In early June, we visited Summer Lake in Eastern Oregon to explore some areas new to us. We have driven through this high desert basin many times on the way to visit relatives near Lakeview, but never spent time there, and it was not a disappointment. The ODFW Summer Lake Wildlife Area is 18,941 acres in size, “with a goal of supporting wetland dependent wildlife and a diverse array of other wildlife and plant species for use and enjoyment by present and future generations.”
In summer, Audubon members are often out enjoying birds and the outdoors, traveling far and wide.
Since sitting indoors when there’s still daylight is less attractive, LCAS takes a break from presenting programs in June, July and August.
Our regularly scheduled programs will resume on the fourth Tuesday of the month, September 26, with a long-awaited talk (and slides) by the intrepid local but international birder, Noah Stryker.
The weather was rainy and cool on May 13 for Lane County Audubon Society’s International Migratory Bird Day event, staged in Alton Baker Park in collaboration with Nearby Nature and Cascades Raptor Center. Despite the weather, several families stopped by the picnic shelter at Alton Baker Park, where our educational activities were being staged, and then continued on to Nearby Nature’s Learnscape area. IMBD-LCAS volunteers led family-friendly bird walks, Raptor Center staff displayed a live Peregrine Falcon, and Nearby Nature staff conducted more nature-related activities for kids.
During the Migratory Bird Day morning event, three of our volunteers rescued a Canada Goose from fishing line tangled around its leg and foot.
Rachael noticed it and sat with the bird, feeding and talking to it.
LaRue got a blanket and Kyle used it to catch the goose. He then used his Leatherman tool to cut off all the fishing line. The goose was released, fluffed it’s feathers and continued to graze nearby, free of its shackles and unharmed.
Thanks to Rachael, Kyle and LaRue for the extra effort in helping this goose!
School is out for the summer, but that’s a temporary situation. The Audubon in the Schools program sends teams of volunteer instructors into the elementary 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 a few hours a month and an interest in teaching children. You can check out the program by sitting in on a class.
For more information, contact Caryn Stoess, Audubon in the Schools Coordinator, at 541.357.8739 or AITSEugene@gmail.com.
For other ways to help, check out our volunteer page online at laneaudubon.org/support/volunteer.
Thanks to Joyce Trawle for staffing an information table at South Eugene High School on Earth Day, April 21.
Thanks to June Persson, who for the past couple of years helped distribute The Quail, our monthly newsletter, around town. Thanks also to Jan Danforth, who has volunteered to distribute the newsletter now that June is no longer able to.
Saturday April 29, four volunteers from Lane County Audubon Society (Judy and Stephen Franzen, Caryn Stoess, and Jim Maloney) conducted a bird survey of a walking loop at Dorris Ranch in Springfield with two staff members of Willamalane Park District. Thanks for their efforts to work with this local agency to enhance bird habitat! Their eBird checklist is online at ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S36395931
It’s the time of year when we have an opportunity to create bird-friendly yards! Get out in the garden to work some landscaping magic with the purpose of welcoming the migrating birds to nest and raise their young in our area. Birds have been using the Northern Hemisphere for nesting over thousands of years. In recent years, human impacts on the environment have drastically changed their world, as well as ours. Actions we take today can help make our yards more welcoming to the birds and wildlife.
The goal is to provide native plants the birds can eat, the pollinators can get their sustenance from, and that are relatively easy to grow in our Pacific Northwest soils and climate. Overall it is a win-win-win for animals, plants and people. Native plants are habituated to our weather cycles, require less water in the summer, and can also survive the wet cold winters. They produce nectar for birds and insects in the spring, and fruits and nuts for birds and other wildlife in the autumn. These plant species are also fairly resistant to insect pests and diseases, so in general they do not require much human intervention.
Takeaways from our March Program on Birds and Bugs
- Drinking shade grown/organic coffee helps improve habitat for migratory birds
- Eating organic bananas and other tropical fruit supports the production of organic produce in the U.S.
- Keeping cats indoors will save the lives of billions of birds and mammals every year in the U.S.