From Our President: Oak Trees Play Important Roles

We have several large Oregon White Oaks on our property. During midsummer, as the high sun filters through the leaf canopy, the oaks create cool, shady spots where we can sit and enjoy the summer afternoons. These trees are always filled with birds. The oaks provide good nest sites, and we have seen Purple Finches, Cedar Waxwings, American Robins, and Warbling Vireos nesting in them. One year, we found a juvenile waxwing on the ground under an oak tree.

Conservation Column Jul–Aug 2014: North America’s Bird Nursery Is Under Pressure

Debbie Schlenoff


I’m always impressed by the skill with which many birders can identify bird species by ear. The birds can one-up us though; they can recognize individual birds by song. Several scientific studies have demonstrated that birds can discriminate between the songs sung by their neighbors and those sung by strangers. For birds, good relationships with neighbors may prove important. When blackbirds have familiar neighbors, they expend less energy to defend boundaries and have better reproductive success than birds that have to deal with strangers in the adjacent territory. In Great Tits, familiarity between long-term neighbors leads to cooperative behavior that increases nesting success. Birds, of course, do not recognize the territorial boundaries between neighboring human nations. Turns out that many of the birds we see in our backyards journey from our urban environment to the most extensive wilderness area left on earth, the boreal forest of our neighbor to the north. 

THIRD SATURDAY BIRD WALK - July 19

Canoe or kayak trip to Fern Ridge Lake, led by Dick Lamster and Maeve Sowles
 
Dick Lamster and Maeve Sowles will lead a bird-watching-by-canoe (or kayak) trip to Fern Ridge Lake. You will need to furnish your own canoe or kayak and lifejackets (required). Each craft needs an Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Permit. See www.boatoregon.com for more information on this required permit. To reserve a spot on the trip and get more information, call Dick at 541-343-8664. If you do not have a canoe or kayak, call anyway because other participants may have extra space in their craft.
Date: 
Saturday, July 19, 2014 - 8:00am
Location: 
Call Dick at 541-343-8664

THIRD SATURDAY BIRD WALK - August 16

Fern Ridge Wildlife Area, leader to be determined
 
The destination for the August Bird Walk is the Royal Avenue area of the Fern Ridge Wildlife Area. The leader has not been determined yet. We will meet at the South Eugene High School parking lot (corner of 19th and Patterson) at 8:00 a.m. for carpooling and plan to return by noon. Please don’t leave any valuables in your car if you park at the high school. You may meet the group at the Royal Avenue parking lot, but remember to purchase a parking permit in advance (go to http://www.dfw.state.or.us/conservationstrategy
/parking.asp). For more information, contact Jim Maloney at 541.968.9249 or jimgmal (at) comcast.net.
Date: 
Saturday, August 16, 2014 - 8:00am
Location: 
South Eugene High School parking lot (corner of 19th and Patterson)

Program Meetings to Resume in September

We take a break from our regular Program Meetings for the summer, while our members are busy traveling, birding, and enjoying the warm weather. We begin another series of informative, engaging presentations in September. Program Meetings are held on the fourth Tuesday of the month at 7:30 p.m. at the Eugene Garden Club, 1645 High Street, Eugene.

Our first program of the season will be on September 23 and features Dennis Arendt, who will present “Birding in Bolivia: From Lowlands to Highlands.” More information is forthcoming in the next issue of The Quail and on the LCAS website.
 
 
September Program Meeting
Birding in Bolivia: From Lowlands to Highlands 
with Dennis Arendt
Date: 
Tuesday, September 23, 2014 - 7:30pm
Location: 
Eugene Garden Club, 1645 High St.

52 Small Birds Now Available

A new book by Richard Weeks, 52 Small Birds, is now available! The book is a memoir of an eight-year quest to photograph and paint the 52 breeding warblers of the United States, and Richard’s beautiful artwork appears throughout the story. According to the author, “This narrative relates how the process of searching for, photographing, and painting birds enhanced and deepened my connection to the natural world.” Published in cooperation with LCAS, 52 Small Birds sells for $22 plus $2 shipping. It’s also available at LCAS monthly meetings, including the May 27 meeting, for $20. All profits go to LCAS.
 
To order and for more information about the book and author, go to www.rweeksart.com.

Have Some Fun—Volunteer!

Lane County Audubon Society is an all-volunteer organization, and our members are very proud of the energy and diverse talents that volunteers bring to our cause—we couldn’t do it without them! Volunteering with Lane Audubon is a great way to meet new people, give back to the community, and best of all, have fun!
 
If you’re interested in volunteering for one of the opportunities below, or if you have other ideas about ways you can help, contact Maeve Sowles at 541.343.8664 or president (at) laneaudubon.org.
 

Lane County Community Outreach Lane Audubon Community Outreach Help introduce Lane Audubon to community members at local events and present talks on birding and the natural world to small groups upon request. Help develop our “speaker bureau” materials and resources. This is a great opportunity to use your creativity and get involved in community outreach for Lane County Audubon! 
 
Quail Distributor - Help us distribute The Quail to high-visibility locations in our community in an effort to recruit new members. This task requires only a couple of hours of your time nine times per year, and it is a huge help! Contact Ron Renchler at 541.345.0834 or christyandron@qwest.net for more information. 
 
Audubon in the Schools Program Coordinator - The Audubon in the Schools (AITS) curriculum, developed by Kris Kirkeby, our former Education Chair, comprises five fun-filled lessons that combine bird biology and basic art techniques. It is designed to provide elementary students with a solid introduction to core aspects of bird biology, including bird feather anatomy and function, bird identification techniques, bird field marks, and habitat. The lessons are excellent examples of participatory education. The coordinator keeps all facets of the program going, including classroom scheduling and volunteer training, and also teaches lessons to students along with the other volunteers. We hope to find a new coordinator who can take this wonderful education program to new heights!
 
Program Chair - The Program Chair recruits speakers for the chapter Program Meetings that are scheduled eight times a year. This person seeks new programs that will enhance our members’ awareness of birding, habitats, natural history, conservation, and other issues, and he or she must be able to engage speakers and organize publicity and other logistics well in advance of each meeting.