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Big Oaks Field Trip, June 3


Field Trip, Saturday, June 3, 2017: Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge

Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge encompasses 50,000 acres in 3 Indiana counties (Jefferson, Jennings, and Ripley) and overlays that portion of the former Jefferson Proving Ground that lies north of the historic firing line where munitions were once tested. Since 1996, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has managed the wildlife resources of the proving ground. Big Oaks provides food and shelter for a wide variety of plant and animal species, including more than 200 species of birds and 46 species of mammals. Stream corridors and forested areas on the refuge provide excellent habitat for the federally-endangered Indiana bat. The refuge also supports breeding populations of river otter, which were reestablished in 1996. More than 500 pairs of state-endangered Henslow’s sparrows are estimated to breed in the large grasslands of Big Oaks Refuge. The refuge has been designated as a “Globally Important Bird Area” because of its value to Henslow’s sparrows and other migratory birds. Gary Stegner and Refuge Manager Joe Robb will lead our visit. A downloadable brochure is available at The trip will leave at 6:30 a.m. from the TJ Maxx parking lot (on Locust Street across from McDonald’s) for the 75-minute drive to the refuge. After a picnic lunch at the refuge, we will return to Oxford in the afternoon. Pack a lunch and, as always, bring binoculars if possible.

May 8, Madagascar – The Eighth Continent – Why It Matters


Audubon Miami Valley meets the second Monday of May in 2017 in the 2nd floor conference room of the Lebanon Citizens National Bank building at 30 West Park Place. These meetings are free and open to the public.


MAY 8- Madagascar – The Eighth Continent – Why It Matters, Hardy Eshbaugh, Professor Emeritus (Botany), Miami University, Oxford
hardy-eshbaugh-cIn September 2016 an intrepid group of nature lovers journeyed to Madagascar on an Earlham College alumni trip to learn about the “eighth” continent first hand. Madagascar is unique amongst the earth’s many destinations in its high number of endemic species across various groups of organisms such as birds, frogs, primates, insects, plants, etc. Madagascar faces a number of challenges ranging from an exploding population, massive deforestation, and unsustainable development to mention a few that threaten the very survival of its unique evolutionary heritage. Come and learn what makes Madagascar a show place of evolution and what is being done to save this incredible place for future generations.

Hardy Eshbaugh was a Miami University professor for more than 31 years and continued to teach and direct graduate students long after he retired until 2012. In retirement he focused on serving on various boards of not-for-profit organizations including the National Audubon Society, The Atlantic Salmon Federation, and the Catesby Commemorative Trust. Professionally, he served as the president of the American Institute of Biological Sciences, the Botanical Society of America, the Society for Economic Botany, and the American Society of Plant Taxonomy. His botanical expertise is on Capsicum (chili peppers) and the flora of the Bahamas and the Maritime provinces.

Work Day at Hueston Woods is a go!


We have a weather window for working in Hueston Woods tomorrow afternoon from 1-4pm!
  The ground will be soft for pulling garlic mustard and honeysuckle seedlings, but it will be muddy, too, so boots would be a good idea.
  We will work on the trails down by the Sugar Shack/fishing jetty area. Look for the signs at the intersection of Brown Road and the Main Loop Road directing you straight ahead and then down the road to parking and the registration tent.
I know students are very busy studying and writing papers, but we will appreciate anyone who can come out for an hour or two

Butler County Big Week of Birding, Saturday, April 29 – Saturday, May 6


Butler County Big Week of Birding, Saturday, April 29 – Saturday, May 6, 2017: Various Locations- More than a field trip, it’s a whole week of field trips! Audubon Miami Valley joins with Metroparks of Butler County as a co-sponsor of the Big Week of Birding in Butler County. Start with sunrise birding on Saturday April 29, enjoy birding each day, then wrap it all up with a family event on Saturday, May 6. Eleven fantastic birding opportunities, each at a different location! With each trip being led by an experienced birder or naturalist during the peak of spring migration, this is an outstanding opportunity to observe and enjoy the many species that move through our area each year. It’s also a great way to discover the outstanding natural areas offered by Metroparks of Butler County. These outings will meet at the respective sites, and some may have special requirements. To learn more, be sure to visit the Metroparks website,

Saturday’s Invader Pull cancelled!


Raindate: Sunday, April 30, 1-4pm.

Earth Day Project in Hueston Woods Saturday


Audubon Miami Valley’s 6th Annual Volunteer Day will be held – rain or shine – this Saturday morning, April 22, from 9am-noon.

Our habitat restoration project continues in the “Big Woods” Nature Preserve area, designated an Important Bird Area (IBA) for its mature woodlands, also home to beautiful native wildflowers.
We will provide work gloves & hand tools for removing invasive honeysuckle and garlic mustard. A snack and water will also be provided. Long pants and boots are recommended.
If you would like to volunteer, please follow the signs at the intersection of Brown Road and the Main Loop Road of Hueston Woods to our parking area and registration tent. Thank you

April 18- A Spring Warbler Refresher


APR 18- A Spring Warbler Refresher, Dave Russell, Department of Biology, Miami University

dave-russellJoin Dr. David Russell for an evening of entertainment as he regales us about neo-tropical migrants with pointers and clues on how to best identify the wood warblers, harbingers of spring, that pass through our region every spring. This program will take place at the Ronald Reagan Lodge, Lakeview Room, Voice of America facility, 7850 VOA Park Drive, Westchester, Ohio. 7:00 – 9:00 PM)


Dave teaches ornithology at Miami University and established the Hueston Woods State Park bird banding station that draws hundreds of visitors throughout the year. Dave is an unrecovered addict who gets his fix every time he sees a new life bird. Dave is known to go to extremes to see any new bird that occurs within a 1000 miles of southwest Ohio and even beyond. In 2016 he has seen 517 species in North America as of October 31 with hopes of reaching 600 by the end of the year.