We are happy to announce that Dennis Arendt has taken on the role of LCAS Program Coordinator! Thank you to Dennis for your willingness to bring your talents to Lane Audubon Programs! Welcome Dennis—we look forward to working with you!
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.
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: abcbirds.org/action/petition-mbta
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.
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.
Three this year! Feel free to join any or all of them. Florence, Oakridge, Cottage Grove
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.
To Bryan Ribelin for providing his artwork for our “Thank You” post cards. His line drawing of a Killdeer provides a lovely artistic image that we will use as an acknowledgement for our member donations.
To Dick Lamster, who presented a bird box talk at the BOGS (Birds of Oregon and General Science) group on November 2. Sixty-three people attended! Dick also presented a backyard bird talk to the Junction City Garden Club on November 7.
To the Darkhorse Band from Salem Oregon (facebook.com/Darkhorsesalem/?fref=mentions), who organized a fundraiser with profits targeted to wildfire relief for animals affected during the summer fire season. Darkhorse, along with Viking Braggot Company (drinkviking.com), raised $308 dollars during a Eugene concert on October 21st. Lane Audubon is matching the donation and dividing the gift between Chintimini Wildlife Center in Corvallis and Cascades Raptor Center, both of whom receive injured animals from our Lane County area. We also want to thank our volunteers who attended the event, Hilary Dearborn and Rachael Friese.
To Jim and Charlotte Maloney, who have been organizing the Third Saturday bird walks since summer of 2013. We want to thank Jim and Charlotte for their time and effort planning and organizing the bird walks, welcoming people in attendance, teaching and helping attendees, and creating a fun, enjoyable experience for all. While they still plan to participate, they are ready to pass on the organizational responsibilities. They recently recruited a new volunteer to head this event, Rebecca Waterman, who has been enjoying the walks for several years. We are happy to welcome and also thank Rebecca for taking on the fun challenge of the Third Saturday bird walks. We look forward to working with you!