MONTROSE BEACH DUNES NEEDS YOUR HELP!

To the Volunteers and Friends of Montrose Beach Dunes
Your Help is Needed!
 
The dunes sleep in peaceful dormancy under a fresh blanket of snow, but folks are already busy preparing for next year’s growing season. Advocates for better security and enforcement of city ordinances and regulations at Montrose have put together a petition at the link below. If you have not already received this, please open the link, read the letter and add your signature and comment. It’s very important! The petition has only been circulating for a few days but is already almost halfway to its goal of 2,000 signatures. It will be shared with various governmental agencies and officials (the Chicago Park District, its Board of Commissioners, the Chicago Police Department, the city Animal Care and Control Department, etc.), and it will help achieve the protection, health, and security our Montrose natural areas, beach, and recreational areas deserve.
 
 
THANK YOU!!
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Chicago Audubon Annual Appeal 2016

  ~~ ANNUAL APPEAL 2016  ~~

Your donation to our 2016 Annual Appeal will help us to achieve our on-going goals of protecting migratory birds, the restoration and protection of bird habitat and habitat for all wildlife, and educating the public about the importance of these goals. Please click here if you would like to donate using you credit card. If you prefer, you may call our office to speak to the Administrator and make a charge over the phone (773-539-6793). If you reach voice mail, please  leave a message with your name and phone number (only), and the Administrator will return your call. Another option would be to donate by mailing a check made out to Chicago Audubon Society to our address at:  Chicago Audubon Society, 5801-C North Pulaski Road, Chicago, IL  60646. If you have any questions, please call ourr office at the number just above.

We thank you for your timely support and for your support in the past!

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CHICAGO AUDUBON'S ANNUAL BIRD SEED SALE

~  CHICAGO AUDUBON ANNUAL BIRD SEED SALE 2016  ~

We wish to extend many, many thanks to

Good Earth Greenhouse in River Forest and to Nature House in Chicago

for hosting our pickup day for our bird seed sale in 2016.

Without your help and the help of all of our wonderful Volunteers,

this sale would not be possible!

We look forward to seeing you all again this coming Autumn.

Keep an eye on our website in early September

for publication of deadlines and pickup date.

Good Birding to all!

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The Skokie Lagoons: A Jewel for Recreation and A Paradise for Volunteers

"This network of pools, channels and islands winds between Winnetka, Northfield and Glencoe. With public boat access (boasting some of Cook County’s best fishing), biking and hiking trails and picnic areas, this well loved, wooded preserve offers peaceful retreats and activities around every bend. The Skokie Lagoons Forest Preserve covers 894 acres."   Cook County Forest Preserve District fpdcc.com.

THE SKOKIE LAGOONS -- By John Elliott, Chicago Audubon Society Conservation Committee

 

A Few Things to Keep in Mind About Birdfeeders - in the Winter and All Year

Feeder Placement for Reducing Window Strikes—Placement of feeders within three feet of a window or more than 30 feet away from a window are the safest positions. When feeders are close to a window, a bird leaving the feeder cannot gain enough momentum to do itself harm if it strikes the window. And if feeders are more than 30 feet from a window, the birds are less likely to perceive windows as a pathway to other parts of your yard.Some other possibilities for hanging a feeder include hanging from the eaves at the corner of a house, or fixing it directly to a window. Also, periodically moving feeders to a different location helps to minimize the build up of waste on the ground. And placement near (but not over) a water feature, such as a bird bath, will almost ensure that birds will find your feeder.

Providing Safe Haven Near the FeederBirds are more often than not completely out in the open when at a feeder, making them targets for local predators. A brush pile or shrub within about 10 feet of the feeder will provide a place for birds to quickly fly into when a predator is within striking distant.The term “brush pile” describes a mound or heap of woody vegetative material, usually loosely constructed to furnish additional wildlife cover. Brush piles can be tidy or wild, large or small, and mostly made up of wood which can be alive or dead. Discarded Christmas trees (without the tinsel) can be used as a base for a brush pile—then build up from there. Our resident and migrating birds need the kind of cover that brush piles offer. 

Three Seeds that Attract Many Birds:

Black Oil Sunflower:  A favorite with many species—Cardinals, Woodpeckers, Blue jays, Goldfinches, Purple Finches, Chickadees, Titmice, Nuthatches and others. Because of raccoons and squirrels, it’s best to put most of your sunflower seeds in hanging feeders. The black sunflower seed, sometimes called oil seed is best rather than the grey-and-white-striped sunflower seed. It’s called black oil because they are higher in oil content and they also have softer shells.

Nyjer:  Goldfinches adore Nyjer seed. It is also very popular with Pine Siskins, Common Redpolls and other small-billed seed-eating birds—Nuthatches, Chickadees, Doves, and Downy Woodpeckers—but no one loves it more than Goldfinches! And Nyjer doesn’t look large enough to have a shell, but it does! And because it’s so small, it’s easy to mistake ground debris under a Nyjer feeder for seed that has fallen, but take a closer look at what looks like fallen seed—it’s most likely tiny Nyjer seed shells on the ground. The birds eat the seeds and the shells drop. And, happily for the birds, squirrels typically ignore Nyjer seed (which is good for you as well because it is expensive). Do not mix the Nyjer with other seeds because you will have squirrels and Grackles sweeping through the mixture to get at what they want.

Safflower:  Squirrels do not like Safflower, and Grackles may try it once but then generally leave it alone after the first encounter. Its thick shell is difficult for some birds to crack open, but it is loved by many species and high in protein. Put Safflower in tube feeders for House Finches, Chickadees, and Nuthatches. Use elevated feeders for Blue Jays, Cardinals, and other Grosbeaks, and put it in ground feeders for Doves. And, as with the Nyjer, be careful not to mix Safflower in with other seed.

Thank You for Feeding the Birds All Year Long!!

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Illinois Birds: A Century of Change

Book Review by Gail Goldberger

 

ILLINOIS BIRDS:
A CENTURY OF CHANGE

Illinois Birds: A Century of Change cover art

ILLINOIS BIRDS: A CENTURY OF CHANGE
is published by the Illinois Natural History
Survey Special Publication 31, 2010, and
can be found at
https://shop.inrs.illinois.edu/inhs-spec-pub.html.

Summary

Commissioned by the Illinois Natural History Survey, data compiled from bird counts at three fifty-year intervals, and repeated at the same locations, make up the oldest standardized survey in the nation.

The City Dark

The City Dark Ian Cheney’s 2011 award winning documentary – The City Dark – gives audiences an appreciation of what is being lost as we live in a world that is increasingly filled with light pollution. Besides no longer being able to enjoy stars in a night sky or inquire about the cosmos by peering deep into space – there are real dangers to human health and the well-being of the planet when we live in a 24-hour light cycle.

Migratory birds fatally attracted to urban lighting, baby turtles disoriented and confused by beach front lights are all victims of the rapid introduction of excessive outdoor lighting that has occurred in just the last generation. Changing light in the environment is altering habitat in a way that is not good for nature and humans.

Volunteers Needed to Help Save the Birds!

Chicago Bird Collision Monitors is looking for volunteers to assist in their conservation and rescue efforts for migratory birds in downtown Chicago and outlying areas. Help rescue the birds! CBCM is a conservation project of the Chicago Audubon Society. For further information, please call (773) 988-1867.

For even more info go to www.birdmonitors.net

What to do if you find an entangled bird:

Lights Out!

Migration season will soon be here again, and our our nationally-known program, Lights Out! will soon resume. With the cooperation and support of the Mayor's Nature and Wildlife Committee and the Building Owners and Managers Association of Chicago (BOMA), lights in many of downtown Chicago's tall buildings are turned out during the overnight hours in order to avoid attracting migratory birds, which can otherwise become disoriented and crash into the buildings. More information.

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