Events & Programs From the Editor Notes & Announcements •  Conservation - Fighting Forest Fires  Photo Quiz Book Review - Sparrow of the United States & Canada, The Photographic Guide FYI -West Nile Virus: It's Headed Our Way   • Carefree Christmas Bird Count Summary, December 28, 2001 In Memoriam - Lillian Diven 1920-2002 •  Field Trips  •  Photo Quiz AnswersAZ Special Species - Broad-Dilled Hummingbird  Sightings •  FYI-Earth Justice: Because the Earth Needs a Good Lawyer  

Yellow-billed Loon photographed by Jim Burns at Lake Havasu on the Colorado River 3/02 with Canon 400 mm f/2.3 lens and Fujichrome Velvia film.



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.  Non-members 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.  Except  for the May Banquet which will be held at the Shalimar Country Club in Tempe (one block north of Southern, midway between McClintock and Price).

May 7:  Annual Banquet-Dr. Bob Ohmart, Professor of Biology at ASU will Speak on the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge - Tantalizing and Undiscovered Jewel.

September 3:  David Reeser - TBA

October 1:  Dr. David Pearson, A.S.U. biology professor - "Why are there more bid species some places than others?  The use of bird watching skills in science."

November 5:  Kevin McCoughlin from Adventure Camera in PA - Belize and Central America.

December 3
  Southwest Forest Alliance, a non-profit coalition of more than 60 environmental organizations in the Southwest, working to protect forest 
ecosystems through systematic reform - presents Old Growth Forever!  highlighting the urgent need to protect the remaining stands of old growth forests in the Southwest and concentrating on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, where the Forest Service still allows the logging of old growth and the subsequent destruction of species habitat.  Eventually, we hope to create an Old Growth Preserve to Protect this unique biological area

January 7, 03:
  Doug Alexander - TBA

Speakers wanted:  If you have ideas for speakers, or if you would like to make a presentation yourself, please contact Laurie Nessel, Program Chair, at (480) 968-5614 or
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  By Deva Burns


Activist Alert: 
Shawn Bauer 

Arizona Audubon 
Council Rep:

Herb Fibel 

Bird Alert 

Book Store
Richard & Karen Kaiser

Field Observations
Janet Witzeman

Cynthia Donald (Coffee)
Sherry Celine (Cookies)

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.

Warmer weather induces much more activity on my part.  Whereas in the winter I prefer to snuggle in front of the fire and read, when spring starts I clean - windows, closets, drawers, yard, whatever.  Jim doesn't understand this.  He's sure it's a gender thing.  I am sure he is hoping this extends to all the boxes I have lying around from my old job.  I have taken some things to the new office but I just haven't been able to throw anything way yet.  Why I mention this?  Because I'm ahead on cleaning but behind on editing!

Charles Babbitt has written this month's conservation article and it should be required reading for all bureaucrats.  He reemphasizes the fact that fire is a natural phenomenon and should be left alone (unless endangering human habitation).  We should not be spending our scarce dollars on fighting fires.  Elisabeth Lawaczeck's article on West Nile Virus should be a wake up call to all of us.  Please take not and help out if you find a newly dead bird.  I found Buck Parker's article very intriguing and if you can't wait for the next installment, please do not hesitate to e-mail me and I will e-mail the article to you.   Be sure to check out Rich Ditch's review of James Rising's new sparrow book.  And of course, the regular articles are here - The Photo Quiz, Arizona's Special Species, Field Trips and Field observations.

How many of you thought that Phoenix was a birding "desert"?  Read the Special Species article in this issue and realize that a real gem is right here.  If you are interested in placing your name on the slate for a position on the MAS Board, please contact a member of the nominating committee listed in the Notes and Announcements section.  Finally, come to the banquet on May 7 and vote for the coming year's board members.  We will also have a wonderful dinner and a great speaker - ASU Biology Professor, Dr. Robert Ohmart.


Annual Board Elections - It's that time of year again.  Our annual board elections will be held at the Annual Banquet and Meeting on May 7th, and, as provided by our bylaws, a nominating committee has been named by our president.  If you are interested in stepping forward and in assuming a leadership role in your chapter in the coming fiscal year which begins June 1st, please call on of the following Nominating Committee members and let him or her know of your interest

Harvey Beatty, Chairman
 (480) 990-0415

Olga Harbour
(480) 503-9291

Charlotte Norrid
(480) 967-4957

 Southwest Forest Alliance:  will  be leading field trips to the North Rim this summer, and would love to have folks join them if they are so inclined.  Check their webpage for more information.  It is located at

Annual ABA Convention In Duluth, NM, June 10-16, 2002.  If you are interested in attending, please call the ABA at 800-850-2473 x 233 and request a convention booklet.  The Duluth area offers an exciting mix of habitats and birding possibilities.

Annual White Mountain Campout:  June 14-16.  See Field Trips for information.

Flycatchers:  ABA's Institute for Field Ornithology (IFO)  July 20-25 in Sierra Vista, AZ with Chris Benesh.  Appropriate for birders of all levels and emphasizing the flycatcher species that breed in southeastern AZ.  Limited to 10.  For information contact IFO Coordinator Kimberly Lynn at 800-850-2473 x235  You can also visit the IFO pages on the ABA site,

West Coast Seabirds:  ABA’s Institute for Field Ornithology (IFO)—another workshop to be held August 3-8 with Debi Shearwater and Peter Pyle.  See above item for further information.

Southwest Wings Birding Festival:  August 7-11 in Bisbee.  See Field Trips for information.

Sparrows of the United States and Canada:  The Phographic Guide (Academic Press)  This superb identification guide by James Rising has just recently been released.  MAS photographers Jim Burns and Rich Ditch were contributors to this book and Rich will be reviewing the book in a future Wren•dition.

Al Anderson from Sierra Vista  Sends some interesting pieces of information.  Audubon has a new gift-membership program now.  If you give a membership (and Magazine subscription) as a gift, you chapter gets all of the 15 dollars the first year.  Secondly, our Arizona State Legislature has re-offered for 2001, the School Tax Credits program.  With this program, you can give up to $200 per person ($250 per couple) to the public school (K-12) of you choice (you can give even more to private schools), and have the amount you give taken off your Arizona State income tax.  The State allows an exemption, dollar for dollar, up to, but not exceeding your state tax for this year, 2001.  The contribution can be extended over five taxable years if your state tax is less than the contribution.  Where else can you designate your tax dollars for the public good, and not have it cost you a cent?  You give the money directly to the school of your choice (K-12), where it must be used for (1) character education programs, or (2) extra curricular activities.  These are very broad categories indeed, and you can designate within them what your contribution will be used for: band uniforms, field trips, etc.  The school can almost always find a program/activity which is compatible with your wishes.  The problem is that may not be renewed for 2002 and in order to take advantage for 2001you had to contact the school before December 31, 2001.  But keep it in mind to encourage the legislature to renew again - just think if all Audubon members made that contribution, what an impact it could have on you youth and on the birds.

More birding and nature festivals. 


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 Available, 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.

Wanted - A Graphic designer willing to design and produce the Cactus Wren•dition.  Unfortunately, this must be a labor of love because you have to be willing to donate much of your time.  If you are intereted, please contact the Editor.  Please be prepared to put together a proposal for Board Review.  We are losing our great designer, Peggy Wang, who has been with us for over 5 years.  In a life-changing move, she is returning to school and hopes to get into medical school.  Good luck, Peggy.


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Last updated: May 15, 2002
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