Welcome to the Grand Rapids Audubon Club website

Membership Meeting

Our next membership meeting will be on January 30, 2023. Details will be available at a later date. However, don't forget the Kent County Christmas Bird Count on December 31st. Click on thumbnail left for more infornation.

Field Trips and Weekly Millennium Park Walks

Upcoming Field Trips: Plan to join the Kent County Christmas Bird Count December 31, 2022 (see link in right column); New Year’s Day in Kent County, January 1, 2023, 6:00 AM.
Hike Millennium Park to see what’s hanging around. Many birds have been reported from this varied habitat near the river. There are ponds, swampy ponds, lowland forest and various secondary growth. The walks begin at 9:00 AM every Thursday (note time change).
Details for both on the field trip page.

In Memory of GRAC President Scott Hutchings

It is with great regret and sadness that we learned of the passing of our club President, Scott Hutchings. Scott gave much time, energy and passion to GRAC, and his upbeat spirit and hard-working/can-do attitude were vital to keeping us going through these difficult pandemic years. Sympathies go out to each of you who called him a friend, and with his family who stood by his side for the last few months of uncertainty and stress.

A memorial service was held on Monday, October 10, 2022, at 11:00 AM at Matthysse Kuiper DeGraaf Funeral Home, 4145 Chicago Dr. SW. Click here for a link to Scott's obituary.

For those wishing to make a donation to GRAC in Scott’s memory there is now an on-line contribution page on Cheddar Up. Click here for a link to the donations page.

Exciting GRAC Membership News

Using the e-payment service Cheddar Up it is now possible to pay membership dues online. In addition to our current payment method this gives you a second option. You can find more information on the membership page.

GRAC Merchandise Available Online

Did you know that you can purchase GRAC-logo apparel and merchandise online from the Grand Rapids Audubon Webstore on the CafePress website? What a great and easy way to start a conversation, advertise and support our club and possibly pick up new members! How about a t-shirt or sweatshirt for those field trips, GRAC meetings or just lounging around. A mug for that coffee break or a gift for your neighbor. Or a great tote bag for your birding paraphernalia along with a baseball cap. There’s even kids’ and baby apparel! All of these items and much more with the GRAC logo are available at the GRAC Webstore. Access the Webstore from the “Activities” drop down menu on the GRAC website home page, scroll down and click on “GRAC Webstore (external)” at the bottom of the drop down menu. Browse through the offerings and purchase what catches your fancy!

Monthly eBird Summaries No Longer Available

Due to the retirement of the long-time Bird Reports chair, eBird summaries will no longer be available. Only mega-rarities from the four-county area (Allegan, Kent, Muskegon and Ottawa) will continue to be posted to the Bird Sightings page.

Volunteers Needed

Tom Leggett is seeking participants to help inventory, count and observe the natural areas at St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church, 2250 East Paris, Kentwood. Sessions are planned for the second Saturday of each month from 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM. This is part of efforts to maintain natural areas and develop education and outreach programs. Contact me at (616) 249-3822 (home), (616) 634-3102 (cell) or tomleggett@hotmail.com. Dress for wooded streams and areas with briars. Gear such as cameras, scopes and tape recorders may be useful, but is not required.
2022 dates: Dec. 10
2023 dates: Jan. 14, Feb. 11, March 11 and April 8

Video Programs Discuss Bird Identification

Learning to identify birds and recognize their usual behaviors is becoming easier. Now you can watch the American Birding Association's "What's This Bird" bi-weekly live shows at 1:00 PM ET on Fridays. The live shows, including all previous shows, are available on all the ABA's social media channels including the ABA YouTube channel.

National Audubon also offered "I Saw A Bird" monthly programs in 2020 and 2021. Archived programs of all 21 previous episodes are available by clicking here.

Fund Raising Opportunity

Do you buy from Amazon? If so, signup for AmazonSmile, a website operated by Amazon with the same products, prices and shopping features as Amazon.com. The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to the charitable organization of your choice. Click here for details on how to signup.

GRAC Media Pages Include Photographs and Videos

Between the bird photo, nature photo and Macaulay Library page we have well over 400 photographs available on the website. Don't forget to check the video page.

 

 

GRAC and Bird News

The November 2022 Caller is now available from the newsletter link above.

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It's never to early to begin planning to participate in the annual Christmas Bird Count. Click on the logo above for information.

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Maher Sanctuary Report

Click here for Chris Baer's latest sanctuary report.

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Winter Finch Forecast

Evening Grosbeaks have already been seen in the area in good numbers late October through early November. Click here for an in depth look at the 2022-23 winter finch forecast from the Finch Research Network.

The State of the Birds 2022 report sounds an alarm about steep population losses in virtually all habitats. A link to the report can be found by clicking here.

Pecking Order

Ever notice that some birds at your feeders seem aggressive and others rather timid? It's true--there is bird-feeder drama. Click here for an interesting article, including an interactive graphic, discussing bird behavior at your feeder.

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Great "Birding" reads:

Slow Birding by Joan E. Strassmann. Many birders travel far and wide to popular birding destinations to catch sight of rare or "exotic" birds. Slow Birding introduces readers to the joys of birding right where they are.

A River of Warblers: The Greatest Birding Day of My Life by James Gorman

Bird ID Skills: Size & Shape from All About Birds; The Cornell Labs

A Season on the Wind: Inside the World of Spring Migration by Ken Kaufman

Kingbird Highway: The Biggest Year in the Life of an Extreme Birder by Ken Kaufman

Endangered and Disappearing Birds of the Midwest by Matt Williams

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Nearby Areas of Interest:

Land Conservancy's Natural Areas offer 30+ spots for outside adventure