Keeping you informed about cool bird stuff in & near central Kentucky.

314: Climate Change Awareness Community Art Collage

CKAS has embarked on a community art project we're calling "314," named for the number of North American bird species that National Audubon identified as "in trouble" in its 2014 report "Birds and Climate Change." Of the 588 bird species the report studied, 314 species will likely lose significant climatic range. If global warming continues at its current pace, 188 species are expected to lose more than 50% of their current range by 2080; these species are classified as climate threatened. Another 126 species are projected to lose over 50% of their current range by as soon as 2050 and so these species are classified as climate endangered. Some species may be able to find new suitable habitat, but some species may be lost entirely. Audubon's report sends a clear message about the dangers birds face in a warming world. Protecting them will require both curbing greenhouse emissions and redoubling conservation efforts.

CKAS will be asking people to "draw a bird" up to and throughout the upcoming 3rd Annual Bluegrass Birding Festival in May. If you would like to contribute your artistic efforts to the cause, drop by our table at Reforest the Bluegrass or Party for the Planet. We'll have 4x4 squares and various art supplies. Help us get the word out about climate change's effects on our native birds. We would love to have 314 or more total bird squares on the finished product!

KAC Spring Meeting Proposes Kentucky Motus Station

The recent Kentucky Audubon Council meeting led to some promising decisions, the biggest being the collective's united interest in establishing the first Motus Mobile Wildlife Tracking Station in Kentucky. Motus, managed by Bird Studies Canada, is a coordinated hemispheric tracking system for all migratory bird species, arguably the world's most ambitious bird tracking initiative. The project's goal is to understand the connections between breeding, migrating, and wintering locations for every North American bird species which ever enters Canada, and to do so by 2030. Motus enables researchers to track the movements of birds, bats, and other flying animals at local and regional scales, and over vast distances. This project is providing critical new details about the exact breeding and wintering habitats and the migration routes of birds in the Western Hemisphere. This information will help identify priority habitats to target for protection.

Motus technology is the first of its kind in the world, and involves a combination of miniaturized radio transmitters and a new, expansive network of receivers. Initially, the KAC will apply for grants to establish one, then maybe a few more Motus towers at locations dictated by the Bird Studies Canada experts; but we hope to eventually get involved with actual species capture and nano-tagging of local Kentucky birds. We see this as an important step in finding out where our birds come from, how long they stay, and where they go when they leave Kentucky. Knowing all this will help us understand which local species need our attention most and how best to help them.

To get an idea of the sort of data that Motus is generating, click the play button on this link to Gray-Cheeked and Swainson's Thrushes. Keep your fingers crossed that the Bird Studies experts think having a tower at UK's EREC (where we sponsored the Hitnes Mural Talk & Class) would be a good idea; we'd love to have one right in our central Kentucky backyard.

Upcoming CKAS (& Other) Events    
These and other events can be found on our CKAS Web Calendar.
… to April 10th: The 3rd Annual (and LAST!) Rusty Blackbird Blitz Everywhere. Help track Rusty Blackbirds on their northern migration. Can't tell a Rusty from a Red-Wing? Get help and learn more about the project at the Rusty Working Group web page. It's important citizen science which needs your contribution!
Apr. 6th (Wed.) 6:00pm-9:00pm: Free Movie: Trashed  Central Public Library's Farish Theater 140 East Main St., Lexington. Join the Sierra Club and Bluegrass Earth for a free showing of Trashed, a documentary which looks at waste and the risks brought on by pollution of our air, land, and sea, revealing surprising truths about very immediate and potent dangers to our health. Movie starts at 6:30pm.
Apr. 8th (Fri.) 6:00pm-11:00pm: Wildlands Art & Music Benefit for Kentucky Natural Lands Trust The Grand Reserve 903 Manchester St. #190, Lexington. Join the Pine Mountain Collective for Wildlands Art & Music, an evening or art, music, and readings. Tickets $10 available at CD Central and at the door. Proceeds benefit KNLT and its efforts to protect, connect and restore wildlands, large forest tracts, and migratory corridors.
Apr. 9th (Sat.) 7:30am-1:00pm: Bird Walk Dupree Nature Preserve -- Kentucky River Palisades 2291 Polly's Bend Road, Lancaster. To carpool: meet at 7:30 am in the parking lot of Palomar Center (near Wild Eggs).  DO NOT BE LATE!  Or meet at 8:15 am at the Durpee Nature Preserve parking area.
Apr. 9th (Sat.) 9:00am-1:00pm: Reforest the Bluegrass Deep Springs Greenway 1960 Bryan Station Road, Lexington. Join Reforest the Bluegrass and help replant the pre-settlement forests that were once common in central Kentucky. Stop by the CKAS table where we'll be advocating for (and drawing!) birds and promoting the upcoming Bluegrass Birding Festival. Volunteers needed: e-mail CKAS to help.
Apr. 9th (Sat.) 11:00am-12:30pm: 2nd Saturday Seminar: Costa Rica Report Wild Birds Unlimited 152 N. Locust Hill, Lexington KY. Come hear about (and see pictures of) the spectacular birds members of the recent WBU Costa Rica trip encountered.
Apr. 16th (Sat.) 8:00am-11:30am: Bird Walk Lexington Cemetery 833 W. Main St., Lexington. Meet/park around the first right turn after coming in the gate. Do NOT park in the gatehouse spaces!
Apr. 16th (Sat.) 10:00am-1:00pm: Service Outing Sally Brown Nature Preserve 359 Cr-1320, Lancaster. Join the Sierra Club for honeysuckle removal. No technical expertise needed. Tools provided; bring lunch, water, and gloves. Long pants/sleeves suggested. Optional wildflower hike after lunch. Contact Terese Piereskalla (859-327-5291, tmsugden@gmail.​com) or Ken Brooks (859-229-8579, kwbrooks72967@g​
April 17th (Sun.) 3:00pm-4:30pm: Nature Journaling—Birds of a Feather McConnell Spring 416 Rebmann Lane, Lexington. For ages 14 and up. Join park naturalists to observe and journal Spring migrants. Limited number of binoculars available. Please call (859) 225-4073 to register.
Apr. 20th (Wed.) 6:00pm-9:00pm: Free Movie: Trees in Trouble  Central Public Library's Farish Theater 140 East Main St., Lexington. Join Urban Forest Initiative and Bluegrass Earth for a free showing of Trees in Trouble, a documentary short which tells the story of America's urban and community forests: their history, their growing importance to our health, economy and environment - and the serious threats they now face. Movie starts at 6:30pm. Panel discussion to follow the film.
Apr. 22nd (Fri.) All day: EARTH DAY! Everywhere. Celebrate the 46th anniversary of Earth Day by getting outdoors and doing something green!
Apr. 23rd (Sat.) 7:30am-2:00pm: Bird Walk Minor E. Clark Fish Hatchery & Cave Run Lake (Daniel Boone National Forest) 120 Fish Hatchery Road, Morehead. To carpool/caravan: LEAVING at 7:30 from the parking lot of Eastland Shopping Center.  DO NOT BE LATE! Bring lunch.
Apr. 25th (Mon.) All Day: World Penguin Day Everywhere. A day to celebrate the annual northward migration of penguins. What can you do to celebrate penguins? Find out at
Apr. 30th (Sat.) 10:00am-2:00pm: Party for the Planet The Arboretum Alumni Drive, Lexington. Come celebrate the 25th anniversary of Arbor Day. More info here. Stop by the CKAS table where we'll be advocating for (and drawing!) birds and promoting the upcoming Bluegrass Birding Festival. Volunteers needed: e-mail CKAS to help.
May 4th (Wed.) All Day: Bird Day Everywhere. First celebrated in 1894, Bird Day was established to encourage conservation training and awareness of birds. Learn more here.
May 4th (Wed.) 6:00pm-9:00pm: Free Movie: Green Fire Central Public Library's Farish Theater 140 East Main St., Lexington. Join Wild Ones Lexington and Bluegrass Earth for a free showing of Green Fire, the first full-length documentary about legendary environmentalist Aldo Leopold. Movie starts at 6:30pm.
May 11th (Wed.) 7:00pm-8:00pm: Barrows Conservation Lecture Series -- Messing Around with Birds (for Fun and Science) Cincinnati Zoo Harold C. Schott Education Center 3400 Vine St., Cincinnati OH. Join naturalist Scott Weidensaul for a lighthearted exploration of his many avian research projects. Tickets $14, please purchase/register here. If you are interested in a CKAS carpool/caravan with CKAS, please e-mail and we’ll make a plan.
May 14th (Sat.) All Day: International Migratory Bird Day Everywhere. Celebrate one of the most important and spectacular events in the Americas - bird migration.
May 14th (Sat.) 8:00am-5:00pm: Day 1 of the 3rd Annual Bluegrass Birding Festival & Craft Fair McConnell Spring 416 Rebmann Lane, Lexington. Birding, banding, exhibits, crafts, and activities for the whole family. Keynote speakers: John & Cathryn Sill. Full schedule here.
May 15th (Sun.) 8:00am-3:00pm: Day 2 of the 3rd Annual Bluegrass Birding Festival & Craft Fair McConnell Spring 416 Rebmann Lane, Lexington. Birding, banding, exhibits, crafts, and activities for the whole family. Full schedule here.
May 20th (Fri.) All Day: Endangered Species Day Everywhere. An opportunity for people of all ages to learn about the importance of protecting  endangered species and everyday actions they can take to help protect them. More info at the Endangered Species Coalition.
May 20th (Fri.) 5:30pm-6:30pm: Birding Basics Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill 3501 Lexington Rd, Harrodsburg. Join Shaker Village naturalists to learn basics of birding: identification, migration, and more! Meet on the steps in front of the Trustee’s Office.
May 21st (Sat.) 7:30am-2:00pm: Bird Walk Berea Woods Big Hill Rd, Hwy 21E, Berea. Carpools leaving from the outside parking lot of Lakeside Golf Course 3725 Richmond Road (Coys Drive) at 7:30 prompt. DO NOT BE LATE! Bring lunch. Or meet at the old Indian Fort Theater (2047 Big Hill, Berea) at 8:15am.
May 21st (Sat.) 10:00am-12:00pm: Blue Heron Rookery Cruise Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill 3501 Lexington Rd, Harrodsburg. Extended Discovery Trek riverboat cruise up the Kentucky River to the rookery. Bring your camera! Tickets $35; limited availability, registration and prepayment required.
May 21st (Sat.) 4:00pm-4:30pm: Be a Bird Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill 3501 Lexington Rd, Harrodsburg. Join Shaker Village naturalists for a family art project: make your own wings and beak from recycled materials! Tickets $10; limited availability, registration and prepayment required.
May 21st (Sat.) 8:30pm-9:30pm: Owl Prowl Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill 3501 Lexington Rd, Harrodsburg. Join Shaker Village naturalists to learn about owls, then help call the owls in for a closer look. Meet at the Trustees’ Office before caravaning back to the Centre Trailhead.
May 22nd (Sun.) 10:00am-12:00pm: Blue Heron Rookery Cruise Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill 3501 Lexington Rd, Harrodsburg. Missed the cruise yesterday? Here’s your second chance. Tickets $35; limited availability, registration and prepayment required.
May 28th (Sat.) 10:00am: 7:30am-3:00pm: Bird Walk Red River Gorge Daniel Boone National Forest. Carpools leaving from the parking lot at Eastland Shopping Center (near the Rite Aid) at 7:30 prompt. DO NOT BE LATE! Bring lunch.
May 28th (Sat.) 10:00am: Little Explorers--All About Birds Raven Run Nature Sanctuary 3990 Raven Run Way, Lexington. Youth K-5th. Join Raven Run naturalists to learn all about our feathered friends. Please register by calling 859-272-6105.
May 29th (Sun.) 8:00am: Bird Walk Masterson Station Park 3051 Leestown Road, Lexington. Join us for our second Masterson Station Park Bird Survey. Meet in the soccer field parking lot to the left of the entrance drive. Wear comfortable shoes/boots -- we aim to survey the whole park.

Bluegrass Earth
2016 Free Movie Series
The Farish Theater
Film starts at 6:30
Thanks to everyone who came out to see The Messenger. We had over sixty people join us on a beautiful Wednesday (which also happened to be the first day of the SEC Men's Tournament, proving that for several Lexingtonians, birds rank higher than college basketball). As we had promised, the film was beautiful, filled with close-up non-CGI footage of real live birds in flight. The Messenger imparted an important message: Only our awareness, attention, and active conservation efforts can prevent a bleak possible future for migratory songbirds.

This film was only one in a series of environmental films that the Bluegrass Earth coalition is airing in celebration of Earth Day (and beyond). There are three more films in this year's series, all with important messages about the health of our planet:

April 6th

April 23rd

May 4th
Citizen Science Opportunity
Vanderbilt University is looking for birders of all skill levels to participate in a project which examines how perception and memory for birds differs between beginners and experts. They are looking for birders with varied levels of experience, from the true beginner to the expert with decades of study. The experiments are designed to measure a participant's ability to remember and identify birds and sometimes other animals or objects. Many experiments are fairly short; they can be done in a matter of minutes on any computer, wherever & whenever a participant decides to do them. More info can be found at the study's home page.

Participants will need to create a login ID and password for the site and complete a short survey of their birding expertise, but then you will be able to participate in any experiments that are available. The study directors expect to add new experiments over time.

If you have questions, please e-mail Prof. Thomas Palmeri at Vanderbilt University.
2016 Hummer Migration
It's that time of year again to put up your hummingbird feeders. Help a little bird out! A good mix: one part ordinary white cane sugar to four parts water. It's not necessary to boil the water. The microorganisms that cause fermentation don't come from the water; they are transported to the feeder on hummingbird bills, so clean your feeder often. Store unused syrup in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. More info at

Bluegrass Birding Festival to be held at
McConnell Springs
May 14th &15th

The 2016 Bluegrass Birding Festival & Craft Fair, now in its 3rd year, is only a little over a month away. The Festival will be held at McConnell Springs Park this year. We hope the new location will prove easier to access for people from both in and outside of Lexington. As you may know, McConnell Springs Park maintains several bird feeders; the area has good trails and should have even more species diversity than usually occurs at our last location. Several breakout sessions  and birding trips are also planned.

This year's keynote speakers will be John & Cathryn Sill. John has worked as a freelance artist and bird illustrator since 1971. His art has been exhibited in many highly acclaimed shows and appeared in a number of books and magazines; his "Field Guide to Little Known and Seldom Seen Birds" borders on cult classic. He has given workshops on field sketching for the American Birding Association and other venues. While the subjects of most of John’s work have been birds (both real and imagined), his illustrations for his wife Cathryn’s much awarded “About” series of natural history books for children have expanded his art to include other wildlife. We are pleased to welcome them both and we thank LexArts for the grant to help fund their visit.
Help support CKAS by shopping like you normally do!  Kroger gives millions of dollars to Kentucky non-profits through its Community Rewards® Program. If you shop at Kroger and have a Kroger Rewards® card, you can help us qualify for these funds by linking your Kroger Rewards® card to the Central Kentucky Audubon Society under the Community Rewards section of your Account Settings. Doing so will not affect the way you accrue fuel points in any way; you still keep all your rewards and gas savings. But your points will also count as our points, helping us to a bigger share of Kroger's charitable donations. Check the bottom of your Kroger receipt  for: "At your request we are donating to Central Kentucky Audubon Society."
Don't receive Audubon Magazine? Then you're probably not an official National Audubon member. You can join for $20 annually through CKAS by following the instructions and link on the CKAS web page.
524 Rosemont Garden | Lexington KY 40503
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