We can thank the Cornell Lab of Ornithology for eBird. Begun in 2002, this birding tool has transformed our abilities to record and share data about the birds we see, anywhere in the world. eBird’s goal is to gather each person’s bird sightings in the form of checklists with location, archive it, and freely share it to power new data-driven approaches to science, conservation, and education. Birders are able to manage their lists, photos, and audio recordings, access real-time maps of species distribution, and receive alerts that let them know when a species of interest has been seen, all through the eBird platform.
Under review by the new administration: One hundred (that’s 100!) anti-environmental regulations. Dare we hope that as we move forward, the health of the environment becomes a priority for decision makers? I hear the birds singing and remain cautiously optimistic.
Included in the review is the removal of protections for spotted owls and other old-growth- dependent species, the delisting of wolves from the Endangered Species Act, and regulations that limited scientific and public input in decision-making, including weakening of the National Environmental Policy Act. So far, the leasing for drilling and extraction on public lands in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge has been halted and regulations around some types of pollution are being reinstated. More locally, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) upheld the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s denial of a key permit that would have allowed the proposed Jordan Cove LNG export terminal and Pacific Connector fracked gas pipeline to move forward.
Tuesday, March 23, 7:00 pm with Vjera Thompson
Vjera Thompson grew up in Springfield, in a homeschooling family that encouraged her interest in birding. Early on, Vjera’s mom connected her to Audubon walks, counts, and supportive birders. Vjera recently participated in her 25th Eugene Christmas Bird Count! After graduating from Eugene Bible College (now New Hope), she spent a winter working in St. John, Virgin Islands, before settling down in Eugene. She works for 9Wood, a local custom wood ceiling company, but finds time every day to contribute at least one checklist to eBird. She enjoys local “patch” birding by bicycle, but has also ventured to Ecuador to visit her parents and see some new birds.
Vjera has been using digital bird databases since they first existed.She was an early adopter of Birdnotes.net, which started in Oregon in 1999, and now is an expert user and a volunteer reviewer for eBird.
Walk Coordinator Rebecca Waterman continues to lead small walks with some restrictions in place in order to adhere to local safety guidelines. Attendance is capped at 10 birders, but she also enjoys doing it for as few as one. Beginners welcome! If more than 10 email her that they’d like to join a walk, she will schedule another walk. If she is free, she will also lead walks at other times.
Concert Video Exploring Connections in Music and Science
Lane Audubon has purchased access to this new and exciting virtual concert and curriculum to give to local schools and share with our members. You can see an introductory preview at: youtube.com/watch?v=avmXSzIrGRgB.
The New Bedford Symphony Orchestra in New Bedford, Massachusetts, offered this opportunity to Audubon Chapters around the country.
Following a few years of discussion about establishing a new Christmas Bird Count (CBC) just east of Eugene, we did a test run on January 10, just outside the official CBC period.
Lane Audubon is happy to welcome Katy Vizdal as our new Instagram and Facebook poster. Katy approached us to help out with social media outreach and we are happy to have her help! Welcome, Katy!
Greetings, my name is Katy Vizdal, and I am a new volunteer with the Lane County Audubon Society! I originally hail from the Prairie State (Illinois) and have called Eugene home now for over a decade. My appreciation for birds started at a young age, as my mother often took us on drives along the Mississippi River to “see the eagles.” When I’m not working as an arts administrator, I like to spend my free time visiting natural and wildlife areas around the region. Lately, undoubtedly impacted by the pandemic, I’ve taken a keener interest in birding, as I spend more of my free time outdoors.
A big Thank You to Rachael Friese for her work on the Audubon Adventures program over the past five years! Rachael’s other commitments are taking her away from this project, but we appreciate all the help she has given to this important education program.