Straits Area Audubon Society newsletter dating from 1983
April 2010 Vol. 11 No. 4
President: Kathy Bricker
April Meeting – “The Weather Machine Shifts Gears ”
Vice President: Jim Bricker
627-4830 firstname.lastname@example.org by Jim Bricker
Treasurer: Rosanne Rynerson
On Wednesday, April 14, at the Cheboygan Area Public Library
627-3741 email@example.com will be the premiere event of Earth Week Cheboygan County.
See the enclosed or attached Earth Week file for other events
Secretary: Amy Durant
When I first became SAAS vice-president, several people ad-
Past President: Ben Lillie vised, if there's any way you can get Dave Barrons to speak, do
627-5128 firstname.lastname@example.org it. Now at last, he is coming, thanks to an anonymous sup-
Executive Com. At-Large: Gloria Cadwalader porter who will pay most of Dave's travel costs from Traverse City.
597-0426 email@example.com Dave Barrons retired a few years back as the weatherman for television Chan-
nel 9 and 10. His program, “The Weather Machine Shifts Gears,” will tell about
Michigan Audubon Society Rep.: Art Frock
627-5128 firstname.lastname@example.org weather change, the driving forces behind it, and what we can do about it.
As he explains, and we all know from the light winter and the premature
Youth Outreach: Mike Supernault spring in Michigan, weather patterns are increasingly topsy-turvy. You will be
entertained as well as educated, so please plan to join us.
Greeter: Marie Bartlett All attendees are eligible to win the door prize. Raffle ticket sales will sup-
625-9078 email@example.com port SAAS nature education activities. After the program, refreshments will be
Field Trips: Steve Baker served thanks to Steve and Sue Baker, Eloise Davis, and Will Mandrick.
Bird Reports/Counts: Ed Pike
Saving Starlight Education
by Kathy Bricker
Conservation: Maureen Conklin On March 2, SAAS members Jim Bricker
and Mark Stormzand assisted me in pre-
Raffle/Door Prize: Judy Vanderhart senting a 12-minute, localized version of the
627-6249 firstname.lastname@example.org talk given to SAAS in November 2009 by
Hospitality: Alice MacFarland
Mary Lou Tanton of the Outdoor Lighting
597-8173 email@example.com Forum. We spoke before the Inverness
Township board of trustees and a small au-
Kettle Layout: Linda Baney
dience of citizens. Besides giving the
Kettle Printer/Producer: Ann/Roger Benter PowerPoint, we passed out pamphlets from
627-3992 firstname.lastname@example.org the International Dark-Sky Association on
light pollution and its effects on human health, safety, energy, and wildlife.
Audiovisual/Web Master: Roy MacFarland
597-8173 email@example.com Trustee Tim Borowicz agreed to research how the township could improve its
night lighting and educate people about this issue. Non-member volunteer Jolie
Website: www.straitsareaaudubon.org Hile now is approaching Aloha Township to offer the program. Anyone else
Meetings: PLEASE NOTE that SAAS meetings could share this material or talk to your township, church, or other organization.
are held at the Cheboygan Area Public Library, I would be happy to help with the presentation and provide handouts from the
starting at 6:30 pm. We thank the Library for stock obtained by SAAS. These materials also will be distributed during Earth
providing this space at 100 S. Bailey St.
Mission Statement: The mission of the Straits Area Audubon Society is to educate the community, including its children, about conservation and
enjoyment of the natural world with emphasis on the local natural communities of wildlife. This will be accomplished through regular seasonal meet-
ings and by sponsoring fieldtrips, classroom studies and field studies. 1
What you missed at the March meeting
by Gary Lee Williams - substitute secretary
Jim Bricker introduced the evening end positions of the
program: Monty and Ollie Najar, father and strike.
son team that had taken a snake study trip It was noted that a
to Kenya. lot of people do die from
In April of 2009 when Ollie was 10 snakebite but the bites
years old his father, Monty, decided it was are not always a death
his turn (Ollie is one of 3 kids) for a learn- sentence, especially
ing adventure. Monty believes that what when with proper treat-
you learn during 5 minutes with an animal ment. For example, al-
is better than 50 hours at the library. though the black mamba
Monty and Ollie spent 3 weeks in Af- venom attacks the nerv-
rica; part of that time was spent at Bio-Ken ous system controlling
Snake Park and Research Centre (www.bio muscles, it does not af- Attendees gather around Ollie and
-ken.com). Bio-Ken is part tourist attrac- fect the heart and the effects wear off af- Monty Najar Photo by Marilee Lillie
tion, part snake farm, and part venom re- ter a couple days. There is a story of a
search center. Ollie learned that Bio-Ken whole village taking turns using a squeeze
maintains an antivenin trust, does educa- bag manual ventilator to keep a patient
tion and seminars on snakebite for people alive for four days. The patient survived.
from around the world, and provides free Monty and Ollie also told about several
consultation to local snakebite victims other snakes, including the spitting cobra,
when needed. He believes that Bio-Ken pythons, puff adder, and the green mam- www.straitsareaaudubon.org
has saved hundreds of lives around the bas. by Roy MacFarland
world through their research, work and Monty compared amateur herpetology Some people have had
consultation services. to bird watching. He said, “Everybody trouble getting to our web-
Monty said that as a father he loves should have some hobby or outside inter- site. If so, try going to
the fact that he can do "fantastic, super- est. For my son and me it is herpetology. A Google and typing in Straits
natural, and impossible things” in the eyes big part of this trip was to get some first- Area Audubon Society. Or
of his kids. He said that when he travels person, hands on skills and see things with complete the following steps
he likes to support local causes and to help our own eyes. People don’t do this enough. on your computer.
his kids develop a sense of responsibility Go see and smell and touch the things that Press green start key in
by helping the world just a little bit. On you’ve studied or seen on TV. Scrape to- lower left. Click on Control
this trip they donated a large quantity of gether some time and money to go explore Panel. Select Delete Cookies.
snake handling and safety equipment, the real world. Get out there!“ OR
some of which was provided by U S manu- Monty lives in southeast Michigan with 1. Go into Control Panel.
facturers. his wife and three children. He travels for 2. Click on Internet Options
One of the fascinating things Ollie dis- work as well as for play, and chases 3. Click on Browsing history
played to the SAAS audience of 54 people snakes wherever possible. His next big trip A new window will come
(24 members and 30 guests) was the is planned to Brazil with a younger son. up...Under Browsing History,
speed of the strike of the Gaboon Viper. He invites contact at yTomRa- click on Delete. Select any or
This snake can strike faster than the hu- firstname.lastname@example.org. As he likes to say, “I all of the files to delete.
man eyeball can record. They showed a Smell . . . ADVENTURE!” Then click on Delete again.
close up video of the viper striking a rat. SAAS President, Kathy Bricker opened Feel free to contact me
In slow motion, we saw only the start and (Continued on page 4) for additional help if needed.
Especially with Earth Week
SAAS Nominating Committee Seeks Input coming up, you will want to
know the latest news on all
by Dorothy Woosley the events, since the Earth
The nominating committee is accepting tions, and pass along recommendations for Week website is part of the
candidates for leadership and volunteer other volunteer posts to the new President SAAS website.
roles in the SAAS. If you are a member of replacing Kathy Bricker, who has reached
SAAS you can nominate someone, or vol- the end of her term limit time of three
unteer yourself, for any of the roles listed years. Contact Jim Bricker (627-4830) or
on the front page of "The Kettle.” We will Dorothy Woosley (627-9909) by April 18th.
nominate people for the President, Vice We look forward to hearing from you.
President, Secretary, and Treasurer posi-
by Kathy Bricker
Rare Bird Sighting When someone recommends a book or climate changes.
by Darlene and Gary Nordberg a movie, I try to pay attention. Luckily, the One recommendation in particular
book about climate change recommended struck me, since it underlays our SAAS
by Richard Riker of Mackinaw City was work to protect places like the Red Rock
available through the library. Richard, an Wilderness in Utah, the dark night sky over
Earth Week presenter on home energy our heads, and species like eagles and
conservation and savings (see separate coyotes. Page 188: “Saving some excess
schedule or visit capacity is an insurance policy. Nature
www.earthweekcheboygancounty), is an gives us fossil fuels, land, water, air,
avid and critical reader, so I launched into plants, animals, nutrients, and more. If we
The Two-Mile Time Machine by Richard use everything that nature gives us, and
Photo by Gary Nordberg
Alley. I found it dense reading, but with then nature takes some back, we will have
the Audubon climate change program com- nowhere else to go. If we leave some ex-
A strikingly beautiful par- ing in April, it seemed important to better cess capacity out there, then we will have
tridge-like bird with orange understand the extensive studies of past additional resources on which to draw if we
legs arrived at our home on climate. Dr. Alley explained how quickly need them. And those resources can be
Long Point, Mullett Lake on the earth can both cool and heat, and how used by the other species with which we
March 19. It left 2 days later, rarely it stays as stable as this period that share this globe and on which we often
after feeding on sunflower humans have enjoyed. In the last chapter rely.” Hmmm – setting aside a “rainy day
and other seeds from the the author opined what humans might do fund” for our planet and ourselves – makes
ground below the feeder. either to forestall or adapt to the coming sense!
Looking into my bird book, I
was surprised to see it was a
chukar, native to the far
Reminder: 2010 Ornithological Congress in Petoskey
western states. It was quite by Thomas Funke, Director of Conservation, Michigan Audubon Society
tame, and when it moved, it
The 2010 Ornithological Congress is A Bird Monitoring Orientation on Satur-
walked or ran along the
April 7 to 10 at North Central Michigan Col- day April 10 will help birders interested in
ground rather than flying.
lege in Petoskey. Topics include: helping monitor birds and/or coordinate
We assume it escaped from
monitoring for nocturnal birds and regional monitoring volunteers.
some farm or game ranch
pest species of insects and plants Call 517-886-9144 for more informa-
and wonder if Audubon mem-
how to recruit "non- traditional" tion about the conference. A single day
bers have seen others in the
audiences into wildlife conservation registration costs $30; full registration
area? (Note – please alert
falconry and raptor rehabilitation costs $75. Both include lunch and dinner
Kathy Bricker if you have
impacts of non-native insects on on-site.
seen a chukar in the wild.)
Superior: Land of the Woodland Drummer by Tom Sterling
by Jim Bricker
Straits Area Audubon Society grouse, the woodland drummer, but about
thanks Tom Sterling for pre- sharp-tailed grouse that court by gathering
senting Superior: Land of in leks, and many other amazing creatures
the Woodland Drummer to of Superior country. We appreciate every-
600 Cheboygan Middle one who attended and brought friends.
School students and 104 Many people helped to make the event a
members of the public on success, including Roger Benter, Jim and
March 18. Because of Tom's Connie Boyer, Kathy Bricker, Gloria and
gracious offer of a dis- Tom Cadwalader, Linda Chase, Mark Dom-
counted rate of $300, we broski, Cyndi Kress, Ben Lillie, Alice and
raised enough in ticket sales Roy MacFarland, and Rose Rynerson.
to cover bringing this classic
nature education program to
Cheboygan. Tom taught us
Sharp-tailed grouse on lek, Photo by not only about ruffed
by Steve Baker
Friday, April 9 and plan to en-
SECOND ANNUAL Headlands Park joy the spectacle
potluck, owl banding, stargazing of hawks and
At 6:30 pm on April 9, SAAS members eagles as they
and guests will gather at the Guest House kettle high over-
at the Headlands Park for a potluck dinner. head on ther-
Afterward, we will help Ed Pike set up mist mals. We may
nests and an owl calling station nearby. also see north-
Saw-whet owls will be the main target, ern shrikes, blue
with boreal and long-eared owls also possi- jays, northern
ble. The first net check will be about 30 flickers, and
minutes after sunset. Any captured owls other migrants. Photo by Kathy Bricker
will be measured, aged, sexed, banded Around noon,
and released. Ed will demonstrate tech- join a brown-bag lunch back at the Guest
niques that biologists use to learn more House and help rake leaves or clear trails
about these nocturnal hunters. In be- in return for the use of this fine facility. In
tween checking the nets, star-gazing and inclement weather, instead of watching
constellation identification will take place. hawks, we will take a nature hike on the
Stay as late as you like. A limited number extensive Headlands trails. Anyone who
of people can spend the night dormitory- wishes may stay overnight again on Satur-
style. The Emmet County Headlands Park day to help Ed with owl banding and do
is located just west of Mackinaw City. more star gazing.
From the entrance, follow the signs to the Wednesday, May 19
Guest House. Big Birding Day
Saturday, April 10 This annual event is an all day, all out
Hawk Watch and trail pickup at Head- effort to see as many species of birds as
lands Park we can in one day. This is a fund raiser for
At 10 am on April 10, Headlands over- the Straits Area Audubon Society where
nighters and any others are invited to help members pledge an amount per species
survey hawks as they migrate over the tip seen. Typically around 100 species are
of the mitt. Drive down the dirt road into found. For those that want to participate,
the Mackinaw City historic park opposite we will meet at 6 am in Mackinaw City at
the entrance to the Headlands. Dress the highway rest area . More details in the
warmly, bring a lawn chair and binoculars, May Kettle.
(Continued from page 2) cation work.
the meeting promptly at 6:30 P.M. Alice Rose Rynerson gave the finance re-
MacFarland told about the quilt raffle and port. Kathy announced that Jim Bricker
the blue bird house program and the dis- and Dorothy Woosley are the nominating
play on it at the Cheboygan Area Public committee lining up candidates for 2010-
Library. She explained the Department of 2011 offices. For more information or sug-
Environmental Quality criteria for use of gestions, please contact them.
wetlands relating to the proposed Cheboy- Thanks to Ben and Marilee Lillie for the
gan RV Park. She thanked Gloria Cad- beautiful framed print of two eagles they
walader, B.D. Gillig, and Rose Rynerson for donated for the raffle. Guest Tammy Paw-
providing refreshments tonight. lowski selected it as her prize. Roy
Ed Pike handled bird sightings; Com- MacFarland won the other raffle prize of
mon Grackles were noted as spring arri- the glass painting of an artist's rendition of
vals. a bluebird. Guest Nick Dankert won his
Steve Baker announced the March 20th choice of the bird house and feeder door
maple syrup field trip by Will Mandrick. prize, while Rose Rynerson won the St.
Jim Bricker urged people to attend Patrick's Day kitchen mitt and hot pad door
“Superior: Land of the Woodland Drum- prize donated by Alice and Roy
mer” at the High School on March 18th. A MacFarland. Special thanks go to Ed Pike Nick Dankert with his brother Chris
small admission fee will be split between for donating back one of the items which and door prize, Photo by Marilee Lillie
Cheboygan Schools and SAAS nature edu- he won.
Bluebirds Help Youth
by Molly and Gary Ferguson
SAAS is partnering with the Che- wood on one of the box’s doors and Sean
boygan Youth Center, which pro- pointed out how we could to fix the error.
vides after school activities for He built two boxes and was feeling confi-
kids in 5th through 9th grades. dent. Kyle built a box. He started slowly
When boys and girls were asked and gained confidence. “This is fun” he
to sign up to build bird houses, said, and built another one. He would
Kyle wasn’t sure he wanted to have built more, given the opportunity.
participate, asking “do we have to Painting was something that everyone
use hammers”. We told him yes, wanted to do. Here is some of the conver-
you are building a bird house, sation that took place: Can I paint camou-
decorating it, and placing it where flage on the box? Sure, it’s yours to deco-
birds can build their nests. He rate. How about the back? There’s no
Gary Ferguson helps at Cheboygan
Youth Center bluebird box construc- wasn’t sure about that hammer. need to since you won’t see the back. No
tion, photo by Molly Ferguson We expected this project would appeal you will see the back, another student re-
mostly to boys. Seven kids registered with plied, because they are going on posts.
a good share of girls. We had hoped for OK, you'd better paint the back also.
Call for Grant-Worthy Projects 10 kids who would work in teams of two Where are you going to put these boxes?
by Kathy Bricker with one person being a little older and Who’s Alice? (Since her name and phone
Once again, members are able to help the younger one. We deco- number was the information burned into
asked to submit ideas for rated the Center’s bulletin board with pho- the bottom of each nest box.)
how to best use Audubon tographs of bluebirds, their eggs and “Can I wood burn the front of the box
funds we will raise on our Big nests. Our goal was to make this fun and since it isn’t painted yet?”, asked Mike.
Birding Day on May 19. Your let learning follow as the kids got into the Sure, it’s yours to decorate. He wrote--
vote on projects last May was building process. As the project began, “My name is Bob - Welcome birds”. We
honored, as we donated $545 other kids started to wander into the area, don’t know what it means, but Mike has
to projects you selected: became interested and asked to partici- established ownership of his nesting box.
$150 for owl migration re- pate. The kids built 10 houses. They asked
search, $135 for public edu- First, we wood burned the contact in- many questions about bluebirds, their eggs
cation materials about Saving formation on the bottom of each nest box. and where the nest boxes will be placed.
Starlight, $100 on field trip Everyone wanted a hand at wood burning The kids have started on a journey, thanks
honoraria, and $80 each for with the partners alternating in the burn- to this project, which involved improving
cleanup supplies and field trip ing. Hammering began. Sean pounded their motor skills, their self confidence, and
supplies, which included buy- nails like a carpenter. We had split the their knowledge of bluebird behavior.
ing SAAS bookmarks. Please
send me or Maureen Conklin
ideas for projects you would
Building Your Own Bluebird Boxes
like to see us fund in the by new SAAS member Jackie Andrzejewski
coming year. Then watch
I love to feed and watch the birds in P.S. We would like to build bluebird
the May Kettle so you can
our yard. Attending meetings and func- nest houses for our yard as we do have
vote even if you cannot at-
tions may not be feasible for me – but I bluebirds visit our birdbath – but need a
tend the annual meeting.
want to receive the Kettle and support design and dimensions, especially the
your efforts. I've been doing the Christ- opening size. A template would be
mas bird count in my yard for the past two great!...and assembly instructions.
years. Response: Full bluebird box instruc-
The blue jays and mourning doves tions are available at http://
have been chipping and eating the paint www.nabluebirdsociety.org/
off of our garage door. Thanks to your tip nestboxspecs.htm. Or you may call Kathy
re: crushed eggshells (calcium), the chip- Bricker for a mailed copy. Boxes for this
ping has stopped and birds are really eat- year should be up by late March or early
ing the shells. Thanks! April.
Earth Week Schedule
Besides printed brochures available at libraries, please visit www.earthweekcheboygancounty for the full
schedule, event descriptions, sponsor list, and registration information. Also, call 231-627-4830 for more
information or to volunteer.
Kettle Contribution Due Dates
In order to deliver The Kettle in a timely matter,
please submit your photos and articles by the
Join Straits Area Audubon following due dates: 4/26/10
Society Send your submissions to
NAME: SAAS thanks Benter Chiropractic for
hosting www.straitsareaaudubon.org AND
to the Benters and Williams Office Supply
for printing the Kettle.
Mark your calendars now to be sure you can
4/10 & 11 Field trips: Headlands potluck, owl
banding, stargazing, hawk watch, hike, trail
E-MAIL: 4/14 Monthly program: “The Weather Machine
Shifts Gears” by Dave Barrons, Retired
Channel 9 and 10 weatherman
4/15 to 4/21 Earth Week activities to be an-
Make checks payable to: nounced
5/12 “International Lessons in Caring for Water:
Straits Area Audubon Great Lakes in U.S. and Africa” by John
Society Gannon, Ph.D.., Acting Director, Interna-
tional Joint Commission and former Chief
Scientist, University of Michigan Biological
Please mail checks to:
Straits Area Audubon Society
Rosanne Rynerson, 5/19 Field trip: Big Birding Day
c/o Rosanne Rynerson
Cheboygan, MI 49721
Treasurer 6/9 Field trip: Grass Bay Nature Preserve
10490 E. U.S. 23 and Member Potluck at Cordwood
10490 E. U.S. 23
Cheboygan, MI 49721
SAAS meetings are held at the Cheboygan
Single Membership: $12 Area Public Library.
The scheduling of a meeting or program in
the Cheboygan Area Public Library does not in
Family Membership: $15 any way constitute an endorsement by the li-
brary of the group or organization; its activities;
or of the ideas and opinions expressed during the
course of meetings or programs.