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"Bird photographer Jim Ripley will open the new season of monthly meetings of the Desert Rivers Audubon Society."

Bird photographer Jim Ripley will open the new season of monthly meetings of the Desert Rivers Audubon Society.

Ripley will give a talk and slideshow on the birds of Central Arizona 7-9 p.m. Sept. 10 at the Southeast Regional Library, southeast corner of Greenfield and Guadalupe in Gilbert. Admission is free. 

Ripley travels widely to capture images of birds, but he is also a regular visitor at the Riparian Preserve at Gilbert Water Ranch. For a preview of his presentation, see his website at wingsandwonder.com

Before retiring in 2009, Ripley was a newspaper journalist. He started his career in Ohio, where he covered politics, including the presidential race in 1980 and John Glenn’s first successful run for the U.S. Senate.

 He moved to Arizona 26 years ago to join senior newsroom management at the East Valley Tribune when it was a daily, retiring as the newspaper’s executive editor.

The monthly speaker series is held on the second Tuesday of the month through April. The doors open at 6:30 p.m. allowing visitors to shop in the Desert Rivers Audubon mobile bookstore, which offers the latest birding guides, accessories and nature books.

The Desert Rivers Audubon Society provides environmental education and conservation opportunities to valley residents, and advocates for our environment. Information:  desertriversaudubon.org.

Other upcoming speakers include:

Oct. 8. Landscaping for Birds with Kirti Mathura

Kirti Montana will discuss how a carefully planned combination of plants will provide food, shelter and nesting opportunities for year-round bird activity.

Nov. 12. Birds of Arizona with 

Charles Babbitt.

The state’s most productive and interesting birding spots are the focus of Babbitt’s new book “Birding Arizona-What to Know, Where to Go.” He will discuss habitats and Arizona bird migration, including the summer influx of birds from the Gulf of California, fall hawk and shorebird migrations, and great places to watch the spring and fall passerine migration. 

Dec. 10.  Bringing Reluctant Neighbors Together with Birds with David Pearson

For 20 years the Gila River Indian Community has opened its land to outsiders once a year to help with their annual winter bird count. This rare opportunity has also opened a door to better understanding between the community members and people living outside the GRIC borders. Pearson is a research professor of biology at Arizona State University. 

Jan. 14.  Arizona’s Pygmy-Owls with Steve Vaughan

Vaughan will discuss the lives of these fascinating creatures. He is an ornithologist and professional photographer. 

Feb. 11.  Birding the Tropics with Cindy Marple

Marple is a nature photographer whose favorite subject is birds. She teaches an intermediate birding class through the City of Chandler Recreation Department, and presents slide shows at local camera clubs and Audubon Societies. 

March 10. Live Raptor Show

Bring the kids and grandkids and join for a live raptor presentation by Liberty Wildlife Rehab Foundation. This is always a special program, visually exciting and enjoyed by all ages. Liberty is an award-winning rehabilitation center located on the Salt River in Central Phoenix, caring for injured, sick and orphaned wildlife. 

April 14. Dragonflies – Pierre Deviche 

Deviche will discuss the history, biology and photography of these insects. He is currently a professor of environmental physiology at Arizona State University. 

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