Monday, September 8- The Lost Bird Project – Forgetting is Another Kind of Extinction
2nd floor Community Room, LCNB building, 30 Park Place West at 7:30 PM in uptown Oxford. All meetings are open to the public.
Gone and nearly forgotten in extinction, the Labrador Duck, the Great Auk, the Heath Hen, the Carolina Parakeet, and the Passenger Pigeon leave holes not just in the North American landscape but in our collective memories. Moved by their stories, sculptor Todd McGrain set out to create memorials to the lost birds – to bring their vanished forms back into the world. The Lost Birds Project follows the road-trip that McGrain and his brother-in-law, Andy Stern, take as they search for the locations where the birds were last seen in the wild and negotiate permission to install McGrain’s large bronze sculptures there.
The film is directed by Deborah Dickson, whose previous films have been nominated three times for Oscars, and is produced by Muffie Meyer, whose previous directing credits include the original Grey Gardens documentary and several Emmy award-winning documentaries. The score, composed by Grammy-winner Christopher Tin, is a stirring tone-poem for chamber orchestra, evoking the majesty of these flock of birds, and the pathos of their eventual demise.
Traveling all the way from the tropical swamps of Florida to Martha’s Vineyard to the rocky coasts of Newfoundland over a period of two years, McGrain and Stern scout locations, talk to park rangers, speak at town meetings and battle bureaucracy in their effort to gather support for the project. McGrain’s aim in placing the sculptures is to give presence to the birds where they are now so starkly absent. “These birds are not commonly known,” he says, “and they ought to be, because forgetting is another kind of extinction. It’s such a thorough erasing.”
The Ash Tree Project (ATP) aims to treat select high-value ash trees (fraxinus spp.) with the trunk-injected insecticide emmamectin benzoate (trade name “TREE-age”) to prevent near-certain mortality due to the exotic invasive pest Emerald Ash Borer (EAB – Agrilus planipennis). Treatment with TREE-age is commonly considered being effective for a two-year period, with some municipalities using a longer interval.
ATP is a conservation project of the local Audubon chapter – Audubon Miami Valley (AMV). Initially funded through an Audubon Collaborative Funding Grant, ATP was given a huge boost in May 2014 by a donation from the Arborjet company of application equipment, one liter of insecticide, and a half-day of on-site training from Arborjet representatives on 5/29/2014.
The priority treatment area is a 200+ acre tract known as Hueston Woods State Nature Preserve (HWSNP), aka “Big Woods”, within Hueston Woods State Park. HWSNP is a stand of “old growth” timber, a beech-maple forest designated in 1967 as a National Natural Landmark. (read more)
The 250-acre Salt Creek Nature Sanctuary is a beautiful natural area located in Southeastern Indiana, about 55 minutes from Oxford, Ohio. Formerly a hill farm, the site has not been farmed since its purchase by Don and Pat Kaufman in 1983. Deep valleys, running streams, and wooded ravines mark its rolling terrain. Old- growth stands on the steep slopes mix with second- and third-growth stands on the higher, flatter areas; old fields and riparian areas add to the overall diversity of the site. All of the land within the boundaries of Salt Creek is under conservation easement and will be managed in perpetuity by The Oxford Society, whose web site is at http://www.theoxfordsociety.org/salt_creek_sanctuary.html. Don Kaufman will host this visit. The trip will leave at 8:00 a.m. from the TJ Maxx parking lot (on Locust Street across from McDonald’s) and return to Oxford in the afternoon. Pack a lunch and bring binoculars if possible.
Hueston Woods State Park offers a wealth of different bird habitats and is easily accessible. We’ll look for gulls, waterbirds, raptors and shorebirds around Acton Lake; and explore nearby wooded areas and forest edges for migrants as well as nesting species. A link to a map of the park is at http://parks.ohiodnr.gov/huestonwoods. Hardy Eshbaugh will lead this outing, which will meet in front of the Park Nature Center at 7:00 a.m. Bring binoculars if possible and food if desired.
Hueston Woods State Park offers a wealth of different bird habitats and is easily accessible. We’ll look for gulls, waterbirds, raptors and shorebirds around Acton Lake; and explore nearby wooded areas and forest edges for migrants as well as nesting species. A link to a map of the park is at http://parks.ohiodnr.gov/huestonwoods Jim Michael will lead this outing, which will meet in front of the Park Nature Center at 7:00 a.m. Bring binoculars if possible and food if desired.
Coffee covers more than 10 million hectares of land globally, and coffee is one crop that can be managed for biodiversity because coffee flavor is improved when grown under shade trees. Some species using coffee agroforests may also provide services to the coffee plants, such as pollination and control of pests. This talk will focus on how birds and coffee can benefit each other, presenting a case-study from Costa Rica.
Dr. Peters earned her B.S. in Biology from Pennsylvania State University. After undergrad she wanted to pursue a PhD, but first planned to spend 5 years learning about real-world conservation issues so she could choose a meaningful dissertation topic. So, she spent one year as an Americorps NCCC volunteer in Northeastern U.S., one year as an Americorps Red Cross Volunteer in Chicago, and 2.5 years with the Peace Corps in Honduras. In 2009 Valery completed her PhD in Ecology at the University of Georgia at the Odum School of ecology, the successor of the Institute of Ecology at UGA. Dr. Peters is currently a post-doctoral member of the Department of Biology at Miami University.
Dr. Peter’s talk will be in 218 Pearson hall at 7:30 P.M. All meetings are open to the public.
“So you think you are a traveler! – Consider our neo-tropical migrants.”
Audubon Miami Valley will host Dave Russell, Senior Lecturer, Department of Biology, Miami University at a public program on Tuesday, APR 22, 7 – 9 PM. Dave teaches introductory and advanced ornithology courses. He is a certified bird bander and trainer.
The event will take place at the Chrisholm MetroPark in the Chrisholm-Augspurger House Meeting Room, 2070 Woodsdale Road, Trenton.
Waves of warblers and other neo-tropical migrants are descending on the tri-state area. More than 200 species are returning from South and Central America. They began arriving just a few weeks ago and now they are beginning to fill the forest and fields with the melodious songs of spring. Join Dave Russell for an evening of fun with a refresher course designed to hone your identification skills.
Through the Avian Research and Education Institute whose mission is “to protect and conserve avian populations through research, education, and advocacy” many area residents and students have learned about birds and the thrill of bird banding by visiting the Hueston Woods State Park banding station. Bird banding is a powerful tool with which to teach conservation lessons and become an advocate for the birds. AREI is sponsored and supported by Audubon Miami Valley.
The program is free and open to the public. No registration is required.