From Our President: Armchair Nature for Winter

Winter is not the greatest time to find and watch birds, thanks to cold, inclement weather. But it is a great time to read and learn about birds! Here are some book recommendations shared by other nature lovers. Finding an interesting bird book to expand our knowledge and interest in nature will be easy this year. Hope you enjoy the flights of mental imagery on the pages of some of these books!

Steve Gordon’s recommendation: “I just read a really nice little book, The Path by Chet Raymo (Walker & Co., 2003). It makes me remember the amazing wonder I felt as a child for small parts of my yard and the fields nearby.” The author teaches astronomy and physics at Stonehill College in Massachusetts. His daily walks to and from work take him about one mile, including a stretch through a park. He ties the history of the universe and his town in with observations of stars, birds, plants, photosynthesis, and more. He has a good eye, ear, and mind. Through his story, he tells us of his feelings and knowledge of “place” at both a minute and universal scale. 

Jim Maloney recommends The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman (Penguin Press, 2016). A New York Times bestseller, this book is not pretty prose about our favorite feathered friends. It succinctly summarizes studies of bird intelligence by informing us not only of the facts but also the history of the research and observations of the wonderful world of bird ingenuity.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017, Program Meeting-Birding Oregon: Bringing it all back home, with Dave Stone

Oregon – what a wonderful place to learn birding!

Years ago, when I was asked to become Conservation Chair of Lane County Audubon Society, I eagerly put on that hat – a great platform to advocate for conservation, I thought. And it turned out that it was.

I also found out that when you wear that hat, people expect you to know birds. Even though I had been teaching nature photography for ten years, I had paid little attention to birds.

Date: 
Tuesday, February 28, 2017 - 7:30pm
Location: 
Eugene Garden Club, 1645 High St

2016 Eugene Christmas Bird Count

Many Eugene Christmas Bird Count (ECBC) birders awoke Sunday morning, January 1, 2017, to a half inch of snow and cold weather. This was predicted but somewhat unexpected since many were outside three days before in short sleeve shirts and no jacket. Such is the life of Christmas Bird Count (CBC) participants all over North America.

Even with the poor weather and lousy driving conditions, 130 hardy bird watchers gathered with the 27 Team Leaders and took to the field to see all the birds possible within their designated areas. Combined, the teams walked 142 miles in 158 hours and drove 522 miles in 98 hours. Six teams went owling for 10 hours and covered 31 miles. 

Another 111 people decided to be Home Counters, and they reported 75 species. When these figures were added to the results of the field teams, a total of 131 species and 73,390 individual birds were seen this year. An additional 10 species were seen during Count Week. Check Dan Gleason’s report on the Christmas Bird Count page for the complete species list and total numbers of birds. 

Third Saturday Bird Walk - Saturday February 18, 2017

The 3rd Saturday Bird Walk for February is this Saturday, the 18th.
It is being held in cooperation with the Middle Fork Willamette Watershed Council.
We are planning to actually have two locations, fairly near each other at Elijah Bristow State Park and in a natural area west and downstream of Dexter dam.
Jim Regali and Jim Maloney will be leading the walks. We briefly surveyed the sites last week and recommend hiking or rubber boots because of the muddy trail conditions and wet grass.

Date: 
Saturday, February 18, 2017 - 8:00am
Location: 
TBD

2017 BLM Bird Banding Station Volunteers Needed May-Aug

Help our bird-banding station monitor bird populations and connect kids with nature! Volunteers are needed at the banding station at West Eugene Wetlands. Click on image at right to see details. For more info: John DeLuca, Wildlife Biologist, Bureau of Land Management  (541)683-6229; jdeluca@blm.gov

 

Date: 
Thursday, May 25, 2017 - 8:00am
Location: 
West Eugene Wetlands

Audubon in the Schools Instructors

Would you like to teach elementary school students about birds? The Audubon in the Schools program sends teams of volunteer instructors into the schools to teach third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade students both science and art using bird specimens, feathers, bones, and nests. No teaching experience or artistic talent is required. All you need is an interest in teaching children and a few hours a month. You can check out the program by sitting in on a class. 

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