Over the past few winter months, my husband and I have hosted two males and one female Anna’s Hummingbirds at our property. This is the fifth year we have had them consistently all winter. We live at a 1,000-foot elevation, so tend to have cooler temperatures than the valley floor. Many Willamette Valley folks have been hosting over-wintering Anna’s here for more than a decade. It has become normal to see these birds during the winter months. Through the cold, harsh ice storm (we were without power for 5 days) with its snow and sub-freezing nights, we tried to keep the sugar water feeders thawed for them. My husband would get out early to change out the warm feeders for the birds, having brought them in for the night. We even rigged up heat lamps and extension cords to keep them thawed during the day. Feeding wild birds is a big commitment!
A woman from the Coos Bay area called the Lane Audubon phone to report she has been hosting about 40 Anna’s Hummingbirds since the fall. They stay until early spring and then move on, probably heading north and east into the interior of the state. She said it was more typical for her to have seven or eight birds, so 40 was a new record for her!
Rowdy teenagers were getting into some trouble and people were concerned about their ability to comfortably fit into a complex society. The solution: a mentorship program where an experienced adult was able to keep the rambunctious youngsters in line and engage their interest. This mentor program has been working successfully for years as part of the California Condor recovery effort, where conservationists and scientists work hard to save the condor from extinction and reintroduce the birds into the wild. In 1987, only 22 individuals were found in the wild and shortly thereafter were taken into captivity. Thanks to a comprehensive recovery program with its focus on careful breeding, mentorship and training programs, there are now over 400 condors with just over half of them living in the wild.
Much of migration is driven by the seasonal availability of bugs in the northern latitudes. In this lively and informative slide show, we’ll look at numerous examples and discover how important birds are to the overall health of various ecosystems.
Vjera Thompson will lead this walk along the new Millrace Bike and Walking Trail in Springfield. She has been an avid birder in the Eugene/Springfield area for many years.
We will meet to carpool at the usual location, in the east parking lot at South Eugene High School, then leaving at 8 a.m. If you would prefer to meet at the walk location, meet at the trailhead behind Booth Kelly, 307 South 5th Street in Springfield. To reach this location, head south on Springfield’s 5th St. After Dutch Bros., cross the railroad tracks and turn left. Expect us there 8:30-ish.
In light of recent moves to roll back environmental protections, the American Bird Conservancy is circulating a petition entitled Together for the Birds. The group encourages everyone who cares about birds to sign this petition. It asks the new Administration and Congress to protect conservation priorities that protect wildlife and the environment we share with them.
Lane County Audubon Society was in the midst of the action again this year at the Good Earth Home, Garden & Living Show, which ran from Friday, January 20, to Sunday, January 22, at the Lane County Fairgrounds. A steady stream of people from all over Lane County visited the LCAS booth to share their birding experiences and ask questions about avian life in our area.
LCAS is fortunate to have a dedicated crew of booth volunteers who enjoy sharing their enthusiasm for birds and their habitats. Because the Good Earth Show draws a crowd with similar enthusiasms, this has become our premiere booth event each year.
Thanks to everyone at the booth: Flo Alvergue, Connie Berglund, Judy Brown, Theresa Burnett, Hilary Dearborn, Margot Fetz, Barb Foreman, Dolly Marshall, Dianne McInnes, Sally O’Donnell, Nancy Radius, Bruce Stermer, Caryn Stoess, Dave Stone, Janie Thomas, Vjera Thompson, Joyce Trawle, and Susanne Twight-Alexander.
Consider assisting the Northwest Oregon District of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) at its bird-banding station in the West Eugene Wetlands. At the BLM’s Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS) station, participants will help provide kids with real-world, interactive lessons about research and conservation efforts for resident and migratory bird populations.
Volunteer positions include: Net openers/extractors, data recorders, and conservation education leaders.Education leaders should be at least amateur birders and be excited to connect kids in grades 6-12 with nature through the joy of birds. Activities will take place near Fern Ridge Reservoir on selected Thursday and Friday mornings between the end of May and the end of October.
FMI or to sign up, contact Wildlife Biologist John Deluca: firstname.lastname@example.org or 541.683.6229
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.