News Archive

New Birds of Lane County Checklist now available!

We are happy to announce that the newly revised Birds of Lane County Checklist has just been printed. Copies will now be available at our program meetings and other LCAS events, as well as at Wild Birds Unlimited.

Many thanks to co-authors Alan Contreras and Vjera Thompson, with contributions from Tye Jeske, Sean Burns, and Tom Mickel. Lane County Audubon Society and Wild Birds Unlimited covered the costs of the publication.

Eugene Christmas Bird Count Follow-up

Commemorative Pins 

Pins commemorating the 75th Eugene Christmas Bird Count (ECBC) are available free to all participants in any of the past ECBCs, including field counters and home counters. To pick up your free pin, come to one of the LCAS monthly program meetings on April 25th or May 23rd. If you cannot attend one, please let Dick Lamster know, via email or snail mail. Include your name and mailing address, so he can send a pin to you. 

Contact him at: P.O. Box 5086, Eugene, OR 97405, or maeveanddick@q.com

ECBC History Compilation

The 75-year history of the Eugene Christmas Bird Count (ECBC) is now available on the LCAS website for downloading.

From Our President: Helping Anna’s Thrive Through Winter

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!

Together for Birds

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. 

FMI: abcbird.org

Good Earth Show Keeps LCAS Booth Volunteers Busy

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.

NPS PEPC-California Condor Restoration Plan Scoping 2017-Comments by Feb 28th

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, and Yurok Tribe are considering release of California Condors in northern California. Support the reintroduction of the California Condor to Oregon and urge policy makers to provide full protection for this endangered but recovering species. It would be a thrill to see these magnificent, intelligent, and social birds soaring in Oregon once again but if we are going to invite them back, we must take steps to ensure that they are not poisoned when consuming carcasses and gut-piles left by hunters using lead ammunition.

Please send comments to the link below by Feb 28 (Click on "Read More")

From Our President: Armchair Nature for Winter

Winter is not the greatest time to find and watch birds, thanks to cold, inclement weather. But it is a great time to read and learn about birds! Here are some book recommendations shared by other nature lovers. Finding an interesting bird book to expand our knowledge and interest in nature will be easy this year. Hope you enjoy the flights of mental imagery on the pages of some of these books!

Steve Gordon’s recommendation: “I just read a really nice little book, The Path by Chet Raymo (Walker & Co., 2003). It makes me remember the amazing wonder I felt as a child for small parts of my yard and the fields nearby.” The author teaches astronomy and physics at Stonehill College in Massachusetts. His daily walks to and from work take him about one mile, including a stretch through a park. He ties the history of the universe and his town in with observations of stars, birds, plants, photosynthesis, and more. He has a good eye, ear, and mind. Through his story, he tells us of his feelings and knowledge of “place” at both a minute and universal scale. 

Jim Maloney recommends The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman (Penguin Press, 2016). A New York Times bestseller, this book is not pretty prose about our favorite feathered friends. It succinctly summarizes studies of bird intelligence by informing us not only of the facts but also the history of the research and observations of the wonderful world of bird ingenuity.

2016 Eugene Christmas Bird Count

Many Eugene Christmas Bird Count (ECBC) birders awoke Sunday morning, January 1, 2017, to a half inch of snow and cold weather. This was predicted but somewhat unexpected since many were outside three days before in short sleeve shirts and no jacket. Such is the life of Christmas Bird Count (CBC) participants all over North America.

Even with the poor weather and lousy driving conditions, 130 hardy bird watchers gathered with the 27 Team Leaders and took to the field to see all the birds possible within their designated areas. Combined, the teams walked 142 miles in 158 hours and drove 522 miles in 98 hours. Six teams went owling for 10 hours and covered 31 miles. 

Another 111 people decided to be Home Counters, and they reported 75 species. When these figures were added to the results of the field teams, a total of 131 species and 73,390 individual birds were seen this year. An additional 10 species were seen during Count Week. Check Dan Gleason’s report on the Christmas Bird Count page for the complete species list and total numbers of birds. 

From Our President: Why I Love Birding … and Birders!

There are many reasons to love birding. It keeps your mind and senses active. Listening, observing, 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!

2016 Eugene Christmas Bird Count Approaches

This year marks the 75th Eugene Christmas Bird Count (ECBC) and the 117th National Audubon Society (NAS) Christmas Bird Count. This year’s ECBC will be on Sunday, January 1, 2017. Our 15-mile-diameter count circle is centered in the Danebo area of Eugene and is divided into 27 areas, each with a Team Leader. The Team Leaders organize the teams, lead the groups through the area during the count day, and then submit the results to the ECBC Steering Committee.

Count Coordinator 

Dick Lamster is the Count Coordinator, and he will work with NAS on the administrative tasks of the count. He will also coordinate with the Team Leaders, handle publicity, co-write the post-count narrative, and assign new participants to teams. If you want to participate this year or change teams, call or email Dick. Otherwise, call your Team Leader from last year (although he or she might be calling you soon). 

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