From Our President: Where Have All My Birds Gone?

The Lane Audubon phone receives many calls from residents who ask that question. We also receive similar questions from our website contact page asking about usual backyard birds that are missing from their feeders.

Possible reasons for the lack of birds in any one location are many. We must then ask the person:

Has there been tree or brush removal nearby?
Has there been new construction in the area?
Has there been pesticide spraying?
Are there outdoor or feral cats in the area?

2018 Eugene Christmas Bird Count

by Dick Lamster, Count Coordinator

The 27 observer teams in the 77th ECBC mobilized on Sunday, December 30. For the first time in recent memory, the Eugene Christmas Bird Count (ECBC) had good weather—a day with no ice, no snow, and no wind! The sun even came out for a short time. And just to remind us it was December in Oregon, it did rain for a few minutes mid-afternoon.

The 155 Field Observers, along with the 76 Home Counters, identified 131 species of birds, plus three more during Count Week. That’s a total of 77,239 individual birds. These numbers are about average for the past few years. Our species record of 140, plus 2 more during Count Week, was set in 2005. Our record of 129,874 individual birds was set in 2000. A complete listing and analysis by the Species Compiler, Vjera Thompson, can be found on this website under Resources/Christmas Bird Counts.

Third Saturday Bird Walk February 16, 8 am

Caryn Stoess and Duncan Evered will lead a walk at William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge. Details will be posted on the LCAS Facebook page: facebook.com/pages/Lane-County-Audubon-Society/330177413824, and on the website: laneaudubon.org. FMI: Rebecca Waterman at 541.653.3354 or fieldtrips@laneaudubon.org

Date: 
Friday, February 1, 2019 - 7:15am
Location: 
South Eugene High School

Program Meeting, Tuesday, February 26, 7:30 pm: Bees--Weird, Wonderful, and So Essential!

Did you know Oregon has 500 species of bees, including four species that are actively managed in ingenious ways for crop pollination? Come and learn who these bees are and some of the weird and wonderful features of their lives.

Date: 
Tuesday, February 26, 2019 - 7:30pm
Location: 
Eugene Garden Club, 1645 High St, Eugene

Announcements

Oakshire Brewery Hosts LCAS Fundraiser February 6

Lane County Audubon Society is delighted to announce it will be part of Oakshire Brewery’s Inspires community fundraising program on Wednesday, February 6. The brewery will donate $1 to LCAS for each pint of beer sold on that day. Oakshire’s Public House, 207 Madison Street, Eugene, serves beer, ciders, wines, sodas, kombucha, and a variety of food. Brewery hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

LCAS volunteers will be on hand at the brewery from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on February 6 to welcome visitors and spread the word about LCAS’s many educational and conservation outreach programs.

Bird Bits

Teamwork

Bird couples may work together to decrease predation at their nest. In a behavior called “coordinated misdirection,” both adults will initially fly toward their nest but one will veer off while the other goes directly to the nest. Scientists believe that nest predators are distracted by the bird in flight. This means it’s less likely that the predator will discover the nest entrance itself. The behavior has been shown in at least 28 species of passerine birds, across 5 distinct families.

Eric R. Gulson-Castillo, Harold F. Greeney, and Benjamin G. Freeman (2018) Coordinated misdirection: a probable anti-nest predation behavior widespread in Neotropical birds. The Wilson Journal of Ornithology In Press

Evaluating Expected Outcomes 

In a clever set of experiments, birds in the parrot family learned that they could exchange a token for food. Later, they were given a choice between a token or a piece of food. 

Seeking Sponsors for Audubon Adventures

Audubon Adventures is back with a brand new learning kit for the 2018-19 school year, entitled “Getting to Know Birds.” Some teachers have started placing their orders, and are eager to share the new material with students! This year’s kit includes the following three topics:

#1: Get to Know Birds

#2: Hooray for Hummingbirds

#3: Plants Are for the Birds!

Audubon Adventures is developed by professional educators and designed for grades 3-5. Each kit contains 32 printed magazines on each topic as well as access to online features and activities. Thanks to generous sponsors, we offer these kits at no cost to teachers in Lane County.

If you would like to sponsor a classroom, please mail a tax-deductible donation of $45 (payable to LCAS) to Audubon Adventures, PO Box 5086, Eugene, OR 97405, or donate online via the provided link: laneaudubon.org/education/audubon-adventures/sponsor/form

Please contact Rachael Friese at audadventures@gmail.com if you have any questions. Thank you for your support!

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