Welcome to the
Black Canyon Audubon Society
Black Canyon Audubon Society was formed in 1990 and is one of eleven National Audubon Society chapters in Colorado. We are committed to the conservation of natural resources through our birding, conservation and educational activities.
- To promote the conservation of natural resources through informative public programs, our newsletter and this web site.
- To provide the opportunity for the observation and study of birds and other wildlife, through our field trips.
- To offer early education programs including bird banding stations and classroom bird skin programs.
- To empower our members and the public with the knowledge to be effective environmental advocates.
- To contribute to the recovery of the the Gunnison Sage Grouse (GUSG) through through joint efforts with GUSG working groups and federal and state agencies.
The region covered by the Black Canyon Audubon society consists of Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Montrose, San Miguel and Ouray Counties. It encompasses nearly 8300 square miles, an area slightly larger than the state of New Jersey.
Within this region, elevations vary from 4,695 to 14,309 feet above sea level. Rainfall ranges from less than eight inches per year in the lower valleys to more than fifty on the higher peaks. Vegetation varies from desert scrub to boreal forest and alpine tundra.
Barrow's Goldeneye Count
The Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory (RMBO) is sponsoring a Barrow's Goldeneye Bird Count on all large waterbodies within Colorado. Jason Beason of RMBO would like participants to report Barrow's Goldeneye they observe from November 22 to December 2. This is part of a long-term study initiated by RMBO several years ago. For more information and to report your sightings of Barrow's Goldeneye, please contact Jason Beason at (970) 310-5117 or jason.beason @rmbo.org.
As part of the count, Jason will be leading a field trip to Blue Mesa Reservoir on Saturday November 22. For those coming from the North Fork Valley area, meet Jason at the Hotchkiss City Market at 8:00 a.m. to carpool to the reservoir. He will then meet people coming from elswewhere at the top of the boat ramp at the Lake Fork Marina, just off Highway 50 on the west end of the reservoir. Dress for the weather and bring a lunch and water. In addition to binoculars, spotting scopes will help in identifying those far-off birds. For more information, contact Jason as indicated above.
Presentations at Bill Heddles Recreation Center
Costa Rica Birding
Thursday, December 4, 2014 at 7:00 p.m.
On December 4, 2014, the Black Canyon Audubon Society is sponsoring a PowerPoint presentation by Paul Tickner on birding in Costa Rica. The presentation begins at 7:00 p.m. at the Bill Heddles Recreation Center in Delta. The program is open to everyone and is free of charge.
Bird Rescue and Rehabilitation
Thursday, February 19, 2015 at 7:00 p.m.
On February 19, the Black Canyon Audubon Society is sponsoring a PowerPoint presentation by Brenda Miller of Roubideau Rim Wildlife Rescue in Olathe on emergency rescue of birds and other wildlife. The presentation begins at 7 PM at the Bill Heddles Recreation Center in Delta. The program is open to everyone and is free of charge.
Christmas Bird Counts
The 115th Audubon Christmas Bird Count will be held at four venues within the BCAS area. Please attend any or all – there is no charge. Everyone is welcome, regardless of skill level. Parties of birders will be arranged with at least one experienced birder per groups, so it is a great opportunity for beginners to learn the birds of our area.
The Audubon Christmas Bird Counts are the longest-running wildlife census. The information is used by Audubon and other scientists to assess the health of bird populations worldwide. So, not only is it fun, the information collected is useful and highly regarded. For more information about this international effort, go to http://birds.audubon.org/about-christmas-bird-count
To participate, come to the individual start location to check in, get maps, and join small parties that are formed to cover sections of the count circle. The Count Compiler will let you know how and where to turn in your collected information. Some of the counts have fun events following the count that you can attend.
You can expect cold weather, so dress accordingly with warm jackets, hats, gloves, and boots. Bring a lunch, snacks, and plenty of water. And don’t forget your binoculars!
Delta – Sunday, December 14
Meet at 8:00 a.m. in the Delta City Market parking lot where Amy Seglund will provide maps and data sheets. For more information, contact Amy Seglund, 970-252-6014 or amy.seglund @state.co.us
Gunnison – Sunday, December 14
Meet at 7:30 a.m. at Hurst Hall - Rm 130 on the Western State Colorado University campus. Bird as much of the day as possible, then meet at Arden Anderson’s house at 5 p.m. for a Chili potluck and compilation of the day's records. After the compilation, Arden will present a slide show of a birding trip he took this year to Peru. For more information, contact Arden Anderson Call at (970) 641-5322 or kankan @frontier.net.
Montrose – Saturday, December 20
Meet at 8:30 a.m. at the Montrose BLM/Forest Service South Conference Room at 2465 South Townsend Ave. We will then meet at the Two Rascals Brewing Co. at 147 N. 1st St. to compile data and enjoy good cheer. For more information, contact Missy Siders, (970) 240-5332, (970) 275-6639, or msiders @blm.gov
Hotchkiss – Saturday, January 3
Meet at 8:00 a.m. at the Hotchkiss City Market parking lot near the junction of Highways 92 & 133. For more information, contact Jason Beason at (970) 310-5117 or jason.beason @rmbo.org.
Yellow-Billed Cuckoo Information
The US Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to list the western population of the yellow-billed cuckoo as an endangered species. Three units of habitat in the BCAS area are under consideration: the North Fork of the Gunnison River in Delta County, the Gunnison River in Gunnison County, and the Uncompahgre River in Delta, Montrose, and Ouray counties. Click on the links below to see maps of these units. The critical habitats all appear to be the floodplains of these rivers that are well covered with trees.
This is copied directly from the USFWS information page about the potential listing:
Critical habitat is a term in the Endangered Species Act (ESA) that identifies geographic areas containing features essential for the conservation of a threatened or endangered species, and which may require special management considerations or protection. Designation of critical habitat does not affect land ownership or establish a refuge or preserve, and has no impact on private landowners taking actions on their land that do not require federal funding or permits.
On October 3, 2013, the Service proposed to list the western DPS of the yellow-billed cuckoo as a threatened species under the ESA in the western United States, Canada and Mexico. The listing proposal, which is based on the best scientific data available, cites threats from loss of riparian habitat and habitat fragmentation as a result of conversion of land to agriculture, dams and river flow management, bank protection, overgrazing and competition from exotic plants as key factors in the decline of the western yellow-billed cuckoo.
The Service is seeking information concerning the western yellow-billed cuckoo’s biology and habitat, threats to the species and current efforts to protect the bird. The Service also seeks information on the incremental economic effects of the proposed critical habitat designation.
Comments on the proposed critical habitat rule will be accepted through October 14, 2014. Comments may be submitted online at the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. The docket number for the proposed rule is FWS–R8–ES–2013-0011. Comments can also be sent by U.S. Mail or Hand Delivery: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS–ES–R8–2013–0011; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; U.S. Fish & Wildlife Headquarters, MS: BPHC, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.
Proposed Marine Road Park is Now an eBird Hotspot
As part of the initial evaluation work at the proposed Marine Road park in Montrose, we have worked with eBird to have the location specified as a birding Hot Spot. This means that it appears as a Hot Spot on the eBird map, and data from the site can be easily added to and accessed by those who are interested. We encourage birders to visit the parcel and enter the birds they identify into eBird so that we can compile a detailed and complete checklist of birds throughout the year. We expect to use this information for interpretive, planning, and management purposes. When you visit, please park on the west side of Marine Road for safety. The parcel is unmarked, unfenced, and unimproved, but is city property and open for access. The wetlands are east of the drier uplands. Both are rich and diverse habitats. We are hoping to keep the wetlands as pristine as possible, so please view from their western edge and be conscious of limiting your disturbance of birds and animals while visiting. In particular, please do not allow dogs to run free or, better yet, visit without them.
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