Monthly Meeting – November 14 – Ordinary Extraordinary Junco: Remarkable biology from a backyard bird!

Documentary by the Junco Project (juncoproject.org)

The Ordinary Extraordinary Junco is a documentary film project designed to engage, entertain, and inspire audiences of all backgrounds. Chapters highlight past and present biological research on one of the most common and abundant–yet amazing and diverse–groups of songbirds in North America, the juncos. Each chapter explores key themes in behavior, ecology, or evolution. This video will be screened at the Little Rock Audubon Center, 4500 Springer Blvd.

Why the Junco? So often nature and science films focus on exotic organisms in far-off places. People should realize that exciting biology is happening every day in their own backyards. Despite the fact that they are abundant and common across much of North America, birds of the genus Junco also exhibit stunning diversity in feather color, body shape and size, and behaviors among the various species, subspecies, and races across their range. Juncos are truly ordinary yet extraordinary birds!

Meeting will be at the Audubon Center at 7 PM.

Field Trip – October 26 – Bell Slough South AGFC Wildlife Management Area

Mayflower, Faulkner Co.

Meet at 7:30 a.m. at the South (boardwalk) entrance into the Bell Slough Wildlife Management Area (WMA) off Hwy. 365.  Bell Slough is a mix of ecosystems consisting of 2,040 acres of woodlands and wetlands situated between Little Rock and Mayflower/Falkner Co.  With extended spring flooding bringing in fresh nutrients to the moist soil units and recent work completed by AGFC with disking and planting a supplemental cover crop, the units will provide an attractive waterfowl feeding area for the fall and winter.

There are 117 species of birds documented for the WMA, including the waterfowl resting habitat.  Our target birds will be migrating ducks, Sora and American Bittern, wading birds such as egrets and herons, and also wintering passerines.  The Kenny Vernon Nature Trail winds through the wooded area and consists of three connecting trails, ranging in length from about a half-mile to 2 1/4 miles.  There is a nice mix wildflowers, which attracts numerous butterflies.  Wear study walking shoes.  Walking will be on unpaved, mostly level paths.  This will be a morning trip.

From Little Rock, go west on I-40.  Exit I-40 at Mayflower (Exit 135) and turn east (right) at the light onto Hwy. 89.  Then turn south (right) just past the commuter parking lot onto the service road.  Follow the service road paralleling I-40, then veer right at the fork.  Follow this road until you cross the Palarm Creek bridge.  Turn left into the WMA parking lot.