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September 2019  KSNH News and Events

We are pleased to welcome our newest members:

Sara Ash
Theodore Brancheau
Amanda Fuller
Bill Martin
Michelle Shane 
Homer Strong 
Dany Waller
Christina Wampler 
Kelly Watson

From the President,

As the newly elected president of the Kentucky Society of Natural History, I’m writing to encourage everyone to renew their membership.
Why renew?
  • Our dues support student research grants in Kentucky
  • Student members or students of members qualify to apply for research grants
  • e-Newsletters and announcement of events, grants, and other opportunities
  • annual meeting and group hikes and other outings
  • membership is only $15 for individuals, $7.50 for students, $25 for families
  • Renew now and your membership doesn't expire until December 31, 2020
 Membership Classes and Voting Rights

Membership in the Kentucky Society of Natural History (hereinafter referred to as the Society) will be open to all persons or organizations interested in natural history and related branches of science.

  1. Regular Membership shall consist of those persons who pay the Regular Membership fee, who desire to cooperate in the work of the Society, and who wish to receive its publications. They are entitled to participate in all the activities of the Society, to vote, and to hold office.
  2. Family Membership shall consist of the head or heads of a family and their children   under eighteen (18) years of age who live at the same address.  All individuals within a Family Membership are entitled to the privileges of Regular Members except they shall collectively receive only one (1) copy of KSNH e-newsletter and only one copy of notices of meetings or other information about the activities of the Society.
  3. Contributing Membership shall consist of those individuals and families who, because of their benevolence and desire to further the purposes of the Society, wish to contribute annual dues more than Single or Family Membership.
  4. Student Membership shall include bona fide full-time students.  Student Membership may continue as long as the individual satisfies the stated condition.  Such members are entitled to all the privileges of Regular Members.
  5. Life membership shall consist of those individuals who pay the Life Membership fee.  They shall be accorded all the privileges of Regular Members.
  6. Honorary membership shall go to those individuals who, because of special merit or services to the Society, shall receive complimentary membership for one year.  It requires no regular dues and gives no right to vote or hold office.  Such members   must be elected by the State Board of Directors.
  7. Junior Naturalists shall be youth under the age of 13 that regularly attend and participate in Youth Activities at Society conferences. Junior naturalists may be defined as children of a family member and therefore will not pay state dues. This category gives no right to vote or hold office.
Dues for all categories of voting members shall be the amounts recommended by the state board of directors and agreed upon by membership.  Dues are payable for the calendar year which shall run from January 1 through December 31.  Members who have not paid dues by April 1 shall be deemed not in good standing and the membership shall lapse.  It is the responsibility of the member to notify the Secretary or Treasurer of the Society of any address changes

 You can renew via paper form or the web. The KSNH includes all of the field sciences of natural history— geography, geology, biology, environmental chemistry, and others, so please pass this information on to your colleagues.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) proposes to establish Kentucky’s second national wildlife refuge to protect high quality wildlife and fish habitats near the confluence of the Green and Ohio Rivers.

The Proposal

With support and direction from the U.S. Congress, the Service is proposing to establish Green River National Wildlife Refuge (refuge) in Henderson County, Kentucky. The area has long been valued for its diverse system of bottomland hardwood forests, wetlands, upland bluffs and agricultural lands that provide high quality habitat for waterfowl, migratory birds, and sport fish.
Because the proposed refuge is at the confluence of two rivers, it has the potential to provide habitat for an array of fish and wildlife. For decades, the area has been recognized as important  for migrating waterfowl. As a refuge, it would abound with recreational opportunities, including hunting and fishing. This proposal would help establish wildlife corridors and restore ecological function to the area.  To read more about this proposed National Wildlife Refuge, click here.

The Many Sounds of Hummingbirds
Listen carefully the next time you see a hummingbird and learn about the variety of hummingbird sounds.
By Kenn and Kimberly Kaufman

Question: Why does a hummingbird hum? Answer: Because it can’t remember the words! OK, that’s a pretty bad joke, but it addresses an interesting point. The humming for which hummingbirds are named isn’t a vocal sound, but one created by the rapid beating of their wings. This isn’t the only sound hummingbirds make. Let’s take a look at other sounds you might hear.

Regular Calls

Ruby Throat HummingbirdAll hummingbirds make short, soft call notes. These are often useful for identifying species. The most common species we have in Kentucky is the Ruby Throat.  Click here for actual sounds heard by these little critters
Aggressive Calls

Hummingbirds are amazingly feisty creatures, constantly sparring over choice flower patches and feeders. Their aerial battles are mostly just bluffing, but they pump up the effect with all kinds of chattering, squealing noises. When a large number of hummingbirds gather, most of the sounds that you hear will be these aggressive calls.
Wing and Tail Sounds
Above is a video I took at our summer home in Colorado of the Broadtailed Hummingbirds.
Many hummingbird sounds are produced by the feathers of the wings or tail vibrating against the air. The male broad-tailed hummingbird of the Rocky Mountain region has an especially impressive sound. You can always tell when an adult male broad-tail flies past, because of the high, metallic trilling of his wings.

Although the male ruby-throat’s wing sounds are not as obvious, the pointed outer feathers of his wings create a high-pitched whine during his flight displays, while shorter inner feathers make a rattling sound when he changes directions.

The male Anna’s hummingbird (not found in Kentucky but is common west of the Mississippi River) is famous for his song, but he also produces a remarkable sound with his tail feathers. His courtship display includes a zooming dive, in which he plummets toward the ground and then pulls up with a loud, explosive pop that can be heard from hundreds of yards away. Scientists used to debate whether this was a vocal sound, but studies have shown that it’s the outer tail feathers vibrating at the bottom of the dive making the noise.

Listen carefully the next time you see a hummingbird. Not only will you hear that familiar hum of the wings, but you could also hear these other fun sounds.

On the lighter side of nature:  Ouch!

A bear found near the Jefferson County, Colorado home where the attack occurred was euthanized the next morning.
Woman fights off bear with baseball bat after it attacked her husband in their kitchen


Featured Nature Events
Bernheim Forest
Falls of the Ohio
Kentucky State Parks
Louisville Nature Center
The Parklands

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
......please keep us informed about any address or email changes.

Berl Meyer

e-newsletter editor
Copyright © 2019 Kentucky Society of Natural History, All rights reserved.

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