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As the bounded affiliate of the National Audubon Society, the Audubon Society of Central Maryland works to assure accustomed spaces for birds and added animals while additionally educating the accessible about wildlife and how bodies can absolutely appulse their accustomed environment.

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The nonprofit accumulation has been in actuality aback the 1980s, said Shannon Kennedy, lath affiliate and accomplished president. Based in Mount Airy, the Central Maryland affiliate covers best of Carroll and Frederick counties, as able-bodied as genitalia of Howard and Montgomery counties.

"Our highlight is absolutely that we accept two absolutely ample sanctuaries and they're preserved forever, and they're safe spaces for animals and birds," Kennedy, of New Windsor, said.

The chapter's aboriginal sanctuary, the Audrey Carroll Audubon Sanctuary, is amid west of Mount Airy and consists of 129 acreage of assorted habitat, including altitude meadows, wetlands, woodlands, two streams, and a pond.

Its newer sanctuary, the Fred Archibald Audubon Sanctuary, is amid west of New Market and consists of 140 acreage of old fields, backwoods stands, and several streams.

"They're accessible to the accessible all the time, and they're actual nice to airing around," Kennedy said.

The sanctuaries accommodate ample swaths of adequate environment, including specialized areas of habitat, acceptance them to allure and assure specific species, said lath affiliate David Smith, of Mount Airy, who serves as the bird calculation coordinator for the group.

"One of the aboriginal things we did at both sanctuaries was to acquaint some balmy division grasses in fields that had ahead been circumscribed in soybean and blah rotation," he said. "That has done absolutely able-bodied for accouterment aliment in the anatomy of grass berry to a lot of wintering species, like sparrows."

At the Audrey Carroll Audubon Sanctuary, the affiliate has focused on attention aboriginal after habitat, which is fabricated up of acreage in alteration amid actuality a acreage and evolving into a forest, abounding with shrubs and adolescent trees. There are assertive types of birds that can alone alive in that blazon of habitat, Smith said, and those types of birds never ability actual aerial populations because they accept to accumulate affective about to acquisition abode that hasn't acquired accomplished their preferences.

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KEN KOONS/STAFF PHOTO / Carroll County Times

Volunteers amount bird berry at the Audubon Society of Central Maryland Bird Berry Auction at the Prospect United Methodist Church abreast Mt. Airy on Saturday February 13, 2016.

Volunteers amount bird berry at the Audubon Society of Central Maryland Bird Berry Auction at the Prospect United Methodist Church abreast Mt. Airy on Saturday February 13, 2016. (KEN KOONS/STAFF PHOTO / Carroll County Times)

Since the affiliate has been managing fields to break in a capricious state, they've apparent added numbers of yellow-breasted babble and acreage sparrows, Smith said, which makes them feel acceptable about their work.

"We're absolutely accomplishing article appropriate there," he said.

The accumulation can acquaint that breed like the yellow-breasted babble accept added their bounded populations by assuming two anniversary counts of all the bird breed they see at the sanctuaries, Smith said.

The mid-winter count, which is done in aboriginal January, advance the citizen bird populations that alive in the breadth year-round, and again addition count, which is done in aboriginal May, that serves as a snapshot communicable some of the abiding brief breed as well, he said.

"It's absolutely become a huge antecedent of advice and it's a absolutely acceptable way to attending at trends and bird administration and so on," Smith said of the bird counts.

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For example, the affiliate has recorded the abatement of bold birds at its sanctuaries, such as bobwhite blanch and ring-neck pheasants.

Both were accustomed architect in the '80s but were acutely attenuate by the mid- to backward '90s, Smith said. These breed accept abolished not because of problems with the altar land, he said, but because there isn't abundant agnate abode adjacent the sanctuaries to allure these species.

The Audubon Society additionally works with accountant bird banders to host a bird amalgamation accident anniversary May, Kennedy said. The coordinators set up ample nets afore aurora aback birds deathwatch up and alpha to travel, again birds get bent in the accomplished netting. Trained volunteers abolish the birds from the nets and abode them in acting cages to accompany aback to the coordinator.

If the birds don't accept a bandage with an identification cipher on their legs, the coordinators put one on, she said, and almanac what affectionate of breed they are afore absolution them. If the birds do accept a band, the coordinators almanac their advice so they can after clue area abroad that bird has been recorded.

"It's absolutely absorbing seeing the birds up abutting and the bodies amalgamation them allocution about what affectionate of bird it is and their habits and all that, so that's absolutely cool," she said.

To accomplish the sanctuaries added affable to the public, the Audubon Society offers a anecdotal attributes airing from 9 to 11 a.m. the third Saturday of every month, with the barring of December, at one of the two sanctuaries.

"They're a way of accepting bodies out and exploring our sanctuaries and accepting absorbed in accustomed history, conceivably birds in particular, but our attributes walks are array of all encompassing," Smith said.

True birders apperceive to alpha as the sun is aloof advancing up, aback birds are best active, Smith said, but the Audubon Society of Central Maryland realizes that's aloof not applied for families with accouchement or alike accidental bird enthusiasts.

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"We try and attending at birds aback we can, but we'll attending at collywobbles and annihilation abroad of interest," Smith said. "We've had actual acceptable participation, at atomic 20 bodies will appearance up about every month, alike in January."

Smith said he tries to participate in best of the attributes walks and usually brings his spotting scope, which is generally easier for accouchement to use to atom a abroad bird, rather than binoculars.

"The accomplished purpose is to advice bodies who ability accept a accidental absorption that could get added austere if they could get apparent to it a little bit more, and that's absolutely what we do," he said.

Other activities that the Audubon Society of Central Maryland offers as an beat accommodate their bird berry sales, which are captivated in aboriginal February and backward October, and the built-in bulb sale, which takes abode the aftermost Saturday of April.

The berry sales are offered to advice backyard birders buy high-quality seeds, which can advice them allure and sustain specific varieties of birds to their feeders, Kennedy said.

"A lot of the being you get at Walmart or Home Depot, it has a lot of accompaniment in it which doesn't accept a lot of comestible allowances for the birds," she said. "[Our mix] doesn't accept a lot of accompaniment in it."

The built-in bulb auction is both a club fundraiser and educational opportunity, Kennedy said. Many nurseries focus on affairs non-native plants or hybrids, she said, but these varieties do not action the aforementioned akin of aliment and apartment for wildlife as the built-in plants do.

The Audubon Society pairs up with adept gardeners to advise visitors about the altered types of built-in plants that they accept accessible for acquirement that day, anecdotic area they are best ill-fitted and how they account built-in wildlife.

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