Protecting Arizona’s Environment – It’s worth it

Join Us at Environmental Day at the Capitol!

We hope you’ll join us for this fun annual event to show our legislators how much the people of Arizona care about our environment. Let legislators know that environmental protection is critical to a strong economy.

Tuesday, February 12EnviroDayWordle_5

8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

League of Cities and Towns,
Rm 101
1821 W. Washington St., Phoenix
Just west of the Capitol


Meet with legislators as part of a group so they can hear first-hand how much Arizonans really do care about clean air, clean water, and having parks and wildlife now and in the future.

You can stop by for a short period or stay for the day. Carpooling is available from some locations, and a bus will be coming from Tucson to Phoenix.

Sandy Bahr, Chapter Director for the Sierra Club’s Grand Canyon Chapter addresses over 100 participants at  last year's Environment Day.

Sandy Bahr, Chapter Director for the Sierra Club’s Grand Canyon Chapter addresses over 100 participants at last year’s Environment Day.

Please plan to attend, and bring a friend!

For more information, please contact Sandy Bahr at (602) 253-8633 or

“Guide to 101 Birding Sites – Phoenix” App Launch Party Saturday, Sept. 22nd, 2-4pm, Wild Birds Unlimited, Mesa

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

Join Desert Rivers Audubon and business member Wild Birds Unlimited, Mesa, for our App launch, Guide to 101 Birding Sites – Phoenix, Saturday, September 22, 2012, 2-4pm at the Wild Birds Unlimited store, 2110 E. Baseline Rd. Suite 1, Mesa, AZ 85204. This event is free with light refreshments served.

Guide to 101 Birding Sites – Phoenix features:

The Birds-Eye Guide to 101 Birding Sites: Phoenix is now a smartphone app, Guide to 101 Birding Sites – Phoenix.

The Guide to 101 Birding Sites – Phoenix app is the the updated version of author Mike Rupp’s book, The Birds-Eye Guide to 101 Birding Sites: Phoenix.  The valley is divided into four quadrants to help the user decide where to go, and make the most of your time when you do. Urban sites are listed, as well as more rugged and remote sites outside the valley, with exact driving directions, and an index to all sites. Some sites may be familiar to local birders, but undoubtedly there are many new ones to explore.

Desert Rivers Audubon mobile birding app includes site descriptions highlighting birds likely to be seen.

The app will cost $9.99. It will be available for both iPhone and Android smartphones through the respective app marketplaces.

Tropical Kingbird Attends Desert Rivers Audubon’s Board Retreat

by Mike Evans
Conservation Director 
Desert Rivers Audubon Society

Yesterday Desert Rivers Audubon Society Board had their annual planning meeting at the Rio Salado Audubon Center.

Desert Rivers Audubon Board of Directors Retreat Saturday, July 30, 2011 at the Nina Mason Pulliam Rio Salado Audubon Center, Phoenix, AZ.

Five of the board members met at 7AM for some pre-meeting birding.Our one notable find was a probable TROPICAL KINGBIRD.  In a little over an hour of birding we had 28 species.  Other notables were a COOPER’S HAWK, three Heron species, PHAINOPEPLA, and calling COMMON YELLOWTHROAT. This morning, my son Aaron and I went back with our spotting scope to confirm the presence of the TROPICAL KINGBIRD.
After two hours of patiently working the area between the 7th Street and 7th Avenue bridges (in tropical conditions with dew points in the upper 60’s and low 70’s), on our third pass through the area immediately west of the Central Avenue bridge, we found the bird in the same general area where we had seen it Saturday morning.  It was found in habitat identical to what is described in Kaufman’s book, at the top of a tall cottonwood tree with ponds in the area.  Nice views with the scope confirmed it as a probable Tropical Kingbird.

Tropical Kingbird

Having not seen one in a couple of decades, and only having seen Couch’s Kingbird once before (when one spent the winter outside Tacna, AZ), and not hearing it’s call, we can’t definitively say it is a Tropical and not a Couch’s.  We had a very good view of the tail and back in the scope.  There was no white on the tail, and the tail had a distinctive notch.  The tail color was brown, not black.  Yesterday and today, multiple books were used for reference.  I hope someone with more experience with Tropical Kingbirds can substantiate the find.

Fuel Efficiency

Audubon @Home, Arizona

by Krys Hammers
Desert Rivers Audubon Society

We have become so dependent on our cars in the Phoenix area, as in most US cities.  Yet this overuse of fossil fuels pollutes our air, threatens the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and other drilling sites, and keeps us dependent on foreign oil-producing countries.  Still our cars offer us the freedom to come and go as we please.  How can we reconcile negative impacts of our use of fossil fuels with our freedom?  Here are a few suggestions to become more fuel-efficient.

Hybrid cars may not be the best fit for everyone, but we can support the technology with our pocketbooks by investing in a hybrid.  I think it is the technology of the future, but it needs to continue to be refined.  Additionally, the more we support the technology, the more widespread and the cheaper these cars will become.  Smart Cars or even smaller cars are also a good choice.  If you drive 15,000 miles a year, the difference between getting 30 MPG and 20 MPG at $3.50 per gallon of gas will equate to $875.

Most of us spend many hours in traffic during our commute to work each week.  Try carpooling.  Not only will you save half of your fuel bill and wear and tear on your car, but also you’ll have someone to talk to during those lost hours.  You’ll be able to use the HOV lane and some companies provide preferential parking for carpoolers.  Even 2 or 3 days a week will result in a great savings.  Ask your employer to start a carpool program if they don’t already have one.  Maybe they can team you with someone who lives near you and shares your schedule.

The biggest drain on gas mileage is starting and stopping.  Avoid the jackrabbit starts and racing up to stop lights.  According to, “In city driving, nearly 50% of the energy needed to power your car goes to acceleration.“  This was a hard concept for me to wrap my mind around.  I’ve always had an Indy 500 mentality.  I always wanted to be the first one off the line and the guy in front of me was always going too slowly.  I now have a car that shows fuel consumption in real time and I can see how high that gauge goes when I engage in that behavior.  Now when I see a red light up ahead I take my foot off the accelerator and start coasting, hoping that the light will turn and I won’t have to stop at all.

Keep your car in good shape.  Changing your Air Filters regularly can result in a 10% savings in fuel economy.  One of the most important things is keeping your tires properly inflated.  If your tires are under-inflated, it can cost you up to 6% more in fuel.  The pressure printed on the side of your tire is the Maximum operating pressure and not necessarily the optimum tire pressure.  Check your owner’s manual for the optimum pressure.  You can get a good, easy-to-use digital tire pressure gauge at any auto parts store.  Regularly check your tires before you drive your car.

You have to find the right balance for yourself.  You can check for more simple tips to reduce your fuel consumption at  Please drive safely and efficiently.