Our chapter was honored to be a guest at the Mark Wellman Adventure Day event last Sunday. Mark Wellman adventure day is an event at Sparks Marina where disabled people have the opportunity to try outdoor activities such as kayaking and rock climbing. Our staff brought along a number of resources for participants to learn and interact with, including binoculars and museum skins. We had a wonderful time speaking with and entertaining guests who stopped by. We also kept a small bird list of the species we observed flying by as we spoke with guests. Sparks Marina is a wonderful birding hotspot and without intentionally seeking, we observed 22 different species. A full list is included as part of the trip report below.
Our staff sends a huge thank you to all the partner organizations involved including:
If you are enjoying our drawing workshops, join us for some in person practice sessions. These are a great addendum to the webinars and provide an opportunity to meet some of the other students in the classes.
Bird Drawing Practice
Tuesday, April 12, 12:30-2:30 pm
South Valleys Library, Diamond Room
15650 Wedge Parkway
Reno, NV 89511
Did you enjoy our first Bird Drawing Workshop with Christine Elder? Diane Wong-Kone will bring some of Lahontan Audubon Society's taxidermy bird mounts to the South Valleys Library. Come and meet other students in person! This will be an opportunity to share our sketches, to share what we learned, and to practice drawing various Nevada birds from stuffed mounts, rather than photos. Please bring a sketchbook, pencil, and whatever drawing tools you wish to use. This is a drop in session and registration is not required, but you can RSVP so we know who to expect.
Nature Journal Practice Field Trip
Tuesday, April 19, 8:00-11:00 am
Field gestures! We learned about field gesture sketching with Christine Elder in yesterday's workshop. Today, we are going to take our sketchbooks out to the field. Diane Wong-Kone will lead a small field trip that focuses on birding and taking field notes. The ducks and geese on Virginia Lake will provide practice for quick sketches using live birds. Please bring binoculars, a sketchbook, and pencil/pen.
Shorebird and Waterbird Studio Session
Tue Apr 26th 10:00am - 12:00pm
Northwest Reno Library Meeting Room, 2325 Robb Dr., Reno, NV, 89523
This week is all about our migrating shorebirds and waterbirds as we get ready for the Spring Wings Bird Festival in Fallon next weekend! Using techniques learned in John Muir Laws' Monday workshop, we will practice sketching and drawing with Lahontan Audubon Society's taxidermy bird collection. This will be a great opportunity to also look at bird characteristics before the birding festival and to learn the birds before seeing them in the field. Please bring a sketchbook and your favorite drawing tools. This will be a casual session to meet up, share ideas and learn more about our local birds!
Date/Time: Tuesday, May 3, 2022
Location: Meet at the corner of Pinehaven Rd. and Sierra Pine Drive in Caughlin Ranch.
Leader: Diane Wong-Kone
Description: We will walk up a moderately steep, rough dirt road and then follow a dirt trail that crosses through patches of Jeffrey Pine trees. Pinyon Jays have been seen in this area recently and in previous years, but they can be difficult to find because they fly long distances. Following up on John Muir Laws' drawing workshop on Monday evening, we will search for Pinyon Jays. Along the way, we can all share our knowledge of this bird as we also explore and see what other birds are in the area. In the field sketches and notes are highly encouraged. As we walk, take note of the habitat, count the birds, and form questions to help you learn more about whatever we discover on this outing. Nature journaling is all about the process of discovery.
Bird Drawing Practice
Date/Time: Tuesday, May 10, 2022
Location: Northwest Reno Library, 2325 Robb Dr, Reno, NV 89523 Map
Leader: Diane Wong-Kone
Description: Toned paper, mixed media, shorebirds, field gestures - whew! We've learned a lot over the past five weeks. John Muir Laws refers to the drawing habit as pencil miles. The more pencil miles you log, the better you get, because drawing is a skill that takes practice. Join Diane Wong-Kone at the Northwest Reno Library to practice some of the techniques we've learned, using Lahontan Audubon Society's taxidermy bird mounts. The mounts offer a close up view of feathers and other bird structures that you may not get as good a chance to see in the field, as birds typically don't stay still for very long. These bird mounts are normally housed at the Galena Creek Visitor Center, and offer a great resource for study for anyone learning to draw birds. This will be a casual session and a chance to meet up in person, to share our sketches, thoughts, and combined knowledge of what we've been learning with Christine Elder and John Muir Laws. Please bring your sketchbook and your favorite drawing or coloring tools.
Lahontan Audubon Society is pleased to offer a series of free, online bird drawing workshops with science illustrator, Christine Elder, and nature journal educator, John Muir Laws. Christine was the featured artist for the recent Winter Wings Festival in Klamath, Oregon. John Muir Laws (aka Jack) is the champion of the nature journaling movement and author/illustrator of the Laws Field Guide to the Sierra Nevada. These amazing artists will integrate science, learning, and art to teach us some of the tips and tricks for drawing birds in the field. The drawing workshops are open to all ages and skill levels and aim to not only develop drawing skills, but enhance observation and birding skills too. Young students as well as adults are encouraged to attend. These classes offer an introduction to Nevada birds and Lahontan Audubon Society projects that you may participate in. Various drawing techniques or media will be demonstrated throughout the workshop series.
As a bonus, Christine is offering her Drawing Backyard Birds for Beginners online course, a $125 value, for free if you register for her workshops!
Workshops will be held Monday evenings from 5:00-7:00 pm on April 11, April 18, April 25, May 2 and May 9, 2022. No special drawing supplies are needed. A sketchbook or paper and a pencil are all that are required. For workshops using color, watercolor paint, colored pencils, toned paper (non-white paper) and a white pencil or white gel pen are recommended.
Workshop sessions will be recorded and shared via our official Lahontan Audubon Society YouTube Channel
These workshops are made possible thanks to a grant by the Nevada Arts Council and National Endowment for the Arts.
The Nevada Arts Council has just awarded the Lahontan Audubon Society an Arts Learning Grant. Thank you, Nevada Arts Council and the National Endowment of the Arts, for your support. With this grant, Lahontan Audubon will offer a series of free, online bird drawing classes with science illustrator, Christine Elder, and nature journal educator, John Muir Laws, this spring. Christine was the featured artist for the recent Winter Wings Festival in Klamath, Oregon. John Muir Laws (aka Jack) is the champion of the nature journaling movement and author/illustrator of the Laws Field Guide to the Sierra Nevada. These amazing artists will teach us some of the tips and tricks for drawing birds in the field. Lahontan Audubon Society is excited to be able to present this new series of art classes! Please stay tuned for details. We will be posting more information on these classes on our website soon.
We are excited to announce the return of the Spring Wings Birding Festival at the Lahontan Valley Wetlands. We are working with Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge, Friends of Stillwater NWR, Nevada Department of Wildlife, Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe, Great Basin Bird Observatory, and the City of Fallon to host self-guided tours of Stillwater NWR, Carson Lake WMA, and the Fallon Paiute Shoshone Wetlands. We are recruiting volunteers to be stationed at these three locations and help participants spot and identify birds.
The festival is scheduled for for Saturday, 4/30, and Sunday, 5/1. Volunteers are needed for two shifts each day, 7:30-11:30 and 11:00-3:00. Please let us know if you are interested and available to volunteer.
From February 4th through the 6th, former LAS vice-president Alan Gubanich led a birding class to the Tule Lake and Lower Klamath Wildlife refuges on the California/Oregon border. This field trip was hosted through Truckee Meadows Community College. The goal of this class was to view the wintering species at the refuges, including Bald Eagles, Tundra Swans, and Snow Geese. The diversity at the refuges was impressive, as participants observed Great-horned Owls, Sandhill Cranes, Common Mergansers, and too many Bald Eagles and Snow Geese to count!
Our staff was along for the ride, at this adventure! We were able to keep eBird lists of the species, which were summarized in the trip report below. We also captured a video of Snow Geese flocks in flight, to show how impressively big the truly are. Click on the buttons below to view either.
A huge thank you to Alan for organizing this event and sharing his passion for birding with the greater community!
Photographs were taken by Alan and Parker Flickinger.
Come join our LAS volunteers for an informational talk at Galena Creek Visitor Center. This talk starts at 10am and will be covering the waterfowl of Northern Nevada, including ducks, geese and swans. The events is free and open to the public. The Visitor Center is located at 18250 Mt Rose Hwy, Reno, NV 89511, USA. We hope to see you at Galena Creek!
To see a full schedule of upcoming Galena Creek Visitor Center, click here.
Longtime LAS member and conservationist Bob Goodman will be leading a talk at Galena Creek, all about the Swan Lake Important Bird Area. "We will be taking a look at the interactions of plants and macroinvertebrates occurring in the waters and soils of Swan Lake Nature Study Area that attract some 175 species of birds on an annual basis. Rather than just list the species that are the food base for birds, we will see them "living free" in 10-gallon tanks where I was able to record life cycles and relationships of species."
As always, the talk is free and open to the public. It will take place at the Galena Creek Visitor Center at 10am.
Lahontan Audubon Society is excited to partner with the Great Basin Institute to bring you the Galena Creek Visitor Center Speaker Series. These monthly talks will highlight various bird-related topics using LAS's taxidermy mounts. Speakers will include long-time LAS volunteers, Alan Gubanich and Mike Goddard. Talks are scheduled for Saturdays at 10:00 am. The draft schedule and topics are listed below, however, this is subject to change based on volunteer and staff availability, so please check our calendar for the most up to date information. All talks are free and open to everyone.
11/20 - Winter Birds of the Galena Forest with Alan Gubanich
12/11 - Waterfowl of Northern Nevada with Mike Goddard
1/22- Miniscapes of Swan Lake with Bob Goodman
1/29 - Waterfowl of Northern Nevada with Alan Gubanich
2/19 - LBJ's of the Bird World (Little Brown Jobbies)
3/5 - Breeding Birds of the Galena Forest
4/16 - Birding By Ear
5/21 - What Makes a Bird a Bird? - Part 1
6/11 - What Makes a Bird a Bird? - Part 2
7/16 - Hawks of Northern Nevada
8/20 - Owls of Northern Nevada
We are excited to announce a new bird watching activity challenge hosted by eBird. Birdwatchers who submit 3 separate eBird checklists in a single day will be entered into a raffle to win a pair of Ziess 8x42 binoculars. These checklists can be from the same location at 3 different times or multiple locations throughout the day. The contest is open throughout the month of November. Click the button below to learn about the eBird November Challenge.
"How do I find locations to bird for this challenge?" you ask. This is where our Birding By Bus map is here to help you. Our Birding by Bus map contains a full list of parks and nature areas within the Reno/Sparks metro area. The Cormorant photo above was taken at Virginia Lake, one of the parks featured in our map. Our map contains additional information about each park, such as what birds are currently seen there or which RTC ride bus stop serves it. Our map uses the Google Maps engine, and therefore can give you directions to the parks through your smartphone. The link to our Birding to Bus map is below. If you would like to learn more about the local public transit service, visit rtcwashoe.com.
"I would love to participate, but I do not have an eBird account," you say. Have no fear. We also have an eBird tutorial webinar available. Our Community Engagement Coordinator, Parker Flickinger, and ornithologist Ben Sonnenberg hosted this webinar last month. Parker and Ben are both eBird enthusiasts and covered the basics of how to register for then use eBird to keep track of the birds you observe in your lifetime. This webinar was recorded and available always on our YouTube Channel (linked below).
As always, if you have any other questions about birdwatching in our community, Birding By Bus or using eBird, don't hesitate to contact us. We would love to hear from you.
Good luck on your birdwatching adventure!
*Although we encourage birdwatching, Lahontan Audubon Society is not in charge of purchasing the Ziess binoculars and running the raffle. This is completely managed by eBird and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. For more information about how the contest works, visit the website tab above.
eBird is a global birdwatching, citizen science project run by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Using eBird involves taking a bird walk where you record a checklist including time, place, bird species and number of birds observed. You then submit this checklist to the Cornell Lab via the eBird website, giving the ornithologists data for bird population models. In addition to recording bird species for science, eBird keeps track of all bird species you observed in your life time (a life list). To start submitting your own checklists on eBird, you must first register for an free eBird account. To learn more about eBird or sigh up for an account, click here:
We have a chapter eBird account for Lahontan Audubon Society. Our field trip leaders often keep eBird checklists from our walks, and will be happy to share them with our participants. Lahontan Audubon Sociey members have also shared bird checklists on our chapter account. This gives you a record of the bird species we have observed in our neck of the woods. We also use our chapter account to connect with other eBird users from around the region, and participate in birding events, such as the Global Big Day. To view our chapter account, click below:
*You must already have an eBird account to view our account.