Wednesday, August 5, 2015 is Nature Center’s Third Photography Walk

Wednesday, August 5, 2015 is Nature Center’s Third Photography Walk

Jamestown, NY – If your picture has everything in focus, you have an extended depth of field. If your picture has only the subject in focus and everything else is blurred, you have a very shallow depth of field. Nature photographers use both; it all depends on the situation.

You can learn more about “Depth of Field,” one of the most important elements of photography, at the Audubon Nature Center’s Photography Walk on Wednesday, August 5.

This 7-8:30 p.m. class is for people whose cameras have a manual mode so they can set the aperture and shutter speed.

People whose cameras have a manual mode, so they can set the aperture and shutter speed, will gain incredible confidence as photographers at the Audubon Nature Center’s Photography Walk on August 5. “Depth of Field” will be the topic presented by Bruce Fox and Deborah Lanni, who took this photograph of a with a shallow depth of field.

If your camera has a manual mode so you can set the aperture and shutter speed, you will gain incredible confidence as a photographer at the Audubon Nature Center’s Photography Walk on August 5. “Depth of Field” will be the topic presented by Bruce Fox and Deborah Lanni, who took this photograph of a Kousa dogwood with a shallow depth of field.

The Walk will be led by Deborah Lanni and Bruce Fox.

Deborah Lanni recently retired from her position as professor and media arts program coordinator at Jamestown Community College, where she taught photography, video and multimedia storytelling. Her specializations are photography, documentary video production and the rhetorical uses of image and sound in photography/film/video. She completed her undergraduate degree in cross-cultural communication at Alfred University and her master’s degree in environmental communication.

Bruce Fox is Photography and Graphics Coordinator in the Instructional Resources Department at Buffalo State College, where he works with faculty and staff on digital imaging needs for classroom and research as well as digital photography for college promotion. In addition to a BFA in Visual Arts and New Media from SUNY College at Fredonia and an Associate of Science in Photography from Lansing Community College in Michigan, Fox has participated in numerous workshops and technical symposia.

Dress for the weather and consider insect repellent. The class is adaptable to the indoors, so it will be held regardless of the weather.

Bring a tripod if you have one.

Cost is $12 or $9 for Friends of the Nature Center and children ages 9-15.

Reservations for the August 5 Walk are requested by Monday, August 3. Call (716) 569-2345 or register online by clicking on “Photography Walk (August 5)” at http://www.jamestownaudubon.org.

Lanni and Fox were the jurors for the Audubon Nature Center’s 2015 Nature Photography Contest. The winners and finalists images as well as the Jurors’ Notes can be seen at http://www.jasphotocontest.com. Winning photographs are on display at the Nature Center.
The Audubon Nature Center is at 1600 Riverside Road, one-quarter mile east of Route 62 between Jamestown, New York, and Warren, Pennsylvania.

For more information on all Nature Center opportunities, call (716) 569-2345 or visit http://www.jamestownaudubon.org.

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Posted in Class, News Release, Photography

Birds Smell – or Do They?

Birds Smell – or Do They?
by Connor Clendenen

On July 14, 2015, an amazing act of science long in the making took place. A space probe named New Horizons reached Pluto, a space body which was once considered to be the ninth planet in our solar system. Now, it is only generally thought of as one of the furthest away major masses orbiting our Sun, at an average distance of about 3.57 billion miles. Thanks to New Horizons, we will soon have our first close-up pictures of Pluto and its major moon, Chiron. Astronomers hope that these photographs will help them to further understand the compositions and behaviors of these bodies from a geographical and a meteorological perspective.

Turkey Vulture

Turkey Vulture – photo by Dave Cooney

Starling

European Starling – photo by Dave Cooney, Jr.

It’s staggering, really, that our scientific knowledge base has extended so far that we may soon understand such complex and disassociated things as the workings of Pluto’s atmosphere. As humans, we have discovered and studied everything from quarks to black holes to the Mariana Trench, which extends nearly seven miles below the surface of the Pacific Ocean. So how come we still can’t agree on how, or even if, many birds utilize a sense of smell? Many ornithologists have led a recent charge to dispel the traditionally held notion that our avian friends rarely sniff things out, and instead rely almost entirely on their vision and hearing in order to find food, mates, and shelter. Ironically, this misplaced belief traces itself back to John James Audubon himself, who once tested a flock of Turkey Vultures by concealing a decaying hog carcass under some brush and waiting for them to find it. When the vultures failed to descend upon the food, and instead remaining aloft and circling, Audubon concluded that the only reasonable explanation for the behavior was that the birds’ noses were anosmic, or incapable of detecting scents.Since Audubon’s experiment in the 1820s, further research into the scavenging patterns of Turkey Vultures fairly quickly concluded that the birds prefer freshly deceased animals, and will often skip corpses that reek too strongly after days of decay. Yet, Audubon’s inherently flawed experiment was never really challenged for more than a century and a half.

In 2008, an article published by the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology concluded that, from a genetic perspective, avian coding and olfactory structure meant that there was no reasonable physical or chemical explanation for why birds might have an inherently weaker sense of smell than any other animals, such as mammals. In July of 2013, Michael Lipske wrote an article for National Wildlife detailing the recent research into how many birds, from shorebirds to songbirds as recognizable as the European Starling, use smell to locate insects and fish and even to detect mating pheromones, a phenomenon never before associated with avian life.

Common winter resident

Dark-Eyed Junco – photo by Dave Cooney

Finally, last year, the National Audubon Society itself shone light on the issue when Nancy Averett acknowledged the extensive but largely overlooked research by a UC-Berkeley professor named Gabrielle Nevitt and the Indiana University post-doc Danielle Whittaker. Nevitt, now 53, performed many experiments involving albatrosses and petrels in the Antarctic, where she was successful at attracting huge flocks to her sailing vessel by soaking various materials in vegetable oil mixed with compounds found in their dietary fishes. Whittaker demonstrated that not only do Dark-eyed Juncos smell, but odor is in fact an incredibly crucial part of their behavior in that it allows them to distinguish one individual from another and to choose a suitable mate.

It may be true that, like with us humans, sight and sound play a dominant role in many birds’ sensory perceptions. However, the importance of their sense of smell should not be discounted based on John James Audubon’s flawed 1820s experiment and the prevailing opinion it has produced. Spread the word, and help us dispel this errant notion once and for all!

Audubon is located at 1600 Riverside Road, just off Route 62 between Warren and Jamestown. The trails are open from dawn to dusk as is Liberty, the Bald Eagle. The Center is open from 10:00am until 4:30pm daily except Sunday when we open at 1:00pm. For more information you may visit http://jamestownaudubon.org or call (716) 569-2345.

Connor Clendenen is a summer intern at Jamestown Audubon.

Works Cited

https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/newhorizons/main/

http://www.mpg.de/568503/pressRelease20080716

https://www.nwf.org/News-and-Magazines/National-Wildlife/Birds/Archives/2013/Bird-Smell.aspx

https://www.audubon.org/magazine/january-february-2014/birds-can-smell-and-one-scientist

Posted in Article, Birds, Connor Clendenen

Jamestown (NY) Audubon Announces 2015 Nature Photo Contest Winners

Jamestown (NY) Audubon Announces Nature Photo Contest Winners

Jamestown, NY – Like last year, entries as well as winners in the Jamestown (New York) Audubon Nature Center’s 2015 Nature Photography Contest came from across the country and around the world.

The categories for submissions of photographs were Landscapes, Plants (including trees, fungi, lichens, mosses, etc.), and Wildlife (animals in their natural habitats), with Adult and Youth (18 and under or still in high school) Divisions in each category.

2015 winners are:
• Adult Landscape: Suzy Ro (La Habra, California), “Lone Tree”
• Adult Plants: Kathleen Furey (South Riding, Virginia), “Leaf of Lace”
• Adult Wildlife: Jose Luis Rodriguez (Avila, Spain), “The Last Drop”
• Youth Landscape: Akash Thakkar (Cedar Park, Texas), “The Path of Stars”
• Youth Plants: Sarah Stansberry (Lone Tree, Colorado), “Red Flora at Kauai, Hawaii”
• Youth Wildlife: Mateusz Piesiak (Wroclaw, Poland), “Test of Strength”

All winners received a $100 prize, and their photographs are on exhibit at the Jamestown Audubon Nature Center.

The Last Drop

Again this year, entries as well as winners of the Jamestown (NY) Audubon Nature Photography Contest came from around the world. The winning photo in the Adult Division, Wildlife Category is “The Last Drop,” taken by Jose Luis Rodriguez of Avila, Spain.

More than 400 entries were submitted in the Adult Division from 34 states in the United States and 12 foreign countries. The Youth Division had 140 entries from 19 states and three foreign countries. Finalists came from as near to the Nature Center as Wendy Bale of Jamestown, New York, and as far away as China, Italy and Romania.

“With the Photo Contest now in its seventh year, we have been seeing steady growth in submissions,” said Nature Center Program Director and contest coordinator Jennifer Schlick. “This year’s response was particularly gratifying, and the international response is always exciting.”

Schlick added that part of the purpose of the contest is to fulfill the Nature Center’s mission to connect people with nature. “You can’t help but be inspired when you see all these stunning images!”

Jurors Deborah Lanni and Bruce Fox observed in their Jurors’ Notes, “We were especially impressed by the work of the young photographers. Much of this work would compete well against that of more seasoned image-makers.”

The winners and finalists images can be seen at http://www.jasphotocontest.com, which also shows the Jurors’ Notes.

Proceeds from the contest support the Nature Center’s environmental education programs.

The Audubon Nature Center is at 1600 Riverside Road, one-quarter mile east of Route 62 between Jamestown, New York, and Warren, Pennsylvania. The building, with its collection of live animals, interactive exhibits and Blue Heron Gift Shop, is open 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 1-4:30 p.m. Sundays. The grounds, including trails, gardens, picnic area, arboretum, and Liberty, the Bald Eagle, are open from dawn until dusk daily.

For more information about the Jamestown Audubon Nature Center, call (716) 569-2345 or visit http://www.jamestownaudubon.org.

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Posted in News Release, Photo Contest

Nature Center Schedules July 29, 2015 Mushroom Walk

Nature Center Schedules July 29, 2015 Mushroom Walk

Jamestown, NY – With the area’s recent rain and cooler temperatures, the Audubon Nature Center has been able to set a date for their Mushroom Walk.

Hemlock Varnish Shelf

With all the recent rainfall providing the right conditions to produce mushrooms, the Audubon Nature Center has scheduled their Mushroom Walk for Wednesday evening, July 29, 2015. Pictured here is a Hemlock Varnish Shelf Fungus that appears from May through November, often remaining on trees through the winter.

A part of the Taste of Nature Series, the two-hour workshop will be on Wednesday, July 29, 2015 beginning at 6 p.m.

Now that the needed weather conditions are producing mushrooms, this is an opportunity to learn which ones are edible and which are not.

The program will begin inside with a slideshow and talk. Then participants will join mushroom experts Dr. Scott Stoleson and Garret Taylor for a stroll around the grounds in search of mushrooms – both edible and not.

Fungi, including mushrooms, are one of the most diverse but least known groups of organisms. This program will provide some basic background on fungal diversity, their ecological roles, tips on identifying common species of the area, and information on toxins and edibility.

A Sugar Grove, Pennsylvania, resident, Scott Stoleson is a professional ornithologist who has published over 50 scientific papers on ecology and conservation of birds. He has conducted avian research in the western U.S., Central and South America and has led natural history tours to the Caribbean and Latin America. Currently he is the Research Wildlife Biologist at the U.S. Forest Service Northern Research Station lab in Irvine, Pennsylvania, a Research Associate of the Roger Tory Peterson Institute, and serves on the boards of the Pennsylvania Society for Ornithology and the Association of Field Ornithologists. He has been an amateur mycologist (mushroom hunter) for over 30 years.

A sous chef at the Seneca Allegany Resort and Casino in Salamanca, New York, Garrett Taylor became interested in wild mushrooms soon after embarking on his culinary journey. For more than a decade he has delved into the field of mycology (the study of mushrooms) with passion, become an active “advanced amateur” with a couple Mycological Societies and given several educational demonstrations. You can follow his explorations at http://www.facebook.com/AlleghenyWoodratMushroomers.

The workshop will be at the Audubon Nature Center, 1600 Riverside Road, one-quarter mile east of Route 62 between Jamestown, New York, and Warren, Pennsylvania.

Participants are reminded to dress for the weather, as the class will go outside unless it is thunder storming or there are severe winds. Mud boots are recommended.

Cost is $16, $12 for Friends of the Nature Center and children ages 9-15.

To register, call (716) 569-2345 or use the online form by clicking through “Taste of Nature: Mushroom Walk” at http://www.jamestownaudubon.org.

Nature Center education programs are funded with support from the Carnahan Jackson Foundation, Jessie Smith Darrah Fund, Holmberg Foundation, Hultquist Foundation, Johnson Foundation, and Lenna Foundation.

For more information on this and other Audubon opportunities, call (716) 569-2345 or visit http://www.jamestownaudubon.org.

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Posted in Mushrooms, News Release, Program

Scouts: Earn a Badge at Nature Center’s Butterfly Festival – August 29, 2015

Scouts: Earn a Badge at Nature Center’s Butterfly Festival – August 29, 2015

Jamestown, NY – Now is the time for Scouts and their leaders to make plans to earn a Monarch Butterfly patch at the Audubon Nature Center’s Monarch Butterfly Festival.

At this fun-filled, end-of-summer event on Saturday, August 29, Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts of any age group can earn the right to a Monarch Butterfly patch by completing certain activities.

Monarch Patch

Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts of any age group can earn this patch while enjoying a great day with their Scouting friends at the Audubon Nature Center’s Monarch Butterfly Festival. This year’s annual summer celebration will be on August 29, the Saturday of Labor Day weekend.

These activities are available to all festival visitors: watching a butterfly being tagged, holding a caterpillar or butterfly, using an insect net, learning the Monarch’s migration route and destination, taking a Butterfly Garden Tour, making a craft, posing as a butterfly or caterpillar, and more.

Some of the activities — such as sampling Mexican food — will have an additional cost, but everyone should be able to complete enough free ones to be eligible for the patch.

Scout Leaders are encouraged to bring their groups and Scout parents are encouraged to bring individual Scouts to the Monarch Butterfly Festival. After arriving and paying the admission fee, Scouts can ask for a checklist of “requirements” to complete throughout the day. Once they complete at least four of the activities, they can take their list to the front desk and buy a patch for $3.

Children who are not Scouts are also welcome to participate, including purchasing a Monarch patch.

The Audubon Nature Center is at 1600 Riverside Road, one-quarter mile east of Route 62 between Jamestown, New York, and Warren, Pennsylvania. The building, with its collection of live animals, interactive exhibits and the Blue Heron Gift Shop, is open 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 1-4:30 p.m. Sundays. The grounds, including trails, gardens, picnic tables, arboretum, and Liberty, the non-releasable Bald Eagle, are open from dawn until dusk daily.

For more information on this and all Audubon programs, call (716) 569-2345 or visit http://www.jamestownaudubon.org.

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Posted in Butterflies, Event, Fundraiser, News Release, Scouts

Frucellas Establish Nature Center Scholarships

Frucellas Establish Nature Center Scholarships

Jamestown, NY – Robert and Kathleen Frucella have set up a scholarship program at the Audubon Nature Center for students going into fifth grade and older who have demonstrated a strong commitment to their communities and nature.

Robert and Kathleen Frucella have established the Stephanie Frucella Memorial “Making a Difference” Scholarship program at the Audubon Nature Center.  The Frucellas are pictured here with Tyrek Mead and Jasmine Buffone, two of the scholarship winners, and Sarah Hatfield, Day Camp Director at the Nature Center.

Robert and Kathleen Frucella have established the Stephanie Frucella Memorial “Making a Difference” Scholarship program at the Audubon Nature Center. The Frucellas are pictured here with Tyrek Mead and Jasmine Buffone, two of the scholarship winners, and Sarah Hatfield, Day Camp Director at the Nature Center.

Through the Stephanie Frucella Memorial “Making a Difference” Scholarship, four students have the opportunity to attend and assist with the summer day camps at the Audubon Nature Center.

In describing their motivation for establishing this scholarship in memory of their daughter, the Frucellas wrote, “As a child Stephanie loved to come to the Audubon with her family to walk the trails and discover wildlife, flowers, and the beauty of nature. In her life, especially as a fourth grade teacher, Stephanie strived to make a difference in the lives of her students and her community. Hopefully, through this scholarship, her legacy will continue through others.”

Stephanie Frucella Memorial “Making a Difference” Scholarship winners this year are Jasmine Buffone, Sierra Darts, Tyrek Mead, and JJ Moore.

On his application to be a Counselor-In-Training at the Nature Center this year, Tyrek Mead wrote, “Over the last 7-8 years of my life, I’ve learned so much about nature that it has become a part of me. The counselors at Audubon have taught me and show me so much that I wanted to do the same,”

“We are thrilled to have such incredible kids and teens attend and help with our camps,” said Nature Center Day Camp Director Sarah Hatfield. “We are equally thrilled that the Frucellas recognize the generosity and passion these kids show and wish to support them in such a meaningful way.”

The Frucellas fund a variety of scholarship programs throughout the community, all promoting those youth that give back to their communities and to others.

For more information on the Audubon Nature Center, call (716) 569-2345 or visit http://www.jamestownaudubon.org.

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Posted in Day Camp, News Release, Scholarship

Nature Center Receives Community Foundation Grants

Nature Center Receives Community Foundation Grants

Jamestown, NY – “The Chautauqua Region Community Foundation [CRCF] has been an important supporter of the Nature Center this year,” said Center President Ruth Lundin, “and we are grateful to them for the successes they have helped us achieve.”

Bird Banding

The Audubon Nature Center has received important support this year from the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation (CRCF). Here Boy Scouts look on as Jordon Whitney bands a bird at the Bird Study Merit Badge Day made possible in part by CRCF.

Lundin expressed her appreciation for several grants that the Audubon Nature Center has received for different needs.

“When a furnace went out, the Community Foundation really came to our rescue,” Lundin said. A grant from CRCF’s Axel W. Carlson Memorial Fund enabled the Nature Center to replace the failed furnace.

Support from the Rollin A. & Annie P. Fancher Fund administered by CRCF went toward development of the Boy Scouts Bird Study Merit Badge Program, helping to make possible the Boy Scouts Bird Study Merit Badge Day as well as serving as a model for other Boy Scout merit programs.

During the past school year, Nature Center education staff presented more than 700 programs to over 14,000 students in Chautauqua and Warren Counties. In addition, more than 2,300 children participated in over 200 programs in their own schoolyards.

With 249 field trips to the Nature Center – primarily in May and June – the year’s total came to 18,940 students who got connected to nature and learned environmentally responsible behaviors through Nature Center education programs.

A significant grant from CRCF’s Thomas H. Brown Fund was a major support of the Nature Center’s field trip program.

“We are so grateful to the Community Foundation for everything they do!” Lundin concluded.

The Audubon Nature Center is at 1600 Riverside Road, one-quarter mile east of Route 62 between Jamestown, New York, and Warren, Pennsylvania. Hours for the building, including Blue Heron Gift Shop, are 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday and Sundays 1-4:30 p.m. The arboretum, gardens, picnic area, more than five miles of trails, and exhibit of Liberty, Audubon’s resident non-releasable Bald Eagle, are open dawn to dusk daily.

For more information about all the events and opportunities at the Nature Center, call (716) 569-2345 or visit http://www.jamestownaudubon.org.

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Posted in Grant, News Release