News Archive

From Our President: Sitting Still in the Right Place Can Offer Bird-Rich Rewards

Some birding groups have held “Big Sit” events where participants gather in a birdy area and watch for any birds that fly, swim, or hop by in order to count them. A contest or a bird count tally might be included. Of course eBird users can also log in the tally for the specific location.

For less experienced birders, it’s a great way to join with more experienced birders to learn from them and see how the birds are identified and counted.

While it has similarities to the Christmas Bird Count, in this case the counters are stationary, so they can focus on watching the birds that move through an area. Many "Big Sit" counts are done during either spring or fall migrations.

Third Saturday Bird Walk

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.

Volunteers Needed

Administrative Assistant

Lane Audubon would like a volunteer who could serve as an administrative assistant for Board and Chapter responsibilities. Requisite skills include use of typical word processing, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoint. Since we do not have a physical office, working from home is required.

FMI: please contact Maeve Sowles at audubon@laneaudubon.org or 541.343.8664. 

Audubon Adventures Coordinator

Audubon Adventures is National Audubon Society’s (NAS) award-winning environmental education program. Designed by the environmental experts at NAS, it boasts top-quality educational materials. Through our Adopt-a-Classroom Program, Lane County Audubon offers teachers in grades 3–5 an opportunity to participate at no cost to their schools.

LCAS is looking for someone who can link participating teachers with the generous sponsors of this program. If you have a computer and a little time, this might be the volunteer opportunity you’ve been looking for! It takes flexibility, organization, and a sense of timing to make things work well for the teachers and sponsors.

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From Our President: eBird Benefits Birds and Birders Alike

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.

Meet New LCAS Volunteer: Katy Vizdal

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. 

Thanks Rachael!

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.

From Our President: Barry Lopez--Revered and Remembered

I would like to acknowledge the passing of Barry Lopez, the well-known author who lived along McKenzie River for decades. I began reading his work in the 1970s and continued to buy his books as new ones were released. I still have some of those old books on my shelves, having boxed and moved them with me several times. I have given his books as gifts and feel that his words help open a person’s mind to the possibilities of imagination.

After my mother began losing her vision, I read one of his short stories into a tape recorder, so she could enjoy listening to it. Barry Lopez’ Of Wolves and Men and Arctic Dreams are non-fiction, based on field studies and exploration he was involved with. Both books are a result of his search to understand the interface of nature and humanity, and the interdependence of humanness and the earth’s places where we live and that we cherish.

From Our President: Birding Enriches Our Lives in Countless Ways

There are many reasons to love birding. It keeps your mind and senses active. Listening, observing, then trying to decide what bird you are watching are great exercises for the brain. It creates learning challenges for the visual, the sounds, and the memory of birds you know, to come up with a bird’s identification.

There is also a sense of anticipation and excitement in a day of birding. One is always looking for a new or unusual sighting that gives birding the feeling of a treasure hunt. At times there are surprising discoveries! One year on the Eugene Christmas Bird Count, Dave Bontrager identified a rare Falcated Duck on a pond near Coburg. It was a cold, wet, windy day but he persisted in watching this bird riding the whitecaps on the pond, until he was certain of its identity. Way to go Dave!

Bird watching also takes us out of our own headspace and into the world of the birds. Observing their behaviors and feeding strategies, watching them bathe and preen as they interact with each other, delighting in their lovely feathers and songs; all these offer us yet another aspect of the birding adventure.

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