Cardinal Header
Christmas Counts
Check out all the listings at indianaaudubon.org under "Activities."

January 23-24: IAS Board Meeting and Retreat

January 30:
Eagle Field Trip

April 30, May 1-2:
Spring Festival at the Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary

October 1-3:
Falls Birding Festival at McCormick's Creek State Park with a focus on Goose Pond and the surrounding area.

Go To indianaaudubon.org to find out more about where to bird, what's being seen and how to renew your membership.

January Board Meeting Announcement
The IAS Board Meeting will be held at Turkey Run State Park on Saturday and Sunday, January 23rd and 24th, 2010. Saturday morning will begin early with an Eagle field trip with Alan Bruner. Additional details will be available on the website. Members are welcome to attend the meeting and are asked to RSVP by January 5, 2010. Contact Amy Wilms (wilmsab@muohio.edu).
The Cardinal Newsletter
Cardinal Editor:
Scott Arvin

Cynthia Powers 


LOTS of Cranes and the REALLY BIG Ring-bill
Between 8 and 9 a.m. on 21 November 2009, Denise  Weltzin, Mike Hannum, Bruce Ruisard, John Moore, Terry Ballenger, Lynn Daugherty, and yours truly, met at the Sandhill Crane observation tower parking lot at Jasper-Pulaski FWA under partly cloudy skies..  The staging field to the west was already full of cranes - perhaps more than usual for a November morning.  
     After enjoying the view from the tower, we stopped at the check-in station to see how many cranes we may have seen.  The count was 13200 plus.
     We then drove east along C.R. 600 N and C.R. 500 N to Tippecanoe River St. Park.  Along the way many cranes were studied in the fields, some very close to the road.  Red-tailed Hawks, American Kestrels,  Eastern Bluebirds, American Tree and Song Sparrows, Hairy, Downy, and Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Great Blue Heron, Mourning Doves, House Finches, American Goldfinches, Northern Cardinals, and a surprising four Northern Mockingbirds made the drive quite enjoyable, especially under warm sunny skies.
     At Tippecanoe River S. P. we birded the area around the nature center.  The most prevalent birds were the Red-headed Woodpeckers, mostly in transitional plumage with partly brown heads.  More bluebirds, Tufted Titmouse, many White-breasted Nuthatches, and Black-capped Chickadees entertained us and two Red-shouldered Hawks called across the river and from the woods to the south, but would not show themselves.  A Brown Creeper played hide-and-seek but finally all were able to see it well.  The quiet beauty of the river on such a sunny day made the visit worthwhile.  
     After lunch in Winamac we returned to Jasper-Pulaski FWA where Liz Day and Greg Page were waiting for us at the crane observation tower lot.  We were amazed to find that the staging field was already full of cranes.  Other repeat visitors commented that they didn't remember ever seeing the cranes stay in the staging field so early in the day.
     But we soon were off for a walk to the inland marsh observation tower.  There was amazingly little activity along the trail but it was just one of those days when the weather was so nice it didn't matter (much).  We were able to watch some Cedar Waxwings and Purple Finches plus another Brown Creeper, and more titmice, and chickadees.  The main marsh was completely void of life except for one "very large" Ring-billed Gull.  Being a white bird and the only bird around it gave the impression of being much larger than it really was.  After some time, views of the ring around the bill through the spotting scope finally convinced everyone it was indeed a Ring-billed Gull and not some other species.  But it was a big Ring-bill!  Oddly there were no ducks, coots, or blackbirds.
     We returned to the crane field to witness the evening spectacle.  We were hoping to see masses of cranes filling the sky against a bright red sunset at the end of our day.  Well, we got the red sunset, but the cranes stayed put until it was so dark we could barely see them. They virtually "snuck" off to their roost in the marsh to the north.
     But who can complain with great weather, 13000 plus cranes, and great company.  Thanks to all participants who helped make it an enjoyable trip.

Alan Bruner
, IAS Field Trip Chair

Spring Fling of Fabulous
Flowers and Beautiful Birds

Wildflower aficionado Jack Berninger invites all outdoor enthusiasts to join him for a morning hike to enjoy the unique spring flowers and birds at the south end of Brookville Lake 24 April 2010.
     Meeting time will be at 9:30 a.m. Bring lunch as you will be eating at the babbling- brook turn around.  The entire hike is about three miles (round trip) and involves moderate to easy walking.  If time is a factor you may turn around and return to the parking lot at any time.
      To begin the hike, meet at the Brookville Lake Dam (top parking area) off Hwy. 101 just outside Brookville, Indiana.  
     For additional information and details you may contact Jack at 513-941-6376 or (cell) 859-750-1608.

Newport Chemical Depot Tallgrass Prairie
Provisions to absolutely preserve the Newport Chemical Depot Tallgrass Prairie (the largest contiguous black soil Tallgrass prairie in Indiana) were not included in the Reuse Plan.  The following is from the www.necdra.com website dated November 23:
 "Following the hearing and comments by NeCDRA board members, the Reuse Plan was formally approved by the board on a unanimous vote.
The NeCDRA board and staff would like to thank everyone who attended the meeting and spoke during the public hearing. The community's strong interest in and support of the Depot's reuse and passion for the Depot's diverse resources was very evident, which bodes well for the Depot's future. The NeCDRA would also like to thank all those in the community who reviewed the plan report and suggested edits or clarifications to the text. Your feedback will help make the Reuse Plan report a better document.
With the Reuse Plan now approved, over the next few weeks the planning team will make final edits to the report, complete the appendices, and package the Reuse Plan and Homeless Assistance documents for submission to the Federal government.
Keep checking this website for updates, news items, maps and documents, and other information as we head into 2010 and continue preparing for the Newport Chemical Depot's new role in the community!"
As stated above, the Final Reuse Plan (when completed) will be submitted to the Federal government for approval.

by Phillip Cox

Irene Dyke Obituary
Irene Louise Dyke Died on November 7, 2009 from complications of a stroke. She was born at home on Dixmude Street in Camaret sur mer, France on April 19, 1923. She was the only child of Louise (Morvan) and Albert Le Fur. She grew up on the coast of France, and got her Baccalaureate before becoming a laboratory technician at the Pasteur Institute. During the end of WW II, she met Leland Dyke, her future husband, by accident on the Paris subway. She came to know him better while delivering vaccines to the American Army hospital across the street from the Pasteur Institute were she was working. They were married on September 15, 1945. They moved to Munich, Germany due to Leland's job after the war, where their first child Mary-Louise (Malou) was born. They moved to the U.S. on December 23, 1949. In 1950, they moved to Lawrence, KS, where she was a lab technician at Kansas University for several years. Their second daughter Suzanne was born during this time. In 1954 the family moved to Indianapolis, were she became a lab technician at Marion County General Hospital (Wishard). In 1958 their third daughter was born. Later, she went to Pittman-Moore and then Dow Chemical. She retired from Dow after many years of being a microbiologist and then a teratologist in human health research. During retirement, Irene and Leland pursued their varied hobbies of traveling, birding, camping, gardening and spoiling their grandchildren. They volunteered for meals on wheels and the Audubon Society and were members of the St. Gabriel Catholic Church. She was preceded in death by her husband, Leland and her eldest daughter, Malou Spitzer and is survived by her daughters, Suzanne (Norm) Schoppenhorst and Michelle (Jim) Rethmeyer and her ten grandchildren; six great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m., Thursday, November 12, 2009 at Flanner and Buchanan Funeral Center-Speedway. Services will be at 10 a.m., Friday, November 13, 2009 at St. Gabriel Catholic Church. Entombment will follow at Calvary Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Gabriel Catholic Church, the Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary or the Alzheimer's Association. www.flannerbuchanan.com

from indystar.com

Indiana's Young Birders
It's finally here!  A club created specifically to give Indiana's Young Birders and nature lovers an environment to cultivate their interest and make new friends within Indiana's Birding Community!  I am proud to introduce the Indiana Young Birders Club; the first statewide club of its kind in Indiana.
The IYBC is sponsored by the Indiana Audubon Society, Inc. and is an organization that will offer trips, programs, and philanthropic opportunities to young birders throughout our state.  Our birders and nature enthusiast will vary in age from grade school - high school and the club will tailor several events throughout the year to target the diverse age groups.
The year 2010 will be a huge year for the club and our calendar of events is being planned as you are reading this article.  We know the Young Birders are out there, we just need to find them.  With this, we can use your help!  If you have a child, friend, grandchild, niece or nephew that you know would like to be a part of our unique club please visit our web space at www.indianaaudubon.org and print out a membership form.  Nothing is more fulfilling than growing our youth's passion for nature and more specifically - our wild birds.  If you are an adult member of the IAS, you can also join us as an adult sponsor another very critical component of our club.
We are proud to have joined the ranks of such clubs as the Ohio Young Birders Club (www.ohioyoungbirders.org) to encourage the future owners of our natural world.  Be on the lookout for more exciting news about the IYBC in the near future.

by Chad WIlliams
The US Department of the Treasury has approved the license for the March IAS Cuban Bird Survey trip. This is one of the few ways that US citizens can legally enter Cuba. There are now 13 people signed up for the survey. There is only room for one more single or a couple sharing a room. There were some problems with scheduling the flights from Cancun to Havana; this resulted in most people having to spend an extra night in Cancun on both sides of the main trip. Several of the participants  have decided to extend their stay in Cancun for two days to spend a day birding on Cozumel and a another day near the Sian Ka'an Reserve near Felipe Carrillo Puerto about two hours south of Cancun. The dates of the trip are March 1 to March 12. All of the current Cuban goers have opted to spend the extra day in Havana and will arrive in Cuba February 28. Those who are birding in the Yucatan will return home March 15. The price of the main part of the trip is $4100. Contact one of the following if you would like to fill that last space.

Amy Wilms, IAS President
765-827-5109  wilmsab@muohio.edu

Alan Bruner, IAS Field Trip Chairman
765-562-2741  abbird@att.net

Chuck Mills, IAS Cuban Bird Survey Leader
812-853-9090  ccmills@wowway.com