USFS Lumberman’s Monument and AVA Birdhouse Workshop

AVA member Bob Kemnitz

AVA member Bob K.

On Saturday, August 9, 2014, the AuSable Valley Audubon (AVA) conducted a bluebird house build on behalf of the USFS as a part of their summer educational program. This program, titled the Lumberman’s Monument Birdhouse workshop was attended by approximately 20 children and their parents participated in the workshop. We had a beautiful summer afternoon for the workshop.

Instructor and AVA member Emily K. demonstrating the correct roof spacing for proper ventilation

Instructor and AVA member Emily K. demonstrating the correct roof spacing for proper ventilation

AVA members prepare to assist the workshop attendees

AVA members prepare to assist the workshop attendees

This is the second year that the AVA presented this workshop for the USFS at Lumberman’s Monument. The AVA supplies the kits and instruction.  The USFS covers the cost of the kits.  The children used the the same kits prepared for our local bluebird nest box project, which is presented at area schools each spring. You can discover more about the Bluebird nest box project on our Bluebird House Kits page.

 

 

Bluebird nest box kits ready for distribution

Bluebird nest box kits ready for distribution

AVA members Judy L. and build instructor Emily K.

AVA members Judy L. and build instructor Emily K.

There was no cost to the participants. The participants’ ages ranged from preschool to high school. Each child received a fine nest box that they build themselves (well, maybe with the help of their parents).

 

 

Here are some additional photos from the day’s event:

Attendees being briefed by the USFS ranger

Attendees being briefed by the USFS ranger

Nest box builders performing the dry run assembly

Nest box builders performing the dry run assembly

A proud builder with her completed Bluebird nest box

A proud builder with her completed Bluebird nest box

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Tuttle Marsh Video – new just released

Cardinal Flowers at Tuttle Marsh - photo by Ed Cole

Cardinal Flowers at Tuttle Marsh – photo by Ed Cole

Several AVA members provided comments within this video on YouTube, which talks about one of our great area birding sites and nature areas, the Tuttle Marsh National Wildlife Area. More information on Tuttle Marsh is available on the DNR’s site at this link: DNR – Tuttle Marsh. The video was posted by Heritage Route 23.

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Removing Invasive Spotted Knapweed at Tawas Point St. Park

Volunteers from the AVA have been working for the last 5 Tuesdays at Tawas Point State Park working at removing invasive Spotted Knapweed from various high traffic areas. This event is a regular weekly volunteer opportunity to remove invasive plant material from the park. Sixty-six garbage bags full have been removed from the park during these last pulls.

Bag of noxious Spotted Knapweed ready for disposal

Bag of noxious Spotted Knapweed ready for disposal

Sue with a giant plant (and root) removed during our pull

Sue with a giant plant (and root) removed during our pull

The crew with the day's harvest

The crew with the day’s harvest

removing Spotted Knapweed near the Pavilion parking lot

Removing Spotted Knapweed near the Pavilion parking lot

We will be working in any weather other than thunder storms each Tuesday beginning at 9 AM and working for about 2 hours. These pulling events will be scheduled until the Spotted Knapweed reaches a growth point where it can no longer be pulled because of the risk of spreading seeds. At the present time, Spotted Knapweed at the park is just starting to flower. Because of the urgency of removing the plant at this stage of growth, two pulls (Monday and Tuesday) are scheduled for the week of 7/28.

Pitch in and help improve your park. Hiking clothes with a good pair of gloves are recommended.

See you there!

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M-55 road cleanup work project

On Friday, May 30th, volunteers from AuSable Valley Audubon and others assembled at Sand Lake and M-55 for the first of our yearly road cleanup work details.

AVA M55 cleanup volunteers May 2014

AVA M55 cleanup volunteers May 2014

The team picked up 16 bags of trash. It was mostly paper, three or four big car parts, and a few assorted other odds and ends … like a big chunk of foam rubber.

There were 13 volunteers total. Eleven AVA members and friends had breakfast
at Augie’s Restaurant in Tawas City before we began. Approximately one hour was spent cleaning up the road. It was a beautiful day to be outside, although it did get a bit hot before they wrapped it up.

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Public invited to provide input on new Kirtland’s Warbler Conservation Plan

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Forest Service have created a draft Kirtland’s Warbler Conservation Plan to provide future strategic guidance on maintaining the KW population should it be delisted as an endangered species. MDNR recently sent out this notice about two methods of providing input on the new plan.

They are soliciting email comments and also hosting a public meeting scheduled for July 9, 2014 in Grayling. There is also a link in the notice where you can view to plan to be discussed.

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Huron Pines hosting the Kirtland’s Warbler Home Opener

Huron Pines recently sent out an news announcement about the Kirtland’s Warbler Home Opener which they are hosting on June 12, 2014. They are having a reception and presentation by Master Birder Greg Miller. Pre-registration is required. The event flyer is available from the Huron Pines web site or by this link to the flyer. The URL for the Huron Pines web site is http://www.huronpines.org/.

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Birding and birding events attract tourism business

Here is a link to a great article by Brandon Schroeder and Peggy Ridgway about the value added by birding tourism and birding events to Michigan communities. Check it out here: Birding is big business for coastal Lake Huron communities.

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The Tawas Point Birding was great

This year’s Tawas Point Birdfest is now complete. Thanks to Michigan Audubon and their great staff, and all of our AVA’ers  and the many other volunteers who helped to make this happen.

The weather was a little cool, but the birding was great. We had great keynote speakers, Tom Stephenson and Scott Whittle, authors of The Warbler Guide gave us a great presentation on Friday evening and their Saturday workshop on bird vocalizations was fantastic. Overall, about 185 species were observed. Something new this year was a pair of invasive species work efforts to remove Garlic Mustard from the area around the Tawas Point State Park office. 235 pounds of Garlic Mustard were bagged and removed.

See you all again next year!

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Tuttle Marsh Returnee

Phil Odum submitted these shots of an American Bittern he spotted on Friday, 4-25. He noted that he had seen 2 the previous day, but these birds are pretty reclusive, as you will note by the dry growth screening it. Enjoy. These birds can often be spotted on the Tuttle March tours during the May Tawas Point Birding Festival.

 

American Bittern - Tuttle Marsh - credit Phil Odum

American Bittern – Tuttle Marsh – credit Phil Odum 4/25/14

American Bittern at Tuttle Marsh - credit Phil Odum

American Bittern at Tuttle Marsh – credit Phil Odum 4/25/14

American Bittern at Tuttle Marsh - credit Phil Odum

American Bittern at Tuttle Marsh – credit Phil Odum 4/25/14

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Recent photos from Tawas Point

The following photos were contributed by AVA member Phil Odum. All three were taken at Tawas Point State Park on Thursday, April 24. Thanks Phil!

Ruby Crowned Kinglet - Phil Odum

Ruby Crowned Kinglet – Phil Odum

Pine Warbler - Phil Odum

Pine Warbler – Phil Odum

Northern Harrier - Phil Odum

Northern Harrier – Phil Odum

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