October ornithology programming at River Fork Ranch

A hummingbird at a feeder in August. Photo special to The R-C by Jay Aldrich

A hummingbird at a feeder in August. Photo special to The R-C by Jay Aldrich

October programs at The Nature Conservancy’s River Fork Ranch Preserve take flight with two upcoming avian-themed events. Both are free of charge, though donations are greatly appreciated.

First up is Armchair Birding 10 a.m. Oct. 21. Instructors will be onsite to demonstrate how to utilize the Merlin Bird ID app, which helps users identify birds by sight and sound. This free lesson will be followed by a short hike along the preserve’s pathway and time spent by the Carson River to listen and watch for birds.

Red Tail Adventures Lead Guide and Owner Kirk Hardie (redtailadventures.com/index.php), presents a talk 6 p.m. Oct. 26 on “Fall Bird Migration.” Hardie holds an masters in biology from the University of Nevada, Reno, and has led nature tours and experiences for nearly 20 years.

Hardie’s talk is the culminating event of TNC’s 2023 Science and Nature Lecture Series. A $10 donation is suggested.

Both events take place at TNC’s River Fork Ranch Preserve, 381 Genoa Lane. For more information, contact Preserve Manager Lori Leonard via email: lori.leonard@tnc.org. Connect with The Nature Conservancy in Nevada on Facebook at facebook.com/NatureNevada/.

Elks Hoop Shoot

The Tahoe-Douglas Elks Lodge No. 2670 hosts their annual Hoop Shoot free throw contest Nov. 4 at the Douglas County Community & Senior Center, 1329 Waterloo Lane, in Gardnerville. Registration starts at 9 a.m. and the contest gets underway at 10 a.m.

Boys and girls ages 8-13 are eligible to compete; categories are determined by each contestant’s age as of April 1, 2024. Winners from each division will travel to Hawthorne in February 2024 to compete at the state level. Regional semi-finals follow later that same month in Las Vegas, and those winners advance to the National Hoop Shoot Finals in Chicago in April 2024.

The Elks’ Hoop Shoot originated in 1946 as a free throw contest in which “every kid could participate,” and the first National Finals were held in 1972. The program develops and reinforces the characteristic of grit, defined as “the will to persevere in the face of long odds.” Participants are encouraged to practice grit by “setting goals, working hard to achieve them, failing and bouncing back to try again and work even harder the next year” (elks.org/hoopshoot/history.cfm).

Two local Elks members are coordinating this year’s Hoop Shoot; questions about the Nov. 4 event can be directed to Gary Beadle at 949-584-5092 or Dave Stewart at 775-230-0337.

Amy Roby can be reached at ranchosroundup@hotmail.com.


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