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

CKAS Brings Liberty Nature Center to Arboretum
For this year's Party for the Pumpkins, a now annual event celebrating Fall at the Arboretum State Botanical Garden of Kentucky, the Central Kentucky Audubon Society brought in several "Halloween Birds" from the Liberty Nature Center. Four owls and a black vulture descended upon the Arboretum to entertain the many young visitors and their families who attended the event. The Liberty Nature Center is a raptor rehabilitation facility located in Somerset, Kentucky. They house a number of education birds like those they brought. The Center is unique, however, in that it is primarily run by teenage volunteers, most from Southwestern High School. The birds drew crowds all day, as expected. We were impressed to find that the students were so professional in their roles that very few of the event's attendees even realized how young the Liberty "staff" actually was. Special thanks to the Liberty Nature Center volunteers for making the trip and for bringing their "spooky" birds. 

Kinley, a LNC student volunteer, offers the black vulture a drink as it entertains the crowds.
Reservoir #4 Zone Change Request Upsets Local Birders
We don't have much undeveloped land in Fayette County. Most of it is horse farm, urban, subdivision, or downtown. So when the largest patch of land on Reservoir #4, a peninsula off Squires Road across from the Lake Ellerslie Fishing Club trails where many CKAS and ASK members have birded for years, is offered for sale and development, many of our members brought the proposal to the attention of our Board. This area, comprised of young forest, open meadow, and riparian buffer, is known habitat for great blue heron, ducks, cormorants, grebes, coots, bald eagles, osprey, wild turkey, cooper, sharp-shinned and red-tailed hawks, black crowned night heron, green herons, great egrets, pileated, downy, and red-bellied woodpeckers, flickers, sapsuckers, kingfishers, kingbirds, waxwings, warblers, and a variety of other birds, as well as deer, coyote, and occasionally fox.

At stake are approximately ninety acres (the undeveloped area in the center of this link), currently owned by Kentucky American Water and zoned Agricultural (A-U). KAW has proposed to sell the land to Ball Homes for rezoning to Planned Residential (R-3) and High Density Apartment (R-4). Roughly three-fourths of the area would become single-family homes and a school; a quarter of it would become a 308-apartment high-density complex; very little of it would remain good habitat. The request does take measures to protect some of the older trees in this area, including a 300-year-old Burr Oak, but the city assessments of this area fail to account for the diversity of wildlife currently supported. Many CKAS members have expressed their dismay regarding the expected impact on the resident wildlife, the likely impacts on area traffic and the sewer system, the potential impact on the water quality from lawn care chemical and other run-off, and the lack of the proposal's clarity regarding any planned retention of riparian buffer.

If you are similarly concerned about residential and high density development in this area, please come to the hearing on November 17th at 1:30pm on the second floor of the LFUCG Building and voice your dissent. You don't need to live nearby--the hearing is open to the public. Keep in mind that it is not necessary to make a public comment if you attend; each person's presence has an important impact.  You can also submit written comments if you can't come or prefer not to speak at the meeting; please send them to or by mail to Chair of the Planning Commission (Mr. Bill Wilson), 200 E. Main St., Lexington, 40507.

If you feel CKAS should take a stand on this proposal one way or the other, please send an e-mail to Members of the Board are already leaning toward opposition, a stand we feel aligns with our habitat protection directives. You can keep up with news regarding the proposal by joining the Squires Road Development public FaceBook group.

Upcoming CKAS (& Other) Events    
These and other events can be found on our CKAS Web Calendar. Know of a bird-themed event we missed? Please send details to to get them added to our web & Facebook pages.
Nov. 2nd (Wed.) 12:00pm-1:00pm: Environmental Justice, People, & Urban Ecology W.T.Young Library 401 Hilltop Ave, Lexington KY. A free talk by Dr. Charles Nilon. Not birds, per se, but a nice precursor to the evening talk:
Nov. 2nd (Wed.) 6:00pm-9:30pm: Urban Birds & Urban Habitats Fayette County Extension Office 1140 Red Mile Place, Lexington KY. The Urban Forestry Seminar Series presents a free talk by Dr. Charles Nilon from the School of Natural Resources at the University of Missouri.
Nov. 3rd (Thu.) 7:00pm-9:30pm: Kentucky Voices Old State Capitol 300 W. Broadway, Frankfort KY. Ok-- so this isn't so much about birds. Fundraider for the Kentucky Conservation Committee featuring Kentucky authors and artists, many with environmental themes. Admission: $20 donation.
Nov. 5th (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!
Nov. 5th (Sat.) 10:00am-1:00pm: Invasive Plant Removal Floracliffe Nature Sanctuary 8000 Elk Lick Falls Roadl, Lexington KY. Assisting with the removal of exotic plants from the preserve, part of an ongoing effort to protect our native species. Please call ahead to register: 859-351-7770.
Nov. 12th (Sat.) 10:00am-2:00pm: Long Hike Floracliffe Nature Sanctuary 8000 Elk Lick Falls Road, Lexington KY. Join the Floracliffe naturalists for a long (and likely sometimes strenuous) 4-mile hike to the Kentucky River, Elk Lick Falls, Elk Lick Creek, and the oldest documented tree in Fayette County. $5 per person; limited space. Please e-mail and provide your name, phone, and number of attendees to register.
Nov. 12th (Sat.) 11:00am-12:30pm: 2nd Saturday Seminar: TBA Wild Birds Unlimited 152 N. Locust Hill, Lexington KY. Always something educational and exciting!
Nov. 17th (Thur.) 1:30pm: Public Rezoning Hearing LFUCG Center 200 E. Main Street, 2nd Floor, Lexington KY. Public hearing (before the Urban County Planning Commission) for the rezoning of the peninsula of land on Reservoir #4 off Squires Road. This area is one of the largest undeveloped sections fo Reservoir #4 and supports a wide variety of songbirds, wading birds, raptors, and other wildlife. Please attend and voice your opinion against the rezoning. See complete details above.
Nov. 29th (Tue.) Good Giving Challenge Kick-Off. CKAS is one of the local charities picked to participate in this year's Challenge. Start getting excited! There will be several days during the Challenge when your gift to CKAS via Razoo's bggives can do more good for central Kentucky's birds. More details to come. Special thanks to Wild Birds Unlimited for again offering to be our matching donation sponsor.
Dec. 3rd (Sat.) 10:00am-11:30pm: Winter Birding Raven Run Nature Sanctuary 3885 Raven Run Way, Lexington. Join Raven Run naturalists for tips on identifying many of our winter and year-round local birds.
Dec. 10th (Sat.) 10:00am: Winter Wildlife Treats Raven Run Nature Sanctuary 3885 Raven Run Way, Lexington. Little Explorers event for youth K through 5th grade. Join Raven Run naturalists for a winter walk then make treats for winter wildlife.
Dec. 17th (Sat.) 6:00am-5:00pm+: 117th Annual Audubon X-Mas Bird Count and Pot Luck Dinner. Multiple groups, varied locations. Exact details TBD. Please contact Mark Tower to be assigned to a group.
Dec. 17th (Sat.) 10:00am: Winter Wildlife Treats McConnell Springs Park 416 Rebmann Lane, Lexington. Junior Naturalist event for youth K through 5th grade. Please call to register: 859-225-4073.
Jan. 1st (Sun.) 9:00am-11:30am+/-: 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!
Jan. 1st (Sun.) +/- 11:30am-2:00pm: Bird Walk (w/ASK) Maine Chance Farm (Spindletop) 2099 Newtown Pike, Lexington. At some point in the morning, the group from the Lexington Cemetery walk will migrate and regroup at the McDonald's at Newtown Pike & I-64 to continue birdwatching at Maine Chance. If 9:00 was too early for you but you'd like to catch this half of the morning's walk, please e-mail David before the walk so we can call you when we leave the cemetery and you can meet up with us in the McD's parking lot.
Jan. 5th (Thur.) All Day: National Bird Day A day not only to appreciate the native 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 for efforts to protect birds in their natural habitat like those undertaken by World Parrot Trust makes a great holiday gift!

Urban Birds
Urban Habitats

Dr. Charles Nilon

Urban Forest Seminar Series
November 2nd from 6 - 9pm
(Talk starts at 7:00pm)

Fayette County Extension Office
1140 Red Mile Place
Lexington, KY 40504

You don't want to miss this one. The Urban Forest Seminar Series presents a free talk by Dr. Charles Nilon from the School of Natural Resources at the University of Missouri.

Dr. Nilon's research considers the impacts of urbanization on wildlife habitats, populations, and communities. Since 1997, Nilon has been a co-principal investigator on the Baltimore Ecosystem Study, one of two urban ecosystems included in the National Science Foundation Long-Term Ecological Research program. His work focuses on understanding how ecological and socioeconomic factors can influence urban bird species composition and abundance. Because urban areas are homes for people as well as wildlife, Nilon's research also considers the role of nature as part of an individual's day-to-day environment, and environmental justice issues associated with access to nature.

Like we said -- you don't want to miss this one!  Hope to see you there.  PS: we'll set up a table at the event... if you want to help, e-mail
Watch for CKAS in

Starting November 29th!
Special thanks to

for their Matching Grant
Need to buy anything online? CKAS is now on Amazon Smile. When you #StartWithaSmile, Amazon donates 0.5% of your purchase price to the Central Kentucky Audubon Society, at no cost to you! Bookmark this link Bto support CKAS every time you shop the net.
Kroger gives millions of dollars to Kentucky non-profits with 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. You need to enroll and then re-enroll every August to participate.  Check the bottom of your Kroger receipt  for: "At your request we are donating to Central Kentucky Audubon Society" to make sure it took.
What if you don't receive Audubon Magazine?
Then you're probably not an official member of the
National Audubon Society.
You can join for $20 annually through CKAS (& help support CKAS by doing so) by following the instructions and link on the CKAS web page.
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