News Archive

From Our President: Two by Two, It Begins Anew

March is when I notice that many of the birds coming to our feeder begin arriving in pairs. Earlier in the winter, the loose flocks of finches, juncos, and towhees do not show male/female pairings as they fly in for food. This month, though, I see male House Finches offering food to the females that are always nearby. Chickadees and Oregon Juncos begin engaging in territorial disputes that result in serious chases and sparring. Steller’s Jays vocalize in softer, sweeter tones as two of them hop from branch to branch in the oak tree. Chickadees flutter their wings in a begging breeding display. Actually some of the early nesting birds have already begun to build nests, such as the pair of Black-capped Chickadees that have filled one nest box with moss, and the Song Sparrows singing atop the brush pile where their nest is hidden.

I am excited about watching the skies for early spring bird migrants. Each morning I open my window and look out to see if a warm breeze has brought us any new bird arrivals. Soon Tree Swallows, Violet-green Swallows, and, hopefully, Western Bluebirds will move into the neighborhood. Their songs will fill the air. Until then, I listen to the songs of our resident birds as they begin tuning up for the breeding season.

Action Alert: Stop Industries from Getting a Free Pass to Kill Birds

Tell Congress and the Department of the Interior to uphold America’s most important bird protection law, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA).

Lane County Audubon, as an organization, has already urged continued protection. In early February, LCAS was one of 513 organizations from all around the country to sign a letter to legislators urging them to oppose any effort that would gut the MBTA.

Add your name to the petition at:

Volunteer Needed! Audubon in the Schools Program Coordinator

This Lane Audubon program, which provides grade school visits with instructors and bird-related specimens, is making a comeback this spring!

Our small group of committed volunteers is planning to teach a few classroom groups, and hope by doing so to breathe new energy into this wonderful program.

We have two new volunteers and are looking for more who are interested in shadowing the well-seasoned teachers in order to get a feel for the experience. With further training and working together, we hope to offer more in-school programs going forward.

Please get in touch if you want to find out more, and/or if you think you’d like to help us engage classrooms of students with bird specimens and drawing exercises.

The kids love it, and you may too!

For more information, contact Maeve Sowles at 541.343.8664, or

From Our President: Maeve and Friends Nature Reads for Winter 2018

I like to ask for book recommendations from friends because we do share some of the same interests! Of course one of the main books being discussed is Noah Strycker’s Birding Without Borders: An Epic World Big Year. If you have not yet read it, make the time. You will not be sorry. In fact you will have a hard time putting it down.

Jim Maloney always offers a thoughtful list of books to watch for:

Project Puffin, by Derrick Jackson and Stephen Kress, is about the reintroduction of Atlantic Puffins to islands in the Gulf of Maine. It’s not a new book, but stories of people trying to undo a destructive past are always welcome.

Fire Birds, by Sneed B. Collard, is especially timely as we hear calls for “salvage” logging after devastating wildfires. It’s an excellent intro to the subject, detailing which avian species depend on and flourish in burns.

Looking for Seabirds, Sophie Webb’s book, is enriched by her hand-rendered illustrations. Her writing style is both friendly and factual.

From Our President: An Abundance of Gratitude

The ending of this year and beginning of a new year make me think of gratitude.

I find it important for my sanity to remember the many ways I need to be thankful for my existence, and to appreciate the many people for whom I am grateful. Obviously family and friends top my list, but many others whom I’ve met through Lane Audubon also enrich my life. 2018 will be the 18th year I’ve served as president of this group. It has become an identity, as well as a passion that fills me with purpose. I am also grateful for the many members who have either become friends or with whom we share a sense of familiarity and common ground. This interconnectedness gives us a shared space within which we can communicate and feel accepted.

Gratitude deepens and energizes relationships.

Other Lane County CBCs

Three this year! Feel free to join any or all of them. Florence, Oakridge, Cottage Grove


Florence CBC

Saturday, December 16

The Florence Christmas Bird Count has had a long history as a significant count area. The count circle includes both inland and coastal areas, covering very diverse habitats which attract and support a correspondingly wide-ranging species of birds. Since each area is covered by teams, participants at every level of birding experience can all be valuable contributors. Many eyes see more birds!

Morning Meeting: None. Packets will be sent out a couple weeks before the count, so people can head straight to their areas on count day.

Visit the LCAS Booth at the Good Earth Show-January 19-21, 2018

Make your plans now to visit Lane Audubon’s booth at the 13th annual Good Earth Home, Garden & Living Show, which runs January 19-21, 2018, at the Lane Events Center, 796 West 13th Avenue, in Eugene. Hundreds of vendors with earth-friendly products, a non-stop array of informative seminars and workshops on environmental and sustainability topics, and fascinating displays from many local businesses and organizations will all be part of the scene at the Good Earth Show this year. LCAS will have its booth there, as we have in years past. Stop by to say hello, and get to know our local birds a little bit better.