Upcoming Programs

Undergraduate wildlife biology adventures: Indiana owls and Argentine conservation – Oct. 17

At our Wednesday, October 17, meeting, come learn about the inspiring work of Kaitlin Gavenda and Kalee Snorden, kaitlin gavendatwo undergraduate students in Ball State’s wildlife biology and conservation major

The first speaker, Kaitlin Gavenda, will present her research on Northern Saw-whet Owls (NSWOs) in Indiana. These owls were once an understudied species, but Project Owlnet sought to change that by bringing together researchers nationwide to combine knowledge of the owls’ migration patterns.

Kaitlin introduced this project to East Central Indiana by creating NSWO banding stations in Delaware and Henry Counties. Under the mentorship of RCAS’s own Dr. Kamal Islam, she developed a study to determine if NSWOs showed a preference between old-growth deciduous forest and a coniferous tree farm.

Kaitlin will share her findings thus far and tell Audubon members and friends how they can volunteer for the study’s second season in the coming weeks.

kalee snordeThe second presenter, Kalee Snorden, will share her experiences as a summer intern with Aves Argentinas, part of BirdLife International, which has launched a multi-faceted environmental education effort that emphasizes the connection of environmental issues and biological processes to everyday life.

In the wake of unsuccessful sustainability-focused legislation in Argentina, Aves Argentinas has begun to form an effective system of environmental education that captures the attention of the public, educates them, and ultimately impresses upon them the relevance of environmental concerns to their own lives.

For her internship, Kalee helped coordinate volunteers for Aves Argentinas’ environmental education program in Buenos Aires, which included museum tours, birding outings, bird censuses to monitor species populations, and coordination with other conservation efforts.

At our October 17 meeting, refreshments and chapter business will begin at 7 p.m.  Kaitlin and Kalee’s program will get underway at 7:15.


Hummingbirds of Indiana – Nov. 14, special time & location

ruby-throated hummingbordHummingbirds are amazing! In Indiana, the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are our only breeding species, but not much is known about them.  

The Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary, owned and operated by the Indiana Audubon Society (near Connersville), is trying to find out more about these jewels of the sky. For instance, we know when the first birds in spring arrive at our feeders, but how long do the first birds stay – and are they in migration or local birds who breed here? When do the first breeding females arrive and when do they start showing signs of egg production? How many broods do our Central Indiana Ruby-throated Hummingbirds raise?

Through their banding research, Carl and Amy Wilms – Resident Managers at the Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary – hope to answer some of these questions.  

In a fun and informative program on Wednesday, November 14, Carl and Amy will share insights into the banding process and the results of what they’ve learned thus far. 

NOTE SPECIAL TIME AND LOCATION:  This November program meeting will be held at the Ball State Alumni Center, located at 2800 W. Bethel Ave.  Amy and Carl’s program will begin at 7 p.m.