Birding Class At Cheyenne’s LCCC ~ “All About Birds – Beginning Birding”

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Posted by Birdhouse Guy | Posted in Binoculars, Bird Identification, Bird Preservation, Bird Watching Tips, Events, Field Guides | Posted on 05-03-2013

The Cheyenne High Plains Chapter of the National Audubon Society in Cheyenne Wyoming, will be sponsoring a beginners birding class again this year. No previous experience or skill level is required; even people who may have watched birds for years will ge a lot of valuable information from the class.

Dennis Saville, a wildlife biologist with BLM (Bureau of Land Management) will teach the class with the help from experienced chapter members.

Class times are from 6:30 – 8:30 pm on two consecutive Thursday evenings, April 25th and May 2nd 2013, with field trips on Saturday mornings, April 27th and May 4th 2013. As you may be well aware, Spring is a great time to be learning how to identify wild birds and song birds. Cheyenne attracts many bird migrants during that time of year as they travel from their winter homes in the southern U.S., Mexico, Central and South America to their summer breeding grounds, some in Wyoming and on north to the arctic tundra.

This outstanding birding class will have a lot of great information that will help you in your bird watching experience. Topic will include:

  • Seasons in which different birds can be found
  • Which habitats different birds prefer
  • Bird Watching Etiquette
  • Placement of Bird Feeders and Artificial Nest Boxes
  • How to keep track of birds with a bird list
  • Good, Local Places to Observe Birds
  • Bird Field Guides
  • And, of course, Identification of Bird Species found in Cheyenne, Wyoming

Be sure to bring a pair of binoculars and your favorite field guides to the first class so that we can help you understand how to best use what you have. The group may be able to lend their limited number of binoculars during the class and field trip times. If you would like more specific information about the class and other Audubon Events and Field Trips in the area, call Dennis Saville at 307.775.6106 (work) or 307.632.1602 (home).

We hope to see you there! Happy Birding!

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2013 Great Backyard Bird Count, Feb. 15-18 2013!

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Posted by Birdhouse Guy | Posted in Binoculars, Bird Identification, Bird Preservation, Bird Watching Tips | Posted on 26-02-2013

(©WildAboutWildlife)

New materials for the 2013 Great Backyard Bird Count are now available. That includes downloadable posters and web
buttons (Posters & Web Buttons), as well as a PowerPoint presentation (Power Points) with accompanying script.
Please help spread the word about the GBBC by sharing these materials with members, schools, community groups, libraries,
birding clubs, and anyone else who may be interested. Send them a link to the web buttons or poster (or post it on your
website), print a few copies of the poster to place around your community, or show the PowerPoint presentation to your membership
or other interested audiences.
If you arrange a GBBC event, make sure to let us know ahead of time so we (GBBC organizers) can put it on the GBBC
Local Events page (Local Events Page). Please send event information to Zach Slavin, zslavin@audubon.org, and be sure to
include city, state, date, time, a brief description, the cost if any, and any relevant contact information.
The GBBC is great because of all the work you do to let others know about it, so thank you from all of us at Audubon, the
Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and Bird Studies Canada!

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“Mini” Christmas Bird Count – Cheyenne Wyoming!

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Posted by Birdhouse Guy | Posted in Binoculars, Bird Identification, Bird Preservation, wildlife | Posted on 27-12-2012

(©”Batman” Ken)

Our Cheyenne – High Plains Audubon Society Mini Christmas Bird Count had a good, but unexpected turnout–8 adults, no kids. We had a great time in the cold weather counting birds and having a great time. Barb and Mark Gorges were a real blessing and we viewed quite a few wild birds to say the least.
It was a nice warm-up for the Cheyenne CBC next Saturday. The highlights were a flyover by an adult Bald Eagle and, behind the Children’s Village, in the trees next to the sidewalk, all at the same time, both nuthatches, Brown Creeper and Mountain Chickadees.

Lions Park is located in Cheyenne Wyoming. We viewed many Mallard ducks as well as Northern Shovlers around Sloans Lake as well. The Cheyenne – High Palins Audubon Society is quite involved in the Cheyenne area and I would invite you to visit their site should you want more information about taking part in the Cheyenne CBC, or other up and coming events. The CHPAS newsletter posted here: News Letter/

Lions Park, Laramie, US-WY
Dec 15, 2012 10:10 AM – 11:20 AM
Protocol: Traveling
0.5 mile(s)
Comments:     Cheyenne Audubon Mini-Christmas Bird Count Participants: “Batman” Ken Rudman, Gary “The Birdhouse Guy” Freeman, Donna Kassel, Jim Hecker, Carol Sutherland, Dennis Saville, Barb & Mark Gorges
12 species

Canada Goose  158
Mallard  402
Northern Shoveler  30
Bald Eagle  1
American Crow  42
Mountain Chickadee  5
Red-breasted Nuthatch  2
White-breasted Nuthatch  4
Brown Creeper  1
Townsend’s Solitaire  2
Dark-eyed Junco  6
House Sparrow  6

If you took place in a Christmas Bird Count in your neck of the woods, we would sure like to hear how it went. At any rate, we hope you had great birding success in 2012!

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Binoculars For Birding

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Posted by Bird House Guy | Posted in Binoculars, Bird Watching Tips | Posted on 03-12-2011

As all birders know, binoculars are a very important part of the whole birding experience. Binoculars display bright images and many are the result of fully multicoated optics, working to increase light transmission throughout the optical system. When purchasing a good pair of binoculars, stray away from going with a cheap pair. It has been overwhelmingly proven that birders who purchase low budget binoculars, end up spending more money in the long run. The best thing to do is to put some money aside and get a very good pair of binoculars on the first purchase, rather than spending more money in the end with a drawer full of sub-standard, never used binoculars. Phase correction, a coating on the prism surfaces, further improves the color fidelity, quality, and contrast for sharp imaging that is especially noticeable under low light conditions. Let’s take a look at some features that you should consider when buying a pair of binoculars.

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DESIGN:  There are many parts to a set of binoculars and you may not be familiar with the names. You want to make sure that the binoculars are equipped with rugged roof for the prism. Other features to the binoculars would to be sure they are weatherproof, dust proof, an internally fog proof in their design along with an internal focusing mechanism, o-rings at all open points and argon gas purging. This seems like a mouthful doesn’t it? All of this just for a good pair of binoculars.

CASES: When purchasing a good pair of binocs, ensure that it comes with a custom-molded case just for that set. This will provide protection for the binocular when they are not in use. For an easy carry in the field, make sure the carrying case has a clip on the woven nylon neck strap for easy usage.imagesCAFOEHLY

LENS COVERS: A good set of binoculars should come with two tethered objective lens covers and a one piece rain guard that covers the eyepieces. For convenience, the rain guard should be attached to the neck strap where it is within easy reach of the user. All you have to do is simply  slip the neck strap through the attachment point on the rain guard before connecting the neck strap to the binocular. master_SHL153[1]

Many things can happen while out on your birding adventure. The more protection that you have for your binoculars, the better. You pay a lot of money for these, and it’s best to have all the protection you can so they will out last you!! Waterproof binoculars are best for those that may need to cross streams to get to a higher point for vision and or to move to a different camp site. There are various precautions you can do to protect your small binoculars for later usage.

C360952011-07-289520-38-0795org-500x375[1] ADJUSTING THE EYE CUPS: The eye cup adjustment is a very, very important part of your birding experience. It is more than just focusing the lenses, but there is a proper way in which to do so in order for you to maximized vision from your binoculars. Most all eye cups on binoculars twist up and down so any viewer can take advantage of the long eye relief and enjoy comfortable, full-field viewing.

If you’re wearing eye glasses or sunglasses, you should retract the eye cups. If you are not wearing eye glasses, then you should extend the eye cups. The twist-up eye cups are built on a solid frame, tapered to fit the contour of the eye, and covered with rubber.

ADJUSTING THE IPD (Interpupillary Distance): The interpupillary distance (IPD) is the distance between the centers of the left and right eye pupils. Match the IPD of you eyes to that of the binocular by rotating the binocular barrels inward or outward until you see a single image that is free of shading.

FOCUSING THE BINOCULAR: One of the best ways to focus the binocular is to choose an object that is about 20 yeards away from you and follow this two-step process to properly adjust the focus. Be sure to stay in the same spot until you have adjusted both the center focus and diopter.

  • ADJUST THE CENTER FOCUS:  Start by closing your right eye or covering the right objective lens with your hand. Focus your left eye on the object and adjust the center focus wheel until the image is in focus. Leave the center focus in this position as you adjust the diopter.
  • ADJUST THE DIOPTER:  Start by closing your left eye, or covering the left objective lens with your hand. Look through your right eye and adjust the diopter (ring found on the right eyepiece) until the object is in focus. Make not of this diopter setting in case you need to set it again. From this point on, you will only need to use the center focus dial.

CARING FOR THE LENSES:  Maintain the optical brilliance of your binoculars by keeping the lens surfaces free of dirt, oils, and dust. Don’t forget to make good use of the rain guards and tethered objective lens covers to protect the lenses when not viewing. Also make sure you store the binoculars in your carrying case when they are not in use.imagesCABHEWGX

Remove any dust or grit from lenses before wiping. Use a can o pressurized air or soft camel hair brush like an acrylic optical brushes. They work quite well.

Clear lenses of smudges, fingerprints, or eyelash oil. fog the lenses with your own breath and wipe them with the non-abrasive lens cloth included with the binoculars. Other cleaning options include cleaning fluid and optical paper can also be used. However, you should never use facial tissue, heavy cotton, or flannel clothing on lenses. These materials can scratch the lens surfaces.

This should help you get along when purchasing, caring for and viewing your binoculars. One brand that is very good all the way around is a company called Vortex. Vortex builds their optics based on past and present customer satisfaction. They also carry what they call a VIP – Very Important Person. Should your binoculars require  service, regardless of why, they will repair or replace the binocular at no charge to you.

Best to you as you head out on your birding adventure. For more information on where you can purchase a good pair of binoculars, simply visit www.wildlife-houses.com . Happy Birding!!!!

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