From Our President: Volunteers Are the Life Blood of LCAS

Volunteers are the “green energy” that drives the activities of the Lane Audubon chapter. The only way we keep our projects running is with folks who have some time, talent, and initiative to help. The work done by Lane Audubon is all because of our wonderful volunteers.

We have a small and committed Board that steers our various projects and lends a hand when needed. The Board will help new volunteers with advice, support, and experience. We want to see everyone succeed in forwarding our mission. We care about wildlife and their habitats, and we also care about people.

Most of you know that we are an all-volunteer group. Some chapters have paid staff, but that is not the case with us. We do need help. Spend some time with us, come to a Board meeting, a Program meeting, and please, get involved. Lane Audubon’s work is important in the community. We advocate for environmental education and conservation programs throughout Lane County. If you have an interest in joining other Lane Audubon volunteers or have skills you would like to put to work in support of our goals, we would like to hear from you! Call 541.485.2473. Be a part of the team of Lane Audubon volunteers! Please step up to help us keep our energy and forward momentum going!

Special volunteer opportunity: Audubon in the Schools!

Conservation Column: Oregon Forests Promote Planetary Health

Good reasons to conserve the forests always include concern for the welfare of birds and other living beings. But that’s just the beginning. Two recent scientific reports highlight important roles that birds play in the world. And birds need healthy forests.

The first report (Science, 2018) warns that a warming climate will mean a significant increase in losses of major food crops to insect pests. Increased temperatures mean more insects, resulting in greater crop losses. The losses for wheat, an important Oregon crop, will increase 46 percent for each rise of 2 degrees Celsius. A second report (The Science of Nature, 2018) documents the importance of birds in controlling insect populations—insectivorous birds consume between 400 and 500 million tons of insects per year. Forest-dwelling birds consume around 75 per cent of that total. So it makes sense to conserve bird habitat, due to the vital role of birds in the food web (including insect control), as well as for their pollination prowess and seed dispersing skills.

Program Meeting, Tuesday, October 23: Upstream, Midstream, and Downstream: Working with Living Rivers in the Upper Willamette Basin

A Presentation by Joe Moll

The Willamette River and its tributaries have been an economic driver for centuries.

Due to its rich resources, the river basin is home to about two-thirds of Oregon’s population, and will continue to attract people to the region in the coming decades. Inevitably, this influx is leading to more conflict over demands for available water, and more pressure on water that remains in-stream.

With settlement and development, demands on the river increased, and the health of the river declined. The loss of complexity and floodplain connections have contributed to decreases in native and increases in non-native fish and wildlife populations. Water quality declined dramatically in the first two thirds of the 20th century but has improved in recent decades.

How have we and how will we deal with these changes? And what impacts might we see in water availability, fish and wildlife health, and community development? This presentation will focus on the conservation work of McKenzie River Trust in the upper Willamette Basin, from headwater streams to the mainstem Willamette River near Harrisburg. The Trust is a part of a growing network of organizations working to protect, enhance, and restore river processes. This recognition of a Living River, or one that is free to meander and change course throughout the seasons and throughout the years, has implications for how we choose to live, work, and play in the Willamette Valley.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018 - 7:30pm
Eugene Garden Club, 16-- High St., Eugene

Third Saturday Bird Walk October 20 at Kirk Pond with Dave Bontrager-Meet at the west end of Kirk Pond

Our October walk leader is Dave Bontrager. The location of the walk will be Kirk Pond below the Fern Ridge Dam. We'll meet in the parking lot across the highway from the Fern Ridge Dam spillway.
Directions to Kirk Pond.   There are many good ways to get there and here is one suggestion.  Take 11th west out of Eugene.  When you get to Greenhill turn right (north) onto Greenhill.  Take Greenhill approx. 3.5 mi. to Clear Lake Rd.  Turn left (west) onto Clear Lake Rd.  Clear Lake does some "jogging" around but eventually you will come to Orchard Point County Park.  On the left you will see a large wooden sign saying Orchard Point >> keep going on Clear Lake Road, past Orchard Rd and continue along with Kirk Pond on your right. Look for the small parking lot near the road just below the spillway, turn right and park in the lot.

Saturday, October 20, 2018 - 8:00am
Kirk Pond

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:

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


 Save the Date: December 30, 2018 Eugene Christmas Bird Count

The date for the 2018 Eugene Christmas Bird Count has been set for Sunday, December 30.  It will be our 77th Christmas Bird Count. More information will be in the November Quail. But if you can’t wait: FMI: Dick Lamster, 541.343.8664

Swift Event Well Attended By Both Birds and Humans

When more than 5,000 birds show up, the Swift Event at Agate Hall is an incredible natural phenomenon to witness! And that’s how it was September 7. It was a perfect evening and the people attending seemed to have a great time.

We estimated 200 people enjoying the show. The Vaux’s Swifts gave a spectacular performance, circling around for more than an hour, then entering the chimney after sunset in 10 minutes time! Once they started dropping in the chimney, it was hard to count them, but we estimated 5,400 birds. A Cooper’s Hawk captured two birds, highlighting the risks these small birds cope with every day.

Thanks to Rebecca Waterman, Nick Paget, Ron Renchler, Ramiro Aragon, Debbie Schlenoff, Maeve Sowles, Hilary Dearborn, John Polo, and Rose Britton for turning out to help out and share the fun.

Eugene Commits to Bee Friendliness
In July, the City of Eugene passed a resolution to become a Bee City USA affiliate. This official bee-friendly designation helps institutionalize our community’s commitment to sustain pollinators. The Bee City USA program endorses a set of commitments, defined in a resolution, for creating sustainable habitats for pollinators, which are vital to feeding the planet.

For details as to what this commitment entails, you can check out their website:


Two Booth Volunteers Needed—(1) Setup and (2) Staffing Scheduler
Ifyou’d like to help Lane Audubon in a big way but don’t have a lot of time available, here are a couple of ways to get involved. We need a person to take over the Lane Audubon booth setup and takedown, as well as someone to coordinate the scheduling of booth staffers.

Booth setup/takedown involves delivering and erecting our portable booth, tables, and display materials at event and festival sites, and then dismantling them after the event is over. Setup and takedown require only an hour or two of your time, usually on a Saturday morning and early Sunday evening, a few times a year. If you enjoy being outdoors in the morning and doing a little light physical activity (nothing too strenuous), this could be the spot for you. Access to a larger vehicle (a van or pickup) is useful.

If you’re more indoorsy and have some basic computer and organizational skills, such as sending e-mail messages and putting together staffing schedules, you could help Lane Audubon by sending out announcements alerting our volunteers of booth staffing opportunities. After volunteers respond, you put together staffing schedules and distribute them by e-mail to volunteers. This work usually takes an hour or two and can be done in your own home a couple of weeks before booth events are scheduled.

Orientation and training for these volunteer positions will be provided. It can be rewarding to work behind the scenes to help Lane Audubon spread the word about the importance of birds and their habitats. If you’d like to learn more about either of these positions, please call Ron Renchler at 541.345.0834, or e-mail him at


New LCAS T-shirts
Classy, freshly designed LCAS T-shirts have just become available, and you can have one for only $15. The simple but striking design features birds flying into the towering Agate Hall chimney on the UO campus. It’s similar to what we see during the spring and fall Swift Events that we host outside the actual chimney. Black with white print is the only color option. The shirts are 100 percent preshrunk cotton and made in the US. They come in sizes small, medium, large, and extra large.

They will be available at our monthly Program Meetings, and at booth events. To make other arrangements for purchasing a shirt, e-mail Ron Renchler at

Audubon in the Schools (AITS) Needs Volunteers and a Leader

This Lane Audubon program is in high demand by grade school teachers. Teachers and their students love this program!

Our volunteer instructors and five new people brought the program to several classrooms this spring.

We hope to continue to build our volunteer pool, and more importantly, we need a leader to organize the teaching materials and set up classroom visits.

We hope to offer more in-school programs going forward.

Please help us provide the kids with these art and biology lessons!

Fall 2018 Lane Audubon Program Meetings

After a summer break, our program meetings will start up again in the fall! Save these dates.

Tuesday September 25–Paul Engelmeyer, Audubon Tenmile Creek Sanctuary Manager, will talk about Land and Sea Conservation Issues and Strategies.

Tuesday October 23–Joe Moll, Executive Director of the McKenzie River Trust, will talk about river systems and the benefits of restoring them to a more natural state.