News Archive

From Our President: Autumn Treasures, Past and Present

October brings back memories of walks with my mother through the crunchy autumn leaves in the fall. We would have a great time, talking and walking through the park or neighborhood where I grew up. Times walking with her made me appreciate autumn’s beauty. Our annual fall walks gave us a chance to reconnect and reflect on our shared experiences. I feel very fortunate to have had a parent who gave me a sense of nature’s gifts at an early age.

There is a book I often purchase for first-time parents. It is The Sense of Wonder, by Rachel Carson. The current edition is published by Harper Collins and contains wonderful photographs by Nick Kelsh. Rachel Carson, of course, was a visionary whose message has not lost its meaning over five decades. In The Sense of Wonder she describes adventures with her grandnephew at the coast, in the woods, in a field of grass. She takes him for early morning or late night walks.

Late Summer Birding at Fern Ridge - 2016

Mornings such as this are not hard to come by at Fern Ridge, even in the slower birding months such as July, August, and early September.

Fern Ridge is the favored spot of many local birders due to its varying habitat, which provides views of common, uncommon, and rare species. Late summer walks show such varied species as Song Sparrow, Willow Flycatcher, American White Pelican, Black Tern, Bonaparte’s Gull, Virginia Rail, Cinnamon Teal, Pectoral Sandpiper, and even the occasional Rough-legged Hawk, Common Grackle, and Ruff!

From our President-The Many Opportunities of LCAS

The arrival of September means back to school for some, planning for fall activities, and refocusing energies after the summer fun. I invite you to start here. Read through this newsletter, look on our website (laneaudubon.org), and check out our Facebook page (facebook.com/pages/Lane-County-AudubonSociety/330177413824?ref=hl) to see what we are all about. We offer so many opportunities to get involved, and hopefully enjoy yourself at the same time!

Looking through the pages of The Quail, you will notice that Lane Audubon members are involved in a variety of activities with varying levels of responsibility and expertise. Audubon, as a group, includes many types of people. Our functions bring beginning and expert birders together. Through participation in community events we find ways to share our interest in birds and nature. And we also present educational programs and talks at schools and for other community groups. 

Friday Sept 9 Vaux's Swifts Bon Voyage at Sunset, Agate Hall

swiftsLane County Audubon Society is holding its annual fall swift event outside Agate Hall on Friday September 9th at sunset. The Vaux's swifts use the chimney to roost for the night as they gather prior to migration. Last year the birds came through in a big group early in the month and were gone! We may see several thousand birds entering the chimney, but there is no guarantee! It is fun to observe the swifts before they fly off to Central and South America for the winter.

Lane Audubon will have handouts with information about the Vaux’s swifts.

From Our President: Celebrate Nature This Spring!

As late spring and summer arrive, Celebrate Nature is on my calendar. This time of year I want to hang out in my garden and keep ears and eyes open for birds, butterflies, and any other life forms that present themselves. I do, of course, work in the garden and the exercise is good for me, plus we benefit from the fruits and veggies of our labor. I do hit “pause” whenever something new makes itself known to me, so I take breaks from the labor at regular intervals. Obviously the bird life is one of my great joys, but other animals are also unique and amazing in their own ways. 

Welcome to New Quail Editor, Karen Irmscher

KarenWe look forward to working with Karen and appreciate the skills and talents she brings to creating The Quail newsletter for our members to enjoy! —Maeve

My editing career started with the junior high newspaper in the eighth grade. I then went on to edit my high school newspaper. After taking time to raise three children, earn a BA in English and an MA in education, and work as a teacher and bookkeeper, I returned to school at LCC where I rediscovered my love of journalism and edited the LCC Torch. I earned a BA in journalism at the UO.

Thanks to LCAS Tabling Volunteers

A hearty thank-you goes out to Hilary Dearborn for staffing LCAS’s table at Oregon Wild’s Eugene Brewshed & Outdoors Celebration, hosted at Ninkasi Brewery on April 28.

Thanks also to David Stone and Ron Renchler, who staffed a table at the Museum of Natural and Cultural History on the UO campus on May 21.

Spreading the word about Lane County Audubon’s programs and activities is an important and valued service. We appreciate everyone who helps in this capacity.

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From our President: Spring Migration Is in Full Swing

By April, spring migration is in full swing. Birders eagerly await the “first of the year” bird sightings at their favorite birding spots. We have kept track of yard birds for over 20 years at our property. We feel a rush of excitement and joy when we see and hear the first Tree Swallows fly down to our bird boxes each spring. The same is true for the first Rufous Hummingbird and Turkey Vulture sightings. Part of our amazement is the realization of how far the birds have travelled since we saw them last in the late summer.

Conservation Column: Pesticide Ballot Initiatives Need Your Support

During our walks this March, we have been delighted by the activity of birds preparing for spring. It’s particularly amusing to observe the crows flying overhead and calling boisterously as they choose their evening roosting site. Most people who study birds believe that one function of this gathering process is information exchange, and I wonder what they are saying to one another each evening. Despite the voices, both raucous and melodious, that we hear this spring from our bird neighbors, we are well aware that when it comes to human policy decisions, the birds have no voice and it is up to us to speak on their behalf. Fortunately, what’s good for the health of wildlife is good for the health of people.

Welcome Back Vaux’s Swifts at Agate Hall

Lane County Audubon Society will hold its annual spring Swift Event outside Agate Hall, although this year we will wait to set a date until we see swifts begin to arrive at the chimney. Their migration patterns are less predictable than ever before. In the past we have seen the earliest Vaux’s Swifts arrive by mid-April with increasing numbers over the next three to four weeks.

The Vaux’s Swifts use the chimney to roost for the night as they gather during spring migration. The LCAS Swift Event is a wonderful chance to observe and learn about the birds as they return from Central and South America for the breeding season.

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