William Sullivan on New Hikes in the Central Oregon Cascades

Although we had to cancel William Sullivan's April presentation on “New Hikes in the Central Oregon Cascades” for the Lane County Audubon Society, here’s a happy twist: the Deschutes Public Library has posted the same program online, and here’s the link:


The focus of the presentation is on the need for social distancing to avoid overcrowding as trails reopen. Bill also talks about the upcoming permit system, fire damage, and newly built trails. We have rescheduled a live presentation for the Lane County Audubon Society next year, February 23, 2021.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021 - 7:00pm

From Our President: Search Outside for the Calm in Nature

As I write this piece in early April, our future activities for the next two months are completely up in the air. We know that in May we will not have a Bird Walk and that cancellation of the Program Meeting is a strong possibility. Theoretically, at this point, June will be planned as the time gets closer and we know our ability to gather safely for community activities.

Conservation Column: Diseases Respect No Boundaries

I hope that everybody is safe and well as we deal with this devastating pandemic. Turns out that many of the conservation issues that have been on our radar for years are associated with pandemics. Zoonotic (zōe’nätik) diseases are caused by pathogens that jump from other species to us. They can be particularly problematic because we have no previous immunity.

Armchair Birding

By Ron Renchler

Although we all may wish otherwise, it’s quite possible that the statewide stay-at-home order issued due to the COVID-19 pandemic will still be in effect by the time you receive this issue of The Quail. The pandemic has all of us in an unfamiliar spot—staying at home as much as possible and keeping a distance of at least six feet between friends and strangers alike. Although bird watching, especially backyard birding, is still possible as an outdoor activity, we are all probably spending more time indoors than we’d like. 

But indoor time is great for armchair birding, especially given all the helpful online resources made possible by current technologies. If you have access to a mobile phone or computer and wi-fi, you can use some of your indoor time to explore and learn more about our fine feathered friends.

Lane County Audubon’s website has a Resources tab (laneaudubon.org/resources) where you can start your adventure. This page has links on a variety of topics, including Field Notes (monthly, going back to 2001), Christmas Bird Count Reports (annually, also going back to 2001), Vaux’s Swift Information, Birding Eugene (links to several birding locations in our area), Mt. Pisgah Arboretum Bird List, LCAS Informational Handouts (handouts produced by LCAS over the years), and Web Links.  (cont.)

Cancelled due to COVID19: Program Meeting, Tuesday, May 26, 7:00 pm: Birding in the Colombian Andes

Colombia is a dream destination for birders. Its avifaunal richness is partly due to the branching of the imposing Andes into three mountain ranges: the Eastern, Central and Western Andes. Two rivers, the Magdalena and Cauca, create the great valleys between these mountains. The altitude ranges from a few hundred feet to over 18,000.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020 - 7:00pm
Eugene Garden Club, 1645 High St, Eugene

POSTPONED: LCAS Board Elections Notice

Lane County Audubon Society Board elections will be held at the September program meeting. 

The slate of candidates are all incumbents: Ramiro Aragon, Rachael Friese, Jim Maloney, Ron Renchler, Debra Schlenoff, Maeve Sowles, and Rebecca Waterman.

Monday, September 28, 2020 - 7:00pm
Eugene Garden Club, 1645 High St, Eugene

Third Saturday Bird Walks: Canceled Until Further Notice

Birding in the Time of Corona

Many of us look forward to our monthly walks for a multitude of reasons. Personally, I enjoy the social aspect of gathering with other birders. I do quite a bit of solo birding, but I always look forward to every 3rd Saturday of the month, knowing I will be with like-minded folks for a few hours, finding mutual enjoyment in the natural world around us. Unfortunately, the March and April walks have been canceled, with only uncertainty as to when we will be able to safely congregate around our scopes and field guides again. 

I have kept a yard list for years, but I had never done a Big Day from home. For those unfamiliar with the concept of a Big Day, the goal is simply to identify as many species as possible. Folks who are able and willing spend a whole day, beginning before dawn in hopes of finding owls, to well after dusk, traveling from hotspot to hotspot keeping a list along the way. In the past, LCAS birders have recorded over 150 species on Global Big Day! 

An Instagram friend of mine suggested folks participate in a Backyard Big Day on April 1st. Photos can be seen by searching #BACKYARDBIGDAY.  With little else to occupy my time, I happily joined in. With typical April Oregon weather­—chilly and rainy—my count did not reach above 20. But limiting my attention to just the birds in my yard gave me the opportunity to really focus on behavior, plumage, and different calls. My feeder (see page 7) was full of finches all day, with the House and American Goldfinches seeming to take turns. A pair of Scrub-Jays spent most of the day sorting through sticks and flying off with their preferred branches, presumably for a nest nearby. It was a lovely day spent with no TV or podcasts to distract me. I just may make this the start of a Big Quarantine list.

Saturday, May 16, 2020 - 8:00am

Volunteers and Binoculars Needed

Administrative Assistant

Lane Audubon would like a volunteer who could serve as an Administrative Assistant for Board responsibilities. Requisite skills include the ability to use typical word processing, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoint. Since we do not have a physical office, working from home would be required.

FMI: please contact Maeve Sowles at audubon@laneaudubon.org or 541.343.8664.

Binoculars Needed

The AITS team sometimes leads beginning birding sessions for kids at the Outdoor School’s Forest Field Day. Team members distribute binoculars and use bird silhouettes in trees to practice focusing, then they take a brief walk to look for birds in the forest. The AITS team would like to have more binoculars for the kids, so each child can practice using them. To donate used, but working, binoculars, please call Maeve Sowles at 541.343.8664 or bring them to an LCAS Program Meeting. 

AITS Scheduler 

The Audubon in the Schools team would like a volunteer to help with the scheduling of classroom visits. It usually takes 5-6 emails between the teacher and scheduler, to schedule an AITS visit. This volunteer needs to be organized and attentive to the teachers’ requests as well as work with the AITS instructors and their schedules. It is a critical piece of keeping this program running and helping everyone succeed in their mission to bring the AITS program into classrooms, where the kids can learn about drawing birds, feathers, and ecosystems!

FMI: please contact Maeve Sowles at audubon@laneaudubon.org or 541.343.8664.