I have a couple of goals for mid-to-late summer this year. One is to get up to the higher mountain elevations to see the montane wildflowers on display July through August. It has been a few years since I made this trek, and I realize it is something I don’t want to miss yet again. I have memories of hiking the trail at Iron Mountain when hillside rock gardens were ablaze with Indian paintbrush interspersed with bright yellow stonecrop. And in the high meadows, enjoying a lush array of blooming flowers that changes weekly as the progression of flax, penstemon, yarrow, saxifrage, lupine, larkspur, beargrass, and others creates a stunning palette of colors. Trails at Mount Hood, Jefferson Park, and the Three Sisters areas can be bountiful with flowers, but also mosquitos.
Birds help farmers. They control pests, sow seeds, pollinate flowers, and fertilize soils. Unfortunately, the reverse is not true; common agricultural practices do not help birds. Often they have led to devastating bird population declines. The North American Breeding Bird Survey data shows that 74 percent of farmland-associated species decreased between 1966 and 2013.
Summer walks are not always walks! In July, Dick Lamster and Maeve Sowles will lead a bird-watching-by-canoe/kayak trip to Fern Ridge Lake. You will need to furnish your own canoe or kayak and lifejackets (required). Each craft ten feet or longer will need an Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Permit. See boatoregon.com for details. Bring binoculars, if you have them. To reserve a spot on this trip and/or to get more information, call Dick at 541.343.8664.
In another departure from the norm, we will head to the coast. Daniel Farrar will lead a walk in Florence from 8:30 to 11:30 am. People who want to stay longer can. We plan to meet up with him on the road to the South Jetty, where you pull in to buy parking passes. Carpooling to get there is preferred. For those who wish to carpool, we will leave at 7 a.m. from the South Eugene High School parking lot, corner of 19th and Patterson.
Audubon in the Schools: Year-end Summary Numbers, Thank You Booth Volunteers, Swift Event Recap and Thanks
Audubon in the Schools: Year-end Summary Numbers--From the 2018 fall term through the 2019 spring term, our AITS team gave 44 presentations in 19 schools to a total of 1075 students. Volunteers donated 49 hours of their time to this satisfying and exciting effort. AITS core group of volunteer instructors were: Barb Pope, Kathy Wilson, Rose Britton, and Marty Merrill. Assistants involved were: Janet Barnes, Pam Sheridan, Larue Rodgers, Sue Markley, Laurie Costa, Jessica Lamotte, and Joe Britton.
If you can identify most of this region’s birds by sound, the Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) would be grateful for just a couple days of your time this year, between late May and early July. There are 2 routes within about an hour’s drive of Eugene which need a volunteer: Green (west of Roseburg) and Blue River (east of Springfield). Locations of these and other “Vacant Routes” can be viewed by zooming in to the Oregon map at https://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/bbs/RouteMap/Map.cfm
Or contact me for details.
We are sharing an important action alert from Portland Audubon. Please consider signing.
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) is seeking permits to kill up to 1,500 Common Ravens in Baker County over the next three years.
The birds will be killed using poisoned eggs, a food source for both ravens and other species. The young of the poisoned birds will be left to starve to death in their nests and non-target species will also be put at significant risk of poisoning.
The Audubon in the Schools program has blossomed over the last year. In 2018, the volunteer team visited 12 schools, and taught 722 students! So far in 2019 AITS has visited 7 other schools, with more requests for each month left of the school year.