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Issue 2, April 2017

Stockbridge
Audubon
www.stockbridgeaudubon.org
Representing Northeast Indiana P.O. Box 13131, Fort Wayne, Indiana 46867

Presidents Words Joel Greenberg, author of A Feathered


By Cynthia Powers River Across the Skythe Passenger
Pigeons Flight to Extinction. Joels
research documented the facts stated on the
marker.

Although the speeches first referred to the


taking of the bird, the fact remains that it
was shot, and the text of the marker says
that. This happened exactly 115 years ago,
on April 3, 1902. The corpse was shown
to Amos Butler, of Indiana Audubon
Society, and therefore confirmed. Later it
was stored in a leaky attic, resulting in its
loss to science.
On April 3 my husband and I journeyed to
Metamora, Indiana to witness the The whole episode, like the more recent
dedication of an Indiana State Historical shootings of whooping cranes in Indiana,
Marker commemorating a tragic event: the is not something our state should be proud
last wild Passenger Pigeon was shot of. However, Im glad it is not forgotten.
nearby at Laurel, Indiana. The marker was Over half the funds for the marker were
placed at the Metamora canal site so more raised by a GoFundMe account set up by
people can see it. Indiana Audubon, to which Stockbridge
Audubon contributed.
Addressing the crowd were Michael
Homoya of the DNR, Casey Pfeiffer of No more extinctions!
the Indiana Historical Bureau, Jeff Canada,
President of Indiana Audubon Society, and
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BIG MAY DAY BIRD COUNT: Other Upcoming Programs
MAY 13
Sunday, August 27, 2:00 p.m., Fox Island
If you liked the CBC, you'll love the nature center: Angie Quinn will speak
BMDBC. First, better weather. Second, about Stockbridges grant given to Fort
more birds, and more colorful birds. Wayne Trails.

Instead of mid-winter, the BMDBC comes Sunday, October 8: the annual Big Sit at
on the second Saturday in May, this year Fox Island. Watch for more details in the
the 13th. This is the height of spring fall.
migration. In Allen County, we typically
get over 140 species, with as many as 31 Sunday, October 29: join us at Ouabache
warblers. Also flycatchers, vireos, State Park near Bluffton for a bird hike at
swallows, thrushes, sparrows, blackbirds 1:00 p.m. (led by members of
(this includes bobolinks, meadowlarks, and Stockbridge), followed by a talk by Paul
orioles), and finches. Among non- McAfee about nature photography. The
songbirds, herons, shorebirds, gulls and latter will be held at 2:30 p.m. at the lodge
terns can be found, as well as all our year- at the park.
round residents, and sometimes, some
surprises.

The statewide count is organized by the


Indiana Audubon Society rather than
National Audubon Society, and counts are
by county rather than in 15-mile circles.

If you would be interested in participating,


BIRD NOTES
please contact me no later than May 6, at
zzedpowers@aol.com. February 14 April 19, 2017
By Rodger Rang
Ed Powers, Allen County BMDBC
compiler I regrettably omitted a couple of
significant records from last period that I
Neighboring Counties: shall remedy here: Geneva area birders
tallied an impressive 20 Cackling Geese at
John Winebrenner, Noble County, at: that areas Rainbow Lake on or about the
jcwinebrenner@ymail.com date of the SANJO CBC (Jan. 1). And the
260-414-4866 home of Jeff Moore in Roanoke hosted a
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon race; photo)
Terri Gorney, Adams County, at: through at least part of the winter. My
bandtgorney@aol.com apologies for the omissions. And
apologies in advance to those whose
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records that I might have mangled or list of noteworthy waterfowl records.
omitted for this current period.
Plew reported an American Bittern at Pine
Last periods impressive goose show Knob County Park, LaGrange Co., on
lingered into the mid-part of this period. March 31, while Eagle Marsh records
Greater White-fronted Geese were noted at included single birds on April 2 (Clara
Limberlost Swamp Wetland Preserve by Conroy; photo) and on April 19 (Rang).
Marisa and Bud Windell on Feb. 15 (two The only Black-crowned Night-Heron
birds) and on Feb. 21 (150 birds), and a report for the period was of one bird
Rosss Goose was logged on March 4 at calling at Eagle Marsh immediately after
Pigeon River FWAs Waterfowl Resting the Stockbridge Audubon field trip there
Area by Sam Plew, who also noted there on April 18. The first significant Turkey
an unspecified number of Greater White- Vulture push came on Feb. 18, when Plew
fronted and Snow Geese. Another Rosss reported 28 at Dallas Lake, LaGrange Co.,
was tallied on March 16 at Lake-of-the- while Osprey records, other than the
Woods near Geneva (Bill Hubbard; photo), returning Pigeon River FWA nesting birds,
and still another in LaGrange County, first were limited to a single report of one
reported by Plew on April 4, lingered to migrant at Fort Waynes Franke Park on
April 7 (Jeff McCoy), one day past the April 11 (Phil Wixom). Among other
previous late departure date for NE raptor reports, a beautiful rufous-morph
Indiana. Among other waterfowl, Tundra Western Red-tailed Hawk frequented
Swans were noted on March 10 (Terri Eagle Marsh from Feb. 14 (Powers)
Gorney; two birds) and on March 16 (J. intermittently through at least March 21
Swygart; one bird; photo), both in the (Rang, Steve Kiermaier), and a Peregrine
Geneva area, while Eagle Marsh provided Falcon blew through Pigeon River FWA
another record of the species (Greg on March 8 (Plew). Rails arrived early, as
Majewski, Rodger Rang; two birds) on evidenced by reports of a Sora at Pigeon
April 1 (no foolin). For the period, a few Rivers Area D Marsh (Jacob Hostetler) on
duck records were also notable: Five Blue- March 31 (ties earliest date) and of a
winged Teal at Eagle Marsh on March 7 Virginia Rail at Eagle Marsh (Stockbridge
(Rang) were earliest for our region by Audubon field trip) on April 2 (one day
three days; five Greater Scaup, first noted shy of tying earliest date). And, as
on March 14 and intermittently reported expected, the floodgates opened early in
thereafter, at Eagle Marsh (Rang, Ed the period for Sandhill Cranes. Encounters
Powers, photo) was a nice record away with this species, reported widely, included
from the Great Lakes; and two records 78 birds over Eagle Marsh on Feb. 14
from South Twin Lake, LaGrange Co., of a (Kiermaier) and 200+ birds at Limberlost
Surf Scoter on March 10 and of a Long- Swamp the following day (Windell).
tailed Duck on March 29 (Ben and John
Miller). Finally, a report of one Red- Shorebirds also began their expected push
necked Grebe at Adams Lake, LaGrange as the period progressed. Always nice to
Co., on March 11 (Plew) rounds out the see, eight American Golden Plovers were
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tallied at Limberlost Swamp on April 10 on Feb. 25, the bird reliably roosted for
(Tom White), but most notable indeed was several days in a silo on the property, and
an Eagle Marsh record of six Black-necked the landowners graciously allowed visitors
Stilts (Melissa Rife, Rang) on April 14, to wobble along planks placed over mushy
eleven days record-early for NE Indiana manure and then clamber up a tall ladder
and only the 9th record for the region. to get a look at the target--a chase not for
Additional significant shorebird sightings the faint of heart! Not an owl, but perhaps,
included a Greater Yellowlegs at ounce-for-ounce, just as ferocious,
Salamonie Reservoir on March 19 (April Northern Shrikes were scarce this winter.
Raver; ties record-early date), a Lesser Fortunately, one individual of that species
Yellowlegs at Limberlost Swamp on frequented Curt Burnettes property
March 3 (Gorney; earliest by six days), adjacent to Limberlost Swamp (March 2-
and ten Pectoral Sandpipers at a Whitley 25), pleasing many a passing birder.
County fluddle on March 5 (McCoy;
earliest by 7 days). Rounding out the Songbird migration has barely started, but,
notable shorebird records was a nice count despite the amazingly warm mid-winter
of 17 American Woodcock at Eagle Marsh period finally turning more seasonably
on Feb. 22 (Rang). Among the few larid cool, numerous species were still on the
encounters posted, perhaps most early side of their typical arrival dates. Ed
noteworthy were those of Bonapartes Gull Powers noted an Eastern Phoebe in
(25+ birds in southwest Allen County; southwest Allen County on March 6, tying
Rang) on March 30 and Caspian Tern (two the earliest arrival date for NE Indiana,
birds at Eagle Marsh; Powers, Rang) on while Plew reported a Cliff Swallow in
April 5, one day shy of tying record-early. LaGrange County on April 10, earliest by
two days. Rang logged both a Blue-
Owls, favorites even among non-birders, headed Vireo at Fox Island County Park
offered some highlights in the period, as on April 14, earliest by two days, and a
well. Plew passed on the sad news from Tree Swallow at Eagle Marsh on Feb. 25,
an Amish birder regarding the discovery of earliest by 9 days, while a House Wren on
a fresh road-killed Northern Saw-Whet Stockbridge Audubons outing at Fox
Owl near Oliver Lake on Feb. 21. And Island on April 8 was earliest by 5 days.
while Plew also reported the lone Long- And a record of an apparently
eared Owl record of the period on April 5 overwintering Gray Catbird was posted by
at Pigeon River FWA, Short-eared Owl Phil and Jacob Wixom at Eagle Marsh on
encounters were more numerous, with 1-5 March 5, fully a month earlier than the
birds intermittently reported at Limberlost record-early migration date for that
Swamp from Feb. 21 through at least April species. But among warblers, only a
8 (Ben Hess, Conroy, Gorney, and handful of species have yet reached our
Kimberley Roll). But perhaps the bird of area, and none of these have been record-
the period for our region was a Barn Owl early or in any significant numbers. But
noted at the home of Earl Mast near get ready. Theyre coming!
Topeka, LaGrange County. Reported first
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Sparrow records were few, the most progresses.
notable perhaps being those posted by
Plew at Pigeon Riverone Henslows How They Got Started in Birding
Sparrow and one Lark Sparrow, both on Terri Gorney
April 14, the latter species 8 days record- By Dave Reichlinger
early. Icterid reports were less skimpy and
included two Western Meadowlark Terri has been interested in nature since
reportsone near Topeka, Noble County, spending childhood summers at Pretty
on April 7 (Joe Bontrager) and one in Lake. Her first birding experiences were
LaGrange County on April 15 (Herman trips with her brother Don, one of the
Yoder). Other noteworthy blackbird leading birders in the state. Her interest was
encounters included those of Rusty further piqued by three people she
Blackbirds; among numerous posts of the affectionately calls her dead birder friends.
species were two at Eagle Marsh on Feb Through a series of coincidences she
14 (Kiermaier), 200 in SW Allen Co. on obtained a bird journal kept for over thirty
March 5 (Rang), and 130 at Fox Island on years by a man named Maurice McClue.
April 8 (Stockbridge field trip). And She transcribed it and had it published. Her
Brewers Blackbirds were logged for the research led her to Jane Hine, an early
period, as well, with two birds in amateur ornithologist. She produced a book
LaGrange Co. on both March 19 and 26 of her writings as well. Now she is
(Plew). researching Gene Stratton Porter.
Comparing birds of the past and the present
And finally, a few notes regarding winter is especially fascinating to her.
finches. After a flurry of reports early in
the year, encounters seemed to drop Terri still has a broad interest in nature,
significantly for Red-breasted Nuthatches frogs and wildflowers in particular. She has
(an honorary winter finch since it, too, organized both a Christmas and a May Day
sporadically erupts from the north, visiting count. She is an authority on the birds of
feeders and delighting hard-core and Adams County. She serves on the boards of
casual birders alike). But a diminished and Friends of the Limberlost and Stockbridge.
intermittent stream of posts suggested that
the species had persisted in small numbers
throughout the period and may have been
simply under-reported. In contrast, Purple
Finch posts were almost non-existent
early, but encounters with the species
became much more widely reported as the
period ended. Pine Siskins, however, have
remained stubbornly absent for nearly the
entire winter and early spring periods, and
only time will tell if we finally start to see
(and hear!) that species again as the spring
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P.O. Box 13131, Fort Wayne, IN 46867

Return Service Requested

Inside this issue: |Stockbridge Directors and Officers|


Presidents Words Cynthia Powers, President 638-4291
Eric Helfrich, Vice President 260-693-3246
Margit Codispoti, Secretary 456-1996
Rodger Rangs Bird Notes
Dave Reichlinger, Treasurer 432-9431
Sandy Schacht, Director 260-356-3681
Big May Day Bird Count Julie Henricks, Newsletter Editor 638-4375
information Ed Powers, Membership 638-4291
Terri Gorney, Program Chair 490-6725
John Winebrenner, Director 260-414-4866
How They Got Started in
Stephanie Wagner, Director sewsings328@gmail.com
Birding
We welcome new members using the form below (or apply online). To speed your service and save us postage, mail renewals
directly to National Audubon, using the form that they provide. Any questions relating to membership? Ed Powers, Membership
Chair, will be glad to help!

Online new membership requests: https://action.audubon.org/donate/chapter-membership?chapter=H09

Or mail the following form:

National Audubon Society/Stockbridge Audubon Chapter Membership Application H09


I want to join Audubon! Enclosed is my check payable to the National Audubon Society.

Name YEARLY MEMBERSHIP:


Individual/$20 Family/$20
Address ________________________________

City/State/Zip________________________________

Mail to: Stockbridge Audubon Society, P. O. Box 13131, Fort Wayne, IN 46867