April and springtime are a welcome change from our intense winter weather. Nature and the outdoors beckon with spring plant growth and the arrival of migrating birds. Each morning I open the upstairs window and breathe in the fresh air. I take stock of the weather, watch and listen to the birds for a few minutes, and assess the new day. Connecting with nature is a necessity for my mental and physical health.
As many of you are aware, streetlights can negatively impact the health and welfare of both humans and birds. New streetlights purchased by the city of Springfield seem likely to exacerbate those impacts.
What’s the problem?
Impacts on people include:
•Disruption of circadian rhythms. The light, especially the blue light, interferes with the natural production of melatonin, a hormone which regulates our natural daily rhythms. Interference with circadian rhythms causes sleep disruption which, in turn, increases sleepiness and decreases alertness during the day. Research suggests that an increase in certain diseases may be associated with artificial lighting at night.
•Light pollution obstructs our ability to view the night sky. According to the International Dark Sky Association, 4000Kelvin LED lights more than double light pollution.
•LED lights increase glare, constricting the pupils and interfering with our ability to see, especially in the aging eye. This increases the risk of automobile and pedestrian accidents. Many compare LED light to a car heading toward you with its brights on.
Impacts on birds include:
John Sullivan will lead this walk into the Royal Avenue section of Fern Ridge Wildlife Area. John is a local birder and world traveler.
People may meet to carpool to the location at the usual place at South Eugene High School’s east side parking lot. We will leave for the Royal Avenue parking area at 8 a.m., arriving about 8:30. You may also join us there.
Oregon’s hiking guru takes us on a slide show tour of new trails he discovered while researching the latest (fourth) edition of his book, 100 Hikes/Travel Guide: Southern Oregon & Northern California. We’ll discover hidden lakes in the Trinity Alps, relocated trails at Crater Lake, and wildflower meadows in the Siskiyous. As always, Bill spices his talk with notes on the geology, wildlife, and history.
Join us to welcome back the Vaux's Swifts at Agate Hall chimney this Saturday April 22nd at sunset!!
A few birds have been sighted, so we want to check it our ourselves.
We expect the Vaux’s swifts to arrive with a warm wind from the south sometime between early April and early May. The timing of the migration has varied recently, with the birds coming through earlier. This makes it hard for humans to know when to have a party to celebrate their arrival!
We will be monitoring the reports from the chimneys south of us and watching the skies to see when the birds ride in on the wind.
For up-to-date reports, tune into the Lane Audubon Facebook page, check our web site, or call the Lane Audubon phone at 541.485.2473.
Vaux’s Happening website for more information about Vaux’s Swifts: vauxhappening.org/Vauxs_Happening_Home.html
We are happy to announce that the newly revised Birds of Lane County Checklist has just been printed. Copies will now be available at our program meetings and other LCAS events, as well as at Wild Birds Unlimited.
Many thanks to co-authors Alan Contreras and Vjera Thompson, with contributions from Tye Jeske, Sean Burns, and Tom Mickel. Lane County Audubon Society and Wild Birds Unlimited covered the costs of the publication.
Pins commemorating the 75th Eugene Christmas Bird Count (ECBC) are available free to all participants in any of the past ECBCs, including field counters and home counters. To pick up your free pin, come to one of the LCAS monthly program meetings on April 25th or May 23rd. If you cannot attend one, please let Dick Lamster know, via email or snail mail. Include your name and mailing address, so he can send a pin to you.
Contact him at: P.O. Box 5086, Eugene, OR 97405, or firstname.lastname@example.org
ECBC History Compilation
The 75-year history of the Eugene Christmas Bird Count (ECBC) is now available on the LCAS website for downloading.
Lane County Audubon Society is an all-volunteer organization, and our members are very proud of the energy and diverse talents that volunteers bring to our cause—we couldn’t do it without them! Volunteering with Lane Audubon is a great way to meet new people, give back to the community, and best of all, have fun!