The Northwest Arkansas Audubon Society is a registered non-profit organization serving the four-county region of northwest Arkansas -- Benton, Carroll, Madison and Washington counties.

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Northwest Arkansas Audubon Society Blog

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Committed to Preserving the Natural World in Northwest Arkansas through Education, Environmental Study and Habitat Protection. Membership Application Form  (print form and mail in)


National Wildlife Federation:--------- Habitat Certification Application


NWAAS NEWS:


The next Northwest Arkansas Audubon Society field trip is to Charlie Craig State
Fish Hatchery at Centerton in Benton County. Date: Saturday, August 22, 2015.
Meeting time: 9 AM. Hatchery meeting place: parking area adjacent the picnic
shelter. Everyone and all skill levels welcome. You do not have to be a member to
participate. You can stay as long as you like & go home when you are ready. There is
no on-site bathroom, but there is a McDonalds a mile away in Centerton. Walking will
be on grassy mowed lawn or 2 track road and driving is OK, too.

The hatchery is designated by Audubon Arkansas as an Important Bird Area for good
reason. Day in & day out, season after season, the hatchery is interesting &
sometimes stunning in terms of its bird life. The southward fall migration of
sandpipers and other shorebirds is well underway in August. Birds that nested in
Alaska, Canada, & across the Arctic tundra are passing through. Depending on weather
and quality of mudflat habitat, we can expect to see 6-8 shorebird species and
perhaps more.

The state-owned property that includes the hatchery also has wetlands that have
become rare in northwest Arkansas. These wetlands include several plants that are
rare or uncommon in Arkansas, including Swamp Milkweed (Ascelepias incarnata subsp.
incarnata) listed as "imperiled in the state" according to ATLAS OF THE VASCULAR
PLANTS OF ARKANSAS (2013). The milkweed will be in full bloom and we should see many
of the typical pollinators, including Monarchs, associated with this plant. The
hatchery is one of the best places in the state to see this plant.

You can see shorebirds anywhere in the state at this time, but the hatchery is
special because they can often be seen at close range. If folks who regularly use
spotting scopes turn out for this trip, anyone who is interested in an
eyeball-to-eyeball look at these fascinating birds should have a memorable day. And,
of course, there are many other bird species present at the hatchery.

For more information and directions to the hatchery, check out "Places to Bird in Northwest Arkansas" on the navigation bar above left.

The society's web site also has a complete list of dates and places for field trips
through 2015 at "Field Trips and other Upcoming Events" above.

To explore all of the bird data associated with 25 years of intense birding at the
hatchery, check out "ebird". In your search engine, type ebird, select view and
explore data, select bar charts, select Arkansas and Hot spots in Arkansas. On the
drop list of Arkansas hot spots, select Charlie Craig State Fish Hatchery
(Centerton), then select continue. The bar chart will give you good ideas about what
you can expect for the day.

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PAIGE MULHOLLAN WATERFOWL BLIND


Mulhollan blind drawing by Michael Cockr

Mulhollan blind drawing by Michael Cockram, July 2014


 Paige Mulhollan in 2006 at Nichol Preserve

COMING SOON TO LAKE FAYETTEVILLE:

NORTHWEST ARKANSAS AUDUBON SOCIETY (NWAAS) is lead conservation organization in building and managing the PAIGE MULHOLLAN WATERFOWL BLIND that will be constructed at Lake Fayetteville in fall 2014. We are hoping Auduboners and friends who are able will financially help with this project.

WHY THE BLIND? As a result of rapid population growth in Fayetteville-Springdale, recreational use at Lake Fayetteville has soared, straining natural elements we have long taken for granted. We decided an attractive but highly-functional viewing blind would be a productive outreach and educational tool, with least impact on waterfowl and other wildlife. Location of the blind on the lake’s southeastern shore will make it highly function during peak waterfowl use times (late fall-winter-early spring) and easy to access from the area adjacent Botanical Garden of the Ozarks.

WHAT WILL MULHOLLAN BLIND BE LIKE? We consulted with two birders who have visited many blinds, Dr David Chapman and Dr Douglas James. Kelly Mulhollan brought on an architect, Michael Cockram of Bowerbird Designs, who conducted additional research on blinds. Cockram’s design combines aesthetic beauty and highly durable materials. We have all necessary permits from Fayetteville Parks and Recreation. The blind will blend into the shoreline. Much of the lake’s highly productive back areas will be visible without disturbing the birds and other wildlife.

Dr PAIGE MULHOLLAN: Paige Mulhollan, a Fort Smith native and former professor at UA-Fayetteville, was an early Director of the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks (BGO) and an avid birder. Upon retirement, he and wife Mary Bess became active in Audubon at Hilton Head Island in South Carolina, then in Fayetteville with NWAAS. He and Mary Bess also had a strong interest in butterflies. Paige was President of the Carolina Butterfly Society. Mary Bess continues these interests since Paige’s passing in 2013.

WHO WILL USE THE BLIND? The blind will be free and open to the public. We expect Botanical Garden to make regular use of it as part of their education programs. The blind should be a magnet for birders of all ages and skills, photographers, and those who’d like this special view of the lake’s natural elements.

HOW CAN YOU HELP? Dr David Chapman has been appointed to head a NWAAS committee to build and manage the blind. He is author of “The Bird Life of Lake Fayetteville.” He has offered to give anyone a copy of his book who can afford to donate $100 or more to the project (see below). But there are other ways to help, too. NWAAS will also set up volunteer work days this fall to help with construction. All skills and abilities will be welcome.

IF YOU CAN DONATE TO HELP WITH THE PROJECT: Make checks to NWAAS with a brief note your check is for the blind. Mail to NWAAS Treasurer Bill Beall: 2204 Hendricks Blvd, Fort Smith, Arkansas, 72903-3422. He will maintain a listing of all contributions and send each contributor an acknowledgement. All gifts to NWAAS are charitable for tax purposes. If you need more information about this, contact Bill at billtoka@mynewroads.com. Those who contribute at least $100.00 and want a copy of the Lake Fayetteville bird book need only send David an email with (1) a note about their contribution and (2) a mailing address. Contact David here: dchapman@uark.edu.

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Look at stunning bird photography by:


Jacque Brown


David Oakley


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Good source for info about the hog farm on the Buffalo River:

http://buffaloriveralliance.org/



 

NWAAS field trip to Lake Fayetteville.