday, January 8, 2013, 7 pm, Tom Cole, author of The Intersection: Seventeen Years of Bird Processing on One Street Corner of the World , reviewed here, joins Desert Rivers Audubon to discuss his long-term citizen science study of Gilbert’s Neely Ponds over the course of 17 years at Gilbert Community Center, 130 North Oak Street, Gilbert, AZ 85233.

Cole, creator of educational computer games such as Preposition Pinball, made over a thousand trips to

Birder From Maricopa blogger Tommy J. DeBardeleben has experience with Gilbert’s Neely Ponds.

the intersection of Elliot & Cooper Roads to study a small, urban habitat. In the course of his study, Cole recorded over 13,000 birds. Learn more about the health of our East Valley urban habitats and the motivation behind a dedicated amateur scientist and educator.

Come early to browse our mobile book shop, visit, and discover volunteer opportunities with Desert Rivers Audubon.

FREE. Light refreshments served.

Volunteers needed for Hope Kids birdwalks in January

Anne Koch,
Volunteer Coordinator,
Desert Rivers Audubon
atredray@gmail.com
kidsWe have 2 important events upcoming in the New Year for which we will need extra volunteers, both in our booth and to do birdwalks, with children and families. Both will be at Gilbert Riparian.
On Sat Jan 12th, from 9:15 am, we will be taking out families from the Hope Kids organisation. These families have children with severe disabilities and /or life threatening or chronic illness. Hope Kids organizes activities for these families each weekend.
On Sat  Feb 9th, from 9:45 am, we will be taking out families from the Foundation for Blind Children, whose purpose is to create opportunities for anyone with vision loss to achieve, and provide a support system for families. We will have birdsong recordings and tactile (hands on) activities for these children. You do not need to be an expert birder to help out as the birding will be very basic and you will be given information to help you make this a rewarding experience for both you and the children.
Liberty Wildlife will be doing a presentation for both groups and we will have a craft activity afterwards for them. Several members of the board have been working hard putting all this in place.
We will need help setting up, from 8:30 am, and with the crafts after the walk. We generally have an excellent turnout for both events, usually anywhere from 10 to 20 “Hope” families, and around 20 blind children, with their helpers.
Please let me know if you think you can help out in any way, or if you have any questions. These are such rewarding activities. The first birdwalk I helped with, was with the Hope Kids, and it got me hooked!
Thank you so much!

My Ten Favorite Birding Spots in the World with Dr. David Pearson, December 11th

Dr. David Pearson, Arizona State University Research Professor, School of Life Sciences, will talk about “My Ten Favorite Birding Spots in the World,” Tuesday, December 11, 2012, 7pm, Gilbert Community Center, 130 N. Oak Street (2 blocks North of Elliot and 2 blocks West of Gilbert Rd).

Pearson’s narratives are featured in National Geographic’s “Global Birding: Traveling the World in Search of Birds” by Les Beletsky.

Dr. Pearson’s research is focused on the interaction of history and ecology in structuring communities. He also works on developing new techniques for environmental education, especially in South America. His latest book is “A Field Guide to the Tiger Beetles of the United States and Canada: Identification, Natural History, and Distribution of the Cicindelidae.”

Come early to browse our mobile book shop, visit, and discover volunteer opportunities with Desert Rivers Audubon.

FREE. Light refreshments served.

What we accomplished this past year and our plans for the future

By Krys Hammers,
President
Desert Rivers Audubon

Dear Desert Rivers Audubon Members and Friends,

Krys Hammers (l), President, Desert Rivers Audubon, with Greg Clark of Wild at Heart and feather friend.

At the end of each year, we assess what we accomplished in the past year, and make plans for the future. We also make this appeal to our friends to consider giving Desert Rivers a special gift above and beyond your membership dues.

Since membership dues do not begin to cover operation costs, we depend upon corporate gifts, book sales, recycling of aluminum cans, raffle income, and our year-end appeal to help keep Desert Rivers financially healthy and moving forward. In these tough economic times, charitable giving for conservation is on the decrease, and yet the needs remain.

Desert Rivers has continued to actively work to fulfill our mission: to educate and inspire our community on birds, wildlife and their habitats.

Last year, Desert Rivers engaged the public and its members with the following programs, all of which are free.

We received a Together Green grant to partner with Wild at Heart to build 100 burrows for Burrowing Owls at Zanjero Park. The burrows were built in Oct, 2011 and 10 owls were released in April. Again this spring we will build a tent to temporarily house another 10 owls. After 30 days they will be released to the area.

We’ve recently hosted our first annual Tour de Bird, a tour of urban bird habitats that demonstrate how everyone can help birds in their own backyard.

The Field Trips program had over 400 attendees to locations around town and the state. These trips are an important way we introduce new friends to birding and the conservation message.

Thanks to volunteers, who donated almost 600 hours, we’ve continued our monthly public birdwalk programs at Chandler’s Veterans Oasis Park and the Gilbert Riparian Preserve. These birdwalks help engage our community with an appreciation for Arizona birds and conservation message. Every child leaves with a gift to help them continue to appreciate the birds around them.

Joy Dingley hosts her Early Birds Club for children 7 – 13. These enthusiastic children have not only watched birds, they have drawn birds, listened to them, and studied their habitat and diets.

With our preserve partners, we hosted field trips for a group of blind children who learned to appreciate nature by hearing, touch and smell. We also provided a special morning program for the Hope Kids, a charity for families with children dealing with life-threatening conditions.

Our regular monthly programs at the Gilbert Community Center have attracted and inspired members and guests on a variety of topics of concern and interest.

Our top-notch newsletter highlights the happenings at our chapter, as well as provides in-depth information about conservation and wildlife topics.

This season, from September 2012 through May 2013, we will continue with these programs. We will also offer additional educational materials, and enhance our Audubon at Home Award Program, which recognizes people who have created healthy bird habitats. At this time we are specifically in need of a utility trailer where we can store and transport all of our equipment to events.

We truly appreciate your support to ensure Desert Rivers continues to offer these programs.  All of your gift will be used locally by Desert Rivers and is tax-deductible. Thank you.