Listen to Ruth Carol Cushman and Scott Severs in the KGNU Nature Almanac for January as they talk about the about Ruth Carol's bird feeder and the brown thrasher that has been coming this year to eat the dried mealworms she puts out. Brown thrashers are not commonly found in winter here; the Christmas bird count for Boulder County has been recording many other birds as well that were not seen in past winters. This is likely an indication of global warming.
These short nature almanacs are broadcast on KGNU Radio, 88.5 FM, 1390 AM on the first Friday of every month at 8:06 am. BCNA maintains an index to all the previous nature almanacs.
The Boulder County Nature Association (BCNA) is a private, non-profit membership organization committed to preserving the natural history of our region through research, documentation and public education. BCNA is pleased to offer research funding by giving small grants for projects consistent with our mission.
Grants are available in two categories:
The Ken Evenson Memorial Grant, up to $1500, is available specifically for research on our native cats (mountain lion, lynx, and bobcat). One grant may be awarded annually.
General BCNA grants, up to $3,000, fund projects that will add to our understanding of the natural history of Boulder County or will augment the existing documentation of the county’s ecosystems.
New BCNA classes for 2018 will be starting shortly! Join us to learn about lichens, photography, warblers, bird identification, grassland ecology, asters, brasses and grasses, butterfly habitats, or lost worlds underfoot. Class registration opens for each class six weeks before the class starts. All registration for classes is done online through EventBrite. A complete description and links for registration are on the BCNA education page.
Annual BCNA membership meeting:
This year's annual meeting will be Saturday, February 24th at 6 pm. We will have potluck dinner followed by a business meeting to elect officers and vote on proposed changes to the by-laws as well as listen to a speaker. Proposed changes to the by-laws are online so you can compare them to the current by-laws before the meeting. Hope to see you all then!
The Ecosymposium is Saturday, March 17th
The theme is "Turning the lens on ourselves: The science of visitors on open spaces."
Next BCNA board meeting: Wednesday, March 7th, at 6 pm. Location to be determined.
NOTE: Board meetings are generally the first Wednesday of odd numbered months at 6 pm.
Classes: The Rocky Mountain Conservancy Field Institute in Rocky Mountain National Park offers a broad array of outdoor classes on a broad range of topics including fly fishing , butterflies and bugs, plants, wildlife, geology, hikes with naturalists, and photography. Boulder Audubon Society has field trips planned throughout migration and after. There are many classes for children at the Thorne Nature Experience and the Wild Bear Mountain Ecology Center in Nederland. City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks has regular, free nature programs and hikes as does Boulder County.
Track climate action in Boulder: What do I do? Where can I go? Who's taking action? Go to boulder.earth to learn more.
Windy.com is an interactive site that shows global weather patterns. You can watch wind, temperature, clouds, waves, pressure patterns changing over a ten-day period at a global to local scale. The patterns are fascinating!
Nature-Net is BCNA's email forum for announcements of classes and trips and discussions of many topics relating to Boulder County's natural environment. Nature-Net subscription information.
Fall of 2017 was wetter (surprised?) and considerably warmer than average in Boulder. During September-November, we received 4.91" of precipitation, almost an inch more than the 1897-1994 average. The mean daily temperature was 2.3° F above the 1960-91 average.
Actually, September and October were pretty wet, with temperatures right around average; but November was the fifth warmest (tied with 2016) since 1894, with daily temperatures running 6.7° F above the 1960-90 average. November was remarkable for having 10 days when the high temperature reached at least 70° F, including a daily record high of 76° F on 26 November. November was also much drier than average. September-November 2017 was the sixth consecutive Boulder autumn with below-average snowfall.
If you've been reading these reports, you'll know that our winters (December-February) this decade have been much snowier than average. Some of the models of global warming outcomes project more precipitation in winter and more variable precipitation in spring and fall. Time will tell. We're certainly off to a slow start this December, with only about 2" of snow falling so far. But we might want to wait until February 28 before jumping to any conclusions.
Finally, many of us noted yesterday that we couldn't remember a Christmas Bird Count when most of the lakes and ponds on the plains of Boulder County were virtually free of ice. This no doubt resulted from our warm November being followed by two unusually warm weeks at the beginning of December. Two species were reported yesterday that had never been seen on a Boulder Christmas count: Pacific Loon (at Boulder Reservoir and Valmont Reservoir) and Hammond's Flycatcher (at Twin Lakes Open Space). I'm not sure the Hammond's will be pleased to see next weekend's forecast. But I've seen northern pygmy-owls catching grasshoppers during the first week of January here, so maybe he or she will make it through.
----Compliments of Steve Jones and NatureNet; data and observations are from the official Boulder weather station at NIST