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Winter 2016 Audubon eNews heading

January 2016
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Audubon eNews

Registration for Summer Camp Opens in January
Morning gaggle

Registration for summer camps opens to all Audubon Naturalist Society (ANS) members (including those who joined by December 1) on Saturday, January 30, 2016 at 9:00 am. Registration opens to nonmembers and those joining after December 1 on Thursday, February 4, 2016 at 9:00 am.  Explore all the nature summer camp choices. 

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A Christmas Bird Count Wrap Up  
Christmas Bird Count 

The annual Seneca Christmas Bird Count was held December 20, 2015--part of the 116th annual Christmas Bird Count. The Seneca count was organized by ANS's own John Bjerke and Stephanie Mason, sector leaders. 

The Christmas Bird Count is a census administered by the National Audubon Society. ANS sponsors one of the counts in the DC area--the Washington DC Christmas Bird Count, which has been going for 73 years. 

Each count takes place in an established 15-mile wide diameter circle.  Count volunteers follow specified routes through the circle, counting every bird they see or hear. It's not just a species tally--all birds are counted all day, giving an indication of the total number of birds in the circle that day.  In 2014/15 (this year’s count is still being tallied), there were over 2,400 active circles and more than 70,000 people participated worldwide. In the U.S. alone, 655 species (and additional 66 identifiable forms) were recorded. 

Within the Seneca Count, there are 16 sectors, one of which includes the McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area in Poolesville. 

“Counters are assigned to specific areas within the Count circle,” says Bjerke, who’s been observing since 1982. “Our sector is particularly nice.” 

“Everybody’s got a role, “ says Mason. “Some count, some spot, some ID.”

It’s definitely a group effort--where the science is freely shared and the good humor is infectious despite the sometimes challenging weather conditions. 

The Christmas Bird Counts might be done for the season, but there's plenty of other opportunities to get out and enjoy nature this winter. 

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Master Plan Survey  Lend a Hand with Dan 
Woodend in Winter Dan Bowman
Please take this short, 1-question survey to share your priorities for Woodend.  Earlier this winter, Andropogon was hired by ANS to develop a 50-year Master Plan for the sanctuary. We need to hear from you to ensure the site reflects a shared, progressive vision. Take the Survey Now.   Are you free Thursday or Friday mornings this spring?  If so, lend a hand with ANS Trails Team Leader Dan Bowman. Dan, also a Volunteer Master Naturalist, is organizing a group to maintain existing ANS trails and blaze a few new ones. Ready to help? Email Alison Pearce

Nature Birthday Parties Ad

Get on Course with Nature This Winter

Study Conservation Philosophy, Winter Woody Plant ID, Animal Behavior, or other timely topics through the Natural History Field Studies Program, which ANS cosponsors with the Graduate School USA. Enroll in the evening classes for professional development, personal enrichment, or to earn a Certificate of Accomplishment. Winter classes begin January 19 at our Woodend Sanctuary, MD or the Metro-accessible Capital Gallery, DC. Register soon to ensure a space in the course you want.

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Arizona: Crossroads of Western Ecosystems
 Nature Travel Logo

Southeastern Arizona
August 19-28, 2016
Leaders: Sheri Williamson & Rob Gibbs

Southeastern Arizona has long been considered one of our country’s top birding and natural history destinations. Four major biomes converge here, each with its own complement of plants and animals. With ever-changing dramatic scenery as the backdrop, come search for birds and other wildlife while learning about the dynamics of southeastern ecosystems. The region is quite arid, but rains typically in late summer, bringing greenery to the landscape and more comfortable temperatures. In August nesting birds mix with southbound migrants and it’s the month with highest hummingbird diversity.

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Winter Exploration and Animal Habitat Hike

Saturday, January 23 
10:30 am to 11:30 am
Rust Nature Sanctuary 
802 Childrens Center Road  
Cost: $5 per person, includes hot chocolate and craft

*Inclement weather date: Sunday, January 24 

Put on a pair of warm boots and venture out on a winter walk at Rust Nature Sanctuary. We’ll look for animal tracks, scat, and other signs of life with NOVA Parks Roving Naturalist David Garcia and ANS's Susanne Ortmann. Chase away the winter blahs as you enjoy the sights and sounds of winter on our 68-acre nature sanctuary. Finish your hike with a cozy cup of hot chocolate.

∞ ∞ ∞ 

Rust Nature Sanctuary also offers Fresh Air Kids programs for children ages five and younger and a parent or caregiver, afterschool programs and birthday parties.  

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Resolved: Get More Children Outside this Year 
Every year, we hear from schools who want to bring their students on a field trip here to Woodend but cannot afford the cost of the bus to get here. You can help. We have an opportunity to buy a 27-seat Nature Bus thanks to the generous support of people like you. We're just a few thousand dollars away from bringing up to 1,000 children a year to our sanctuaries. For many, they'll enjoy their first experience holding a worm or insect  while on a field trip here with us; or their first time planing a tree or splashing in a stream. Please, help us get more children outside this year. 

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Clearance Sale! Audubon Naturalist Shop 

Now through January 31, check out the Clearance Sale at the Audubon Naturalist Shop. We need to lighten our load as we prepare to make a few minor shop renovations this February. Find clearance prices on natural history books and children's books, nature-themed gifts, notecards, birdfeeders, birdhouses, birdbaths and more. During the renovation, the Audubon Naturalist Shop will get a fresh coat of paint, new carpet and improved lighting.  Not to worry. Birdseed will be available for purchase during the makeover.

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2016-17 Nature Preschool Admissions 
 preschoolers running in meadow

New this upcoming school year, the Audubon Nature Preschool is offering an Oaks Class, ideal for older four year olds and younger five year olds.  This new Forest Kindergarten class is an alternative to structured kindergarten or first grade.  The Preschool offers even more traditional drop off programs and parent and child classes.  Visit the preschool, meet the staff and explore Woodend during any of the following Open Houses

Saturday, January 23, 2016, 9:30-11 am
Friday, February 5, 2016, 12-1 pm
Saturday, February 6, 2016, 9:30-11 am

No RSVP necessary. Children encouraged to attend. Please dress for outdoor exploration after a short visit in our classroom.

Applications are accepted year-round; however, applications received by February 15, 2016 will receive preference. Applications from current and active ANS members also receive preference. Acceptance letters are sent in March.

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Rent Woodend in Winter

 Audubon Naturalist Society

© Audubon Naturalist Society

Rust Sanctuary
802 Childrens Center Road
Leesburg, VA 20175
Phone: 703-669-0000
Fax: 703-669-1234

Woodend Sanctuary (Headquarters)
8940 Jones Mill Road
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Phone: 301-652-9188
Fax: 301-951-7179

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