Welcome to our new Field Trip Committee Chair, Lauren Whitenack! Lauren is a PhD student at the University of Nevada, Reno studying Mountain Chickadee breeding ecology, and one of our newest Trustees. She has been interested in birds from the young age of 13 when she began volunteering at the Intermountain Bird Observatory near Boise, ID. Before moving to Reno in August 2021, she worked as a bird bander in both Idaho and Western North Carolina and conducted bird research as an undergraduate. She is currently a graduate teaching assistant for a Field Ornithology course at UNR, and enjoys sharing her passion for birds with others. Lauren is bringing a fresh energy to the field trip committee and wants to know how we can best serve you. Please fill out this short survey on what you would like to see from our field trip programs in the future. You can also join Lauren on her upcoming field trip to Rancho San Rafael or Hunter Creek Trail and thank her for coordinating our birding field trips!
Also a huge thank you to our outgoing committee chair, Jasmine Kleiber, for all the great work she has done over the past few years!
We have a vacant seat on our Board of Trustees and we are looking for someone with a passion for our mission to step up. Trustees attend monthly board meetings, support strategic planning for our organization, and provide guidance to our programs. If you are interested in learning more, please contact our president, Suzie Reynolds and she will be happy to give you more information.
We are so excited to be back to our in-person monthly membership meetings and a huge thank you to Bob Goodman for kicking off the season last month. We are looking for volunteers to help host the snacks and beverages that we provide at each meeting. This would entail purchasing light snacks, and setting up the hospitality table before the start of the meeting. LAS will reimburse volunteers for the snacks they purchase and we are hoping to have different volunteers sign up for each meeting. If you are interested in helping or if you have any additional questions, please send us a message and we hope to see you at our October meeting.
Fall migration is almost upon us! We are looking for volunteers who are interested in coordinating some birding walks so we can share fall migration with more people in our community. You don’t have to be an expert birder to lead a walk, just someone who is familiar with a local birding spot and interested in learning. If you want to find out more about leading or co-leading a birding walk, please send a message to our Field Trip Committee.
We have new officers on our Board of Trustees. Huge thank you to our outgoing president, David Jickling, and outgoing secretary, Suzie Reynolds. Though neither of them will be going far! Suzie was elected as the new president of our organization and David was elected to fill the Vice President seat that has been vacant for the past year. Mike Goddard was elected to serve as secretary and Bill Fletcher has agreed to stay on as our treasurer. The rest of our board is filled out by Brendan Bucy, Rose Strickland, Bri Usdrowski, and our newest board members, Sally Bates, and Lauren Whitenack. Please join us in thanking this dedicated group of volunteers for their service. We do have some committee chair roles that we are looking to fill. If you are interested in leading any of our committees please fill out a volunteer interest form.
What is the Intermountain West Shorebird Survey?
Shorebirds represent a unique aspect of biodiversity that links isolated sites, often hundreds or thousands of miles apart, and thus, shorebirds are excellent indicators of environmental health across large and small landscapes.
Inland sites in the Intermountain West are oases for our migratory shorebirds. Our collective efforts will document changes to freshwater wetlands and saline lakes over the past 30 years by recreating the last comprehensive shorebird survey of the region in 1989-1995. By combining the efforts of professional and volunteer scientists, we will collect critical information to help sustain shorebird populations into the future, which is the purpose of the Intermountain West Shorebird Survey.
The project objectives are:
We need help collecting baseline site information (access points, observation locations, and potential hazards), designing routes and surveying sites. We will be providing more details on what information we need and how to collect it during our upcoming webinar sessions. Please fill out the online form below if you are interested in visiting a familiar or new shorebird site to help design surveys and count shorebirds during our migration windows (August 9th – 22nd and April 24th – 30th), any effort helps shorebirds count! Mileage reimbursement is available on a case-by-case basis.
Save the dates!
Ready to get involved?
We are honored to be participating as a guest at Mark Wellman Adventure Day. Mark Wellman Adventure Day is a free event for people with disabilities to try physical activities such as kayaking, cycling and now birding! The event will happen on Sunday, June 5th at Sparks Marina from 9am to 2:30pm. We are seeking volunteers for this event. These volunteers would help us with tabling, as well as showing guests how to use binoculars and spotting scopes, and taking guests on small walks where they can see the birds at the Marina, like Mallards, Cormorants and Coots. If you are interested in volunteering at this event, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Did you know that Pinyon Jay populations have declined 80% since the 1960s? Here is your opportunity to help scientists understand why this species is in decline and how we can help to conserve them. Lahontan Audubon Society is partnering with the Great Basin Bird Observatory (GBBO) to recruit community scientists to conduct Pinyon Jay surveys. No experience is necessary and birders of all levels are welcome. This is a great opportunity to learn about a local species and support conservation efforts. Surveys require a smartphone app or a handheld GPS.
Each month we will host a field trip where new volunteers will meet our experienced surveyors to learn the survey protocol and share their experiences. Send us an email to RSVP. Click below to fill out our volunteer form or watch our Pinyon Jay presentation on our YouTube Channel.
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation awarded a grant to the National Audubon Society (NAS) for its Saline Lakes Program on a project aimed at conserving shorebirds and their important habitat within the Lahontan Valley. NAS, Lahontan Audubon, along with Manomet, will work closely with the Nevada Department of Wildlife and US Fish & Wildlife Service to identify habitat needs for 11 priority shorebird species; examine the habitat management units at Carson Lake and Stillwater in order to identify impediments to and opportunities for improving shorebird management; and improve capacity for monitoring shorebird populations.
The Lahontan Audubon Society is focused on improving the capacity for monitoring shorebird populations. Dr. Alan Gubanich and Mike Goddard are recruiting community science volunteers to monitor shorebird populations. We successfully conducted surveys during the fall migration and will be holding a training for new volunteers for spring surveys. The shorebird identification training program will focus on 22 species, along with some of the rare or uncommon shorebird species we might have the opportunity to see in the field. We will host two classroom sessions (2/19 & 2/26 at 2:00-4:00) at Moana Nursery and two field trips (3/12 & 3/19) to the wetlands as part of the program. We will teach volunteers techniques for navigating to a point, conducting a point count, and accurately recording data. We can provide spotting scopes, binoculars, field guides and GPS units.
We are looking for volunteers to help us staff a table at the Youth Wildlife Conservation Experience (YWCE). We will have a demonstration table with taxidermy mounts, museum skins, wings, and binoculars for kids to participate in an "Identify the Bird" exercise. There will be hundreds of school children in attendance on Thursday and Friday and the general public is invited on Saturday. This is a great opportunity to share your love of birds with the next generation. Volunteers will be provided lunch and training on educational activities. If you would like to participate, please email email@example.com with the dates and times that you are available. We are trying to fill the following time slots:
For more details about the event see the flyer below:
If you love birds, meeting new people, and learning while exploring in Nevada, this is the workshop for you. We are recruiting birders of all levels to join us as field trip guides. This workshop will provide you with all the details you need to lead or assist an LAS birding field trip. Experienced and novice guides are invited to join as we share ideas on how to lead birding walks.
The workshop will start with an meet-and-greet online webinar on Friday, February 11th at 4:30 pm. We will follow up the next day with an in-person field trip for a hands-on experience. Then throughout the month of March, our participants will be co-leading and leading their own recurring field trips at some of the many birding hotspots throughout the Washoe Valley.
If you are interested in learning more, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out our volunteer interest form.