May Meeting - "Someone to Watch Over These," Dan Hope, Oconee Rivers Land Trust

The chairman of the Oconee River Land Trust (ORLT) board of directors will explain how the organization works to protect critical habitat and important farmland throughout Georgia at the next meeting of the Oconee Rivers Audubon Society, set for 7 p.m. Thursday, May 7, at Sandy Creek Nature Center.

Dan Hope, long-time conservationist and a founder of Sandy Creek Nature Center, will speak on “Someone to Watch Over These,” about the role of the nonprofit ORLT in permanently protecting diverse habitats through the conservation easements it administers in partnership with landowners all over the state. ORLT is coming off a banner year in 2014, when it placed more than 6,000 acres of land in conservation easements, added staff and opened a new office in Athens.

April Meeting - "Beavers and Us"

A long-time advocate for a better relationship between beavers and humans will explore the animal’s keystone role in creating and maintaining bird-friendly wetlands at the Oconee Rivers Audubon Society’s next meeting, set for 7 p.m. Thursday, April 2, at Sandy Creek Nature Center.

Bob Kobres, an engineer who retired from University of Georgia Libraries, will give a presentation on “Beavers and Us: How We Can All Benefit from Learning to Coexist with This Ancient Wetland Engineer."

March Meeting - Monarchs Butterflies in a Changing World

A population ecologist from the University of Georgia will describe conservation efforts to reduce threats to the majestic monarch butterfly – one of her research specialties – at the Oconee Rivers Audubon Society’s next meeting, set for 7 p.m. Thursday, March 5, at Sandy Creek Nature Center.

Dr. Sonia Altizer, whose UGA research focuses on animal migration, monarch butterfly ecology, and host-parasite interactions, will give a talk titled “Monarchs in a Changing World: Status and Conservation of an Iconic Butterfly.”

February Meeting - Coastkeeper to describe threats to Georgia’s largest river basin

An ornithologist who’s served as the Altamaha Riverkeeper’s “Coastkeeper” since last spring will describe her work in one of the largest river basins on the Atlantic seaboard and give a status update on American Oystercatchers in the Altamaha delta at the Oconee Rivers Audubon Society’s next meeting, set for 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 5, at Sandy Creek Nature Center.

January Meeting - Members' Night

Members will be sharing their birding stories and experiences at a special “Members’ Night” for the Oconee Rivers Audubon Society’s next meeting, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 8, at Sandy Creek Nature.

Members will share a story, a poem or a series of photos or drawings related to birds or birding in five-minute time slots during Members’ Night. Speakers can give a short presentation on anything from a trip report to an interesting or humorous encounter with a backyard bird; illustrated talks are limited to five PowerPoint slides.

Athens Christmas Bird Count

The Athens Christmas Bird Count will take place on Dec 20th. It's a great way to meet local birders and contribute to a long-standing citizen science program. All skill levels welcome; we can pair you with more experienced birders at your request. We'll give you more details at our upcoming speaker meeting on December 4th; in the mean time, if you have any questions please direct them to our compilers Eugenia Thompson (eroberthom@bellsouth.net) and Mary Case (mecase@uga.edu). All participants are invited to the countdown poluck dinner at Sandy Creek Nature Center at 7 pm.

Global Amphibian Declines and Conservation Efforts

A University of Georgia ecologist will describe the battle to save imperiled amphibians when the Oconee Rivers Audubon Society holds its next meeting, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 4, at Sandy Creek Nature Center.

Scott Connelly, an assistant professor with UGA’s Odum School of Ecology, will speak on “Disease-Driven Global Amphibian Declines and Conservation Efforts.” Connelly will focus specifically on Central America, where he has done much of his teaching and research. He has taught a number of courses at UGA’s Costa Rica Campus, including tropical field ecology and conservation biology.

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