Meetings & Programs

General meetings and programs of the Lake County Audubon are held at 7:30pm on the first Monday of the month October through May skipping the month of January.  These meetings / programs are open to the public as well as members and are typically held in the second floor meeting room of the Libertyville Village Hall, located at 118 W. Cook Street, which is just across the street to the north of the Cook Memorial Library.

For our 2017-2018 events and bird walks click here

 

    2017 – 2018 Program Schedule

 

October 2.  Vultures: Nature's Clean Up Crew by Stephanie Touzalin from Willowbrook Wildlife Center.

Stephanie's program will include information on vulture's role in the environment, their distribution and status worldwide. She will also provide us with some fun facts about vultures and "biofacts" about their feathers and skull.

Stephanie Touzalin received her Bachelors of Science in Natural Resources and Environmental Science, with a focus in Fish and Wildlife Conservation, from the University of Illinois in Champaign in 2004 and quickly became involved with the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County. As an Animal Care volunteer, she spent time at Willowbrook preparing diets and care for the patients in rehabilitation and resident wildlife. Once on staff, Stephanie worked at the front desk admitting some of the over 9,500 animals Willowbrook accepts each year and helping residents to live more harmoniously with their wildlife neighbors. Since 2010, Stephanie has been in her current role as one of the Naturalists that make up Willowbrook’s education team. While developing and teaching programs, leading Wildlife Explorers Summer Camp, managing Willowbrook’s social media, and interacting with visitors are a large part of her responsibilities, Stephanie trains and manages the education raptors and other animal ambassadors at Willowbrook. While birds, especially birds of prey, are a favorite focus, Stephanie has been working on her insect and plant identification and as well as developing taxidermy skills.  

For more information on Willowbrook Wildlife Center click here.

 

November 6.  Migrations and Invasions: Connections Between Migrant Birds and Invasive Shrubs by James Marshall. 

The focus of this talk will be on the role of migrant birds in spreading invasive plant species, especially the bush honeysuckles (Lonicera). We know that honeysuckle is bird-dispersed, but we expected that migrant birds would be more involved in that dispersal than resident birds. We are also interested in whether honeysuckle seeds germinate better with or without bird assistance, and if any particular birds are especially helpful. This can provide useful information to habitat managers trying to decide when during the season to most effectively remove invasive plants.

James Marshall is currently an associate professor of biology in the Chemical and Biological Sciences department at Rockford University. He teaches a wide range of courses including ecology, conservation biology, animal behavior, evolution, and of course, ornithology. James also teaches an evolution course in the summers at Ohio State’s Stone Laboratory on Lake Erie. His research interests at RU involve birds carrying things we’d rather they didn’t – invasive plant seeds and Borrelia burgdorferi (the bacterium that causes Lyme disease). James has also just finished his seventh summer of a long-term banding project on some of the Lake Erie islands, looking at the survivorship of breeding birds in some of the island nature preserves.

 

December 4.  Whooping Crane Conservation Efforts at the International Crane Foundation by Lizzie Condon

The story of Whooping Crane conservation is dramatic. In this talk Lizzie will give a brief overview of the history of Whooping Crane populations and human efforts to bring this species back from the brink of extinction. This will include an update on the Eastern Migratory Population reintroduction project, which has gone through many changes this year. She will also talk about the International Crane Foundation’s ongoing research efforts and how the International Crane Foundation applies scientific knowledge to provide working conservation solutions.

Although Whooping Cranes have come a long way from their brush with extinction, they still face many threats. The survival of Whooping Cranes depends on the actions of people—people protecting the ecosystems where Whooping Cranes live and people living in harmony with the birds. Lizzie is working to create communities that give a whoop about Whooping Cranes through using social marketing tactics to raise awareness and pride in these beautiful birds. Lizzie will explain the tactics used for this campaign, which she worked on for two years in Alabama. The campaign is now expanding to Indiana, and Lizzie will talk about how you can assist in outreach efforts.

Lizzie grew up in Glenview, Illinois and received her degree in biology from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She then completed her master’s degree at University of Minnesota. While Lizzie enjoys outreach and education work, she also has a background in ornithological field work. She has participated in research studies in six states and in Brazil, and her master’s project focused on diversity and abundance of Neotropical migrant songbirds at urban stopover sites. Lizzie now works for the International Crane Foundation as their Keeping Whooping Cranes Safe coordinator. Through partnerships, media outreach and education, Lizzie hopes to help make Whooping Cranes feel welcome in communities that share their landscape. You can contact Lizzie at econdon@savingcranes.org.

The International Crane Foundation (ICF) works worldwide to conserve cranes and the ecosystems, watersheds, and flyways on which they depend. ICF provides knowledge, leadership, and inspiration to engage people in resolving threats to cranes and their diverse landscapes. Please visit www.savingcranes.org to learn more.

February 5.  Bird Brains? New Research Presents Fascinating Evidence of Avian Intelligence by Emma England and Diane Rosenberg. 

Audubon Board members Emma England and Diane Rosenberg will present a program centered on some of the new studies illustrating the incredible mental capabilities of birds. Using photos, film clips, and information from scientific reports and recently published books, Emma and Diane will provide some examples of the amazing abilities of parrots, crows, and other birds. The skillful use of tools among some bird species and the creativity exhibited by other species in puzzle solving will be discussed. Both Emma and Diane have had great interest in this topic and have followed the research for many years. The English language has many derogatory expressions related to birds as for example, lame duck, hen pecked, turkey, lay an egg, but this presentation will be, in the most positive use of the term, for the birds! 

March 5.  Warblerpaloosa: The Challenge of Photographing Tiny Avian Jewels by Bill Reichert.  

Did you ever get the idea of doing something wild and crazy – challenging but doable?  Well that’s how this whole thing started – sort of a warbler photography challenge. How many warblers could be well-photographed, not just seen but photographed, in about six weeks of travel?

Nature photography and birds in particular currently occupy much of Bill's photography time.  Birds are challenging due to the cumbersome equipment and difficult subject matter which push the limits of both physical stamina, photographic technique and intimate knowledge of birds’ habits and habitats.

Bill's warbler photo trek began in late April, 2017 and concluded early in June traveling off and on with two of his great friends and superb fellow birder photographers and guides, Greg Lavaty and Wes Fritz. The result was forty five species and one hybrid captured on camera.  Come and enjoy the journey!!

Bill is a lifelong resident of the Chicago area, now residing in Vernon Hills.  He is a member of the North Shore Camera Club. In addition to bird photography his other interests are nature, off road camping and travel.

 

April 2.   Early Settlement along the Des Plaines River by Jenny Barry.

The native people of the northern Illinois area had been using the Des Plaines River as a travel route for ages when the land was ceded to the United States in the Treaty of 1833. Even before the land was surveyed and available for purchase, some hardy souls made their way west and north. As they moved into the area the Des Plaines River was a natural path to follow. Jenny Barry will also follow the river north as she profiles a few of those early settlers and marks the progress of settlement up the Des Plaines River. Pioneers Daniel Wright, Hiram Kennicott, Ransom & Richard Steele, George Vardin, Elconah Tingley, and Archimedes Wynkoop will be profiled.

Jenny Barry is a Local History Librarian for Cook Memorial Public Library District and current president of the Libertyville-Mundelein Historical Society. She is a Libertyville native and holds a B.A. in History from Augustana College and a Masters of Library Science from Indiana University.

May 7.  Singing Insects by Carl Strang. 

The presentation will be an overview of the Chicago region's singing insects (cicadas, crickets, katydids, and 3 subfamilies of grasshoppers). Examples from the region's 100 species illustrate ecological diversity, several range expansions from the south, and conservation concerns, with both photos and sound recordings.

Carl Strang was a Naturalist with the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County for more than 34 years, providing programs, classes, and interpretive writings for children, families and teachers, before retiring in 2015. Carl holds a Ph.D. in wildlife ecology from Purdue University, and taught biology for 5 years at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania before coming to the District. He has won awards from the Illinois Wildlife Federation, from the Chicago Audubon Society, and from the National Association for Interpretation. His current research is on the distribution and ecology of singing insects, and he is volunteer steward at St. James Farm Forest Preserve.