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

Annual Christmas Bird Count Nets 75 Species

Merlin (Photo by D. Lang)

Our designated count circle for the 115th Annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count took place on on December 20th. Many thanks to David Lang for arranging, directing, and processing list data. This year's Christmas bird counters tallied seventy-five species and counted 12,986 individual birds, results which have been called "fairly typical." Still, there were a lot of six-year record highs: 64 American Kestrels (ties the high count from a few years ago), 80 Ruddy Ducks, 91 Downy Woodpeckers, 119 Carolina Wrens, 152 Wild Turkeys, 214 Blue Jays, 285 Carolina Chickadees, 435 White-throated Sparrows, and 512 American Crows. The overall Field Sparrow, Brown Creeper, and Eastern Towhee numbers were up a tick; American Robin and European Starling numbers were down a tick (starling counts have been down for the last few years). There were some rare bird sightings: counters reported one Black-and-White Warbler, one Redhead, two Greater Scaup, two Gray Catbirds, and three Merlins. There were some birds notably missing too: no Wood Ducks nor Ring-billed Gulls in this year's count.

Calling All Seed Sale Volunteers

The January Seed Sale at Southern States is quickly approaching and it is time once again to put the call out for Seed Sale volunteers. We could use some help manning the tables and loading seed. The sale will be on January 10th and 17th, both Saturdays. There will be two shifts of three hours each on both days, an 8-11 and an 11-2 shift. If you can volunteer to help cover one (or more) of these slots, e-mail

Donors Insist: We Want More Barn Owl Boxes!

By now you know that CKAS did very well in the 2014 GoodGiving Guide Challenge. Thanks to everyone who donated, and extra special thanks to our $500 Challenge sponsor, Wild Birds Unlimited. You may also know that CKAS had earmarked all donations that came in during the Buzzer Beater's Matching Challenge for more Barn Owl projects at local wineries. Well, that Challenge day alone generated $1,165 in donations and $582.50 in Challenge match funds for a total of $1,747.50 to be applied toward the Barn Owl project. Over half of what we raised came in on this one day!  We hear you loud and clear!  We're ramp up the process of getting more wineries on board, building boxes, and putting them up.  Let's see if we can't have a Barn Owl box at each of central Kentucky's wineries by year's end. If you'd like to participate more directly in this project, we'd love to see you at Wednesday's General Meeting when we'll try to map out a timeline or you can also watch for build dates in upcoming CKAS newsletters.

Upcoming CKAS (& Other) Events    
Jan. 5th (Mon.) All day: National Bird Day. A day not only to appreciate the native wild birds flying free outside our windows, but also to reflect on how we treat the native birds of other countries and to "think outside the cage." Support efforts to protect birds in their natural habitat like those undertaken by the World Parrot Trust.
Jan. 7th (Wed.) 7:00-9:00pm: CKAS General Meeting: Good Foods Co-Op: Rochdale Room 455 Southland, Lexington. It's not all business so please attend! Planned topics: Swift Tower and Barn Owl Box progress, American Kestrel & Eastern Bluebird Trail possibilities, Bluegrass Earth Movie Series & Bluegrass Birding Festival involvement and planning. All members and curious non-members welcome.
Jan. 10th (Sat.) 8:00am-2:00pm: Winter Seed Sale: Southern States Co-Op 2570 Palumbo, Lexington. Do you have enough bird seed to make it through the rest of the winter? Now's the time to stock up at the Audubon Winter Bird Seed Sale. You can take your stock with you or leave it at Southern States to pick up as you need. NOTE: All stored seed must be picked up within twelve months! A portion of the proceeds goes to supporting CKAS. We need volunteers! Shifts run from 8-11 & 11-2. To volunteer, e-mail
Jan. 10th (Sat.) 11:00am: Birds & Climate Change: Wild Birds Unlimited 152 N. Locust Hill, Lexington. Join a presentation/ discussion about the threat climate change poses to birds and what we can do about it here in central Kentucky.
Jan. 11th (Sun.) 9:00am-12:30pm: Bird Walk & Barn Owl Box Check/ Kestrel Box Cleaning: Talon Winery 7086 Tates Creek, Lexington. Meet in the parking area near the silo. Walk first, cleaning second. Come watch us try out our new ladder!
Jan. 13th (Tue.) 1:00-3:00pm: Bluegrass Birding Festival Planning Meeting: Bell House conference room, 545 Sayre Ave. If you would like to help plan the 2nd Annual Bluegrass Birding Festival, here's your chance. Bring your great ideas! Can't make the meeting but still want to help? Contact Nic Patton to get added to the BBF e-mail list.
Jan. 17th (Sat.) 8:00am-2:00pm: Winter Seed Sale Southern States Co-Op 2570 Palumbo, Lexington. Missed us last week? Here's a second chance to stock up. You can take your stock with you or leave it at Southern States to pick up as you need. NOTE: All stored seed must be picked up within twelve months. A portion of the proceeds goes to supporting CKAS. We need volunteers! Shifts run from 8-11 & 11-2. To volunteer, e-mail
Jan. 24th (Sat.) 9:00am-1:00pm: Bird Walk (w/ASK) Lake Ellerslie: Reservoir #4 Meet in the outside parking lot of Lakeside Golf Course 3725 Richmond Road (Coys Drive) for a 9:00 AM DEPARTURE. The gate at the fishing club will be locked once we gain access, so don't be late!!!
Jan. 31st (Sat.) 6:00pm: Owl Prowl Raven Run Nature Sanctuary 3990 Raven Run Way, Lexington. Join us at Raven Run for an after-hours evening walk to look and listen for owls. Please RSVP by calling 859-272-6105 so the Sanctuary knows how many attendees to expect.
Feb. 1st (Sun.) 8:30am-1:00pm: Bird Walk (w/ASK) 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!

Feb. 7th (Sat.) 8:00am-1:00pm: Live Birds of Prey at the Fayette County District Science Fair Tates Creek High School 1111 Centre Parkway, Lexington. Raptor Rehab brings several of their education birds. Which raptors will they bring this year? Stop by and see. If you would like to staff the Audubon table, please volunteer early and allow us to send you info on Audubon's Birds & Climate Change report so you can prepare to answer the questions you might get about the report.
Feb. 8th (Sun.) 8:30am-4:00pm: Geier Center & Cincinnati Museum Center Trip Join us for a special visit to the Geier Collections and Research Center and a visit to the Cincinnati Museum's exhibit Martha: A Story of Extinction. To carpool/caravan, meet at the Starbucks off I-75 Georgetown exit (476 Connector Road, Georgetown KY 40324) at 8:30am; or meet at the Geier Center at 10:00am. Limited to 20 participants; please RSVP to
Feb. 13th-16th (Fri.-Mon.): Great Backyard Bird Count Your Backyard. An annual four-day citizen science event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are across the continent. More info on counting and register your count at
Feb. 15th (Sun.) 8:30am-1:00pm: Bird Walk (w/ASK) Hisle Park 3551 Briar Hill Rd., Lexington. Meet in the main parking area.
Feb. 22nd (Sun.) 1:00pm-4:30pm: Bird Walk (w/ASK) Lake Ellerslie: Reservoir #4 Meet in the outside parking lot of Lakeside Golf Course 3725 Richmond Road (Coys Drive) for a 1:00 PM DEPARTURE. The gate at the fishing club will be locked once we gain access, so don't be late!!!

The final GoodGiving Guide Challenge numbers are in: CKAS raised a grand total of $3,491.50 in donations and challenge matches for the birds! Of this, $825.00 will be added to our Endowment Fund, $919.00 will be added to our general fund, and a whopping $1,747.50 will be used to continue our Barn Owl Box project. Watch for more build dates and new box dedications soon. Look out wineries--here we come!

A huge thanks! to everybody who made donations and an even huger thanks! to Wild Birds Unlimited for being our match donor. Thank you as well to the Blue Grass Community Foundation folks for picking CKAS as one of the participating charities and for all the good work they do there!

If you missed out on the Challenge and would still like to make a donation to CKAS, you can at our BGCF page.


When birding, be sure you don't trespass on private property. Land owners may not enjoy strangers with binoculars poking around their backyards. Birds don't understand property rights. They'll land in anybody's tree, swim in anybody's pond, and fly through any private space. As birders, we try to go where the birds go. While it's tempting to roam wherever we wish, some "free to roam" areas are actually restricted. Always do your bird watching from free-access public property or be sure to get permission before entering private property. Even some of our regularly scheduled walks (like Lake Ellerslie and Maine Chance Farm) require getting permission to bird. It might look like the group has just waltzed into these locations, but you can be sure your walk leader has arranged permission for you well in advance!

In Kentucky, entering a property that does not belong to you (even accidentally) is "criminal trespass in the third degree." Technically, it is considered a violation, not a misdemeanor, but it carries a fine of up to $250!  Kentucky's Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources recommends that "if you're not absolutely sure you have permission to be where you are, go back to a place you are sure about."

You can help support us by simply shopping like you normally do!  CKAS has been added to Kroger's Community Rewards® Program charity list. Each year, Kroger gives millions of dollars to Kentucky non-profits through its free Rewards® Program. If you shop at Kroger and have a Kroger Rewards® card, you can help us qualify for these funds by logging on at and linking your Kroger Rewards® card to Central Kentucky Audubon Society under the Community Rewards section of your Account Settings. (It's easier than it sounds -- just a few clicks!) Doing this 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 cut of Kroger's charitable donations. Last quarter, we earned $18.57 just by a few members linking their Kroger Rewards® cards to CKAS and shopping at Kroger! 

Want to keep up with
what CKAS is doing?
These and other events
can be found on our
CKAS Events Calendar.

524 Rosemont Garden | Lexington KY 40503
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