Events & Programs From the Editor Notes & Announcements50th Gala at ShalimarLarge Donation Received  • NAS Proxies Photo Quiz Conservation - Forest Notes Conservation - If Fish Could Fly (or A Fish Story) •  Field Trip Review - Coon & Cherry Creeks AZ Special Species - Phainopepla Photo Quiz Answers Field TripsField Observations Coachwhip ChaosField Trip Review - Cuba-Going South IBA Announcement

This pair of  Cordilleran Flycatchers was photographed near Sprung Spring above Madera Canyon in July, 2003 by Jim Burns  with Canon EOS 1V body, Canon 400mm f/2.8  lens, 1.4x tele extender, 12mm extension tube,  and Canon flash on  Fujichrome Velvia film



September 2003 through May 2004 

Meetings are held the first Tuesday of each month, September-April, at the Phoenix Zoo Auditorium.  Meetings start at 7:30, and feature a speaker, book sales, refreshments, and a chance to socialize with fellow MAS members.  Visitors welcome!

Join us for a pre-meeting dinner at Pete's 19th Tee, 1405 N Mill Avenue, Tempe (at the Rolling Hills Golf Course) starting at 6:00 p.m.  Meals average about $5.00 with a variety of choices on the menu.  Join us!

For our first meeting of the year in September there will be no pre-meeting dinner at Pete's.  It is our annual potluck.  Each attendee is invited to bring a platter of his or her favorite h'ors de oeuvres, sufficiently large enough to serve at least six people.   We'll provide the eating utensils, the plates, and the drinks (non-alcoholic, of course).  Bring a friend.  Festivities will start at 6:30p.m. at the zoo, when we'll be able to tell one another where we had an opportunity to go birding this past summer, and what lifers we got.  The regular meeting will get underway at 7:30 p.m.

Join us for a season of dynamic speakers and captivating topics!  Visit Iceland, Alaska, Peru, Mexico and Arizona to see our favorite creatures and their associated environments.  Learn to identify birds in the field by their sounds, get close-up and personal with digital photography, view habitat restoration along the Santa Cruz River, experience Arizona's sky island ecosystems and discover major conservation efforts throughout the state.  Wow!  and if that isn't enough to whet your interest, our banquet speaker for May 2004 is Kenn Kaufman!

To conserve space, only a short list of our speakers and topics is included in this edition of the newsletter.  A summary of each speaker's topic will be available on our website ( ) and in the next Wren•didtion.  Have a safe and birdy summer - we'll see you all next September!


September 2, 2003  
David Reesor 
"Birds of Iceland"

October 7, 2003  
David and Jen MacKay  
"Birds and Natural History of Northwestern Mexico"

November 4, 2003
 Kathy Groschupf
"Identifying Bird Sounds in the Field"

December 2, 2003
Gary Rosenberg
"Digital Photography Through a Telescope:  A Tour Leader's Travels from Alaska to Peru"

January  6, 2004
Ann Phillips and Kendall Kroesen
Along the Santa Cruz River:  Its Birds and Reconstruction Efforts"

February 3 ,2004
Peter Friederici
"Those Exotic, Thick-billed Parrots of the Sierra Madre"

March 2, 2004
Bob Witzeman
"Sky Islands of Arizona:  Their Life Zones and Birds"

April 6, 2004
  Pat Graham
"The Nature Conservancy in Arizona:  Past Present and Future"

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

  By Deva Burns




Activist Alert: 
Shawn Bauer 

Arizona Audubon 
Council Rep:

Herb Fibel 

Audubon Phone

Book Store

Field Observations
Janet Witzeman


Web Page
Michell Fulton

Maricopa Audubon Web Site 


Bequests are an important source of support for the Maricopa Audubon Society.  Your chapter has dedicated itself to the protection of natural world through public education and advocacy for the wiser use and preservation of our land, water, air and other irreplaceable natural resources.

You can invest in the future of our natural world by making a bequest in your will to the Maricopa Audubon Society .  Talk to your attorney for more information on how this can be accomplished.

I am just returned from a family reunion on the beach north of San Diego.  The Arkansas Burnses learned how to surf and Jim and I learned . . . how to survive under the water with a heavy board attached to our ankles.  The best part of this trip was reconnecting with relatives who live halfway across the country and having all three grandchildren together again.  And I caught up on a lot of reading.  Office colleagues remarked about how rested and relaxed I looked when I returned to work.

One author whose acquaintance I made on the beach is Carl Hiaasen, and I would encourage all of you to look him up.  Highlighted in Smithsonian Magazine, Hiaasen is a mystery writer primarily known as a columnist for the Miami Herald.  He is an unapologetic environmentalist who uses his column to relentlessly attack south Florida development and press for the preservation of the Everglades.  He has recently begun writing for children and won the Newbery Honor for his novel Hoot—the story of three youngsters who fight to save a Burrowing Owl site from development.  This book will be our birthday gift to our two grandsons who were first introduced to Burrowing Owls by Jim along the Greenbelt in Scottsdale a couple years ago.

And here is a confession.  A non-hunter like many of you, until I read the June issue of Winging It, the monthly newsletter of the American Birding Association, I thought the Duck Stamp only benefited Duck Hunters.  It is only logical, of course, that protecting wetlands is beneficial to all wetland wildlife.  And, like many of you, some of my earliest birding adventures came in our National Wildlife Refuges.  The Duck Stamp also provides entry to any of the refuges that charge admission.  Please purchase your Duck Stamps in this 100th anniversary year of our National Wildlife Refuges system.  They can be purchased at the refuges, at the post office, and at some national sporting goods stores.

This Wren-dition has a plethora of interesting and informative articles.  Are you still on the fence about the role of fire in forestry?  Read Charles Babbitt.  Can you name just one native Arizona fish species?  Read Laurie Nessel.  What is an IBA?  Just another acronym?  Read Scott Wilbor.  Disappointed that another fall shorebirding season goes by without any close shorebirding sites?  Read Mike Rupp.  And, speaking of shorebirds, how did you do on this issue’s Photo Quiz?  Think I can ever convince Jim to bird outside this country?  Read Gary Markowski and Julie Craves’ article about birding in Cuba.

Be sure to check out our website at !
New National Audubon Members take note:  Any claims by National Audubon, or by the local Audubon State Office to the contrary notwithstanding, in becoming a new National Audubon Society member, you will not automatically become a subscriber to this local chapter newsletter, the Cactus Wren-dition.  You are only receiving this one copy so that you can be made aware of the situation.  After October 1, 2003, National Audubon will no longer be sharing a portion of the dues you pay with your local chapter, and, hence, Maricopa Audubon cannot afford to provide you with a subscription to the Wren-dition as a part of your National Audubon membership.  To become an ongoing subscriber, you must become a "Friend of Maricopa Audubon"!  For a yearly renewable subscription to the Wren-dition, it will be necessary for you to send a donation of  $20.00 or more to Maricopa Audubon Society, c/o Herb Fibel, Treasurer, 1128 E. Geneva Drive, Tempe, Arizona, 85282-3940, indicating that you wish to become a "Friend of Maricopa Audubon".

Needed—Book Store Volunteers!If you are interested, contact any Board Member.

Tucson Audubon to donate $25 to MAS for everyone who signs up for their Copper Canyon or Beliz trips:  How exciting! A fabulous bird tour and a donation to MAS!  Copper Canyon is scheduled for October 7-16, 2003 and January 24-February 1, 2004. On their past trips they have seen Eared Trogons and Russet-Crowned Motmots.  The Belize trip is scheduled for February 14-24, 2004.  For detailed itineraries and a list of past birds seen on these trips, please see  or .  Rochelle Gerratt can be reached at (520) 696-2002 or at .

National Audubon Chair is elected:  Carol M. Browner, the longest serving administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, has been elected chair of the National Audubon Society Board of Directors.  Browner will be the first woman to chair Audubon, and is one of few women to hold such a position at a major conservation organization.  Browner will replace Donal C. O'Brien when he retires this fall after having served 12 years as Audubon Chair.  Browner joined the Audubon Board in 2001 and currently oversees its Public Policy Committee.

Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival, January 16-19, 2004:  Migrate to one of the country's pre-eminent birding spots and join the Morro Coast Audubon Society (MCAS) for the 8th Annual  Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival.  For more information about the Festival, check out our website at , where you can request that your name be added to the mailing list for our 2004 brochure, due out in October. Registration deadline is December 31, 2003 and early signups are encouraged as the most popular events fill up quickly.

The Birdseye Guide to 101 Birding Sites, Phoenix:  A guide published by Rupp Aerial Photography.  The maps are excellent, it is all in color and is $23.95.  For more information check

The Dovetail Directory  ( ):  The Directory is an online catalogue of world birding tours, and our goal is to help  birders locate that special birding tour, to any of 85 countries around the world.  This is a free service. There are no hidden costs or surcharges. Tours are offered at the operators price. In addition to tours, the Directory also carries a comprehensive inventory of birding-related books.  For your further convenience we maintain a North American, toll-free number (877) 881-1145, and someone will always happy to take your call. 

Shade-grown coffee:  If you are searching for a source to purchase shade-grown coffee and haven’t been successful, try ABA Sales.  They carry seven kinds of Song Bird Coffee.  For information call 800-634-7736.

More birding and nature festivals. . and .

Audubon Adventures:  Give the gift of discovery and share your love of the environment.  The program is designated for students in grades 4-6.  Introduce an entire classroom (up to 32 students) to the wonders of nature for just $35 (plus shipping charges).  You can select your favorite school or let Audubon do it for you.  For orders:  call 800/813-5037.


Maricopa Audubon T-Shirts
For information, contact Laurie Nessel at (480) 968-5614 or

Do you have an interesting story to tell about birding?  Please forward your submissions to the Editor—Deva Burns.  Check the back page for address/e-mail.  Actually, attaching an article to an e-mail is the absolute easiest way to submit an article.  If you have pictures or slides, you do need to send those to me directly.  Remember, all articles may not be published the first month after receipt.


Actually the celebration was two months premature, since our chapter was organized in July 1953, but who's counting?  After a happy hour to quench our thirsts, and an excellent buffet which satisfied our nutritional needs, our genial emcee and president, Laurie Nessel, introduced our special guests, and our past chapter presidents in attendance-Bix Demaree, Bob Witzeman, Charles Babbitt, Scott Burge, and Herb Fibel.

The nominating committee presented its slate of candidates, which was hauntingly familiar.  The only change from the previous year was Joanne Hilliard, who had volunteered, albeit reluctantly, to replace outgoing secretary, Teri Sullivan.  The slate was elected by acclamation.  President Nessel then presented plaques to Teri Sullivan and to Richard and Karen Kaiser, the latter for their many years of service in book sales.

State director, Sam Campana, then congratulated the chapter and its accomplishments, and presented us with a tree, which will be planted at the new nature center at Central and the Salt River.  Michell Fulton, our webmistress, received an award in appreciation for her service and dedication.

Bix Demaree, a charter member of Maricopa Audubon, who symbolizes our fifty years of success as advocates for saving birds, other wildlife, and their habitats, was regaled with reminiscences of her many contributions to our chapter's activities by past treasurer Eileen Fulmer, past membership chair Liz Hatcher, Scott Burge, Charles Babbitt, Janet Witzeman and Polly Schmidt..  She was then presented with a gorgeous framed print of three yellow warblers.

Sig Stangelund won the raffle of the compact binoculars.  We are indebted to Keith Mellon of Wild Bird Center for providing the grand prize to us at a substantial discount.

Appropriate for the occasion was Dan Fischer's program presentation of Arizona's earliest state mappers and bird chroniclers.  Thanks, Dan, too, for providing us with a copy of your new book: Early Ornithologists-On the Trail of Pioneering Birders, as a raffle prize.


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Last updated: October 27, 2002
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