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.
Lane County Audubon Society (LCAS) is an all-volunteer organization. Volunteering with LCAS is a great way to meet new people, give back to the community, and best of all, have fun! If you’re interested in volunteering for one of the opportunities below, or if you have other ideas about ways you can help, contact Maeve Sowles at 541.343.8664 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Bike Path Cleanup Coordinator
Help us coordinate the twice-yearly cleanup of our stretch of the West Eugene bike path. LCAS adopted the west end (about five miles) of West Eugene’s Fern Ridge Bike Path. The goal is to help keep Eugene’s waterways an inviting habitat for wildlife and a safe and clean area for recreation. The coordinator will pick the dates and organize the day’s activities.
April and springtime are a welcome change from our intense winter weather. Nature and the outdoors beckon with spring plant growth and the arrival of migrating birds. Each morning I open the upstairs window and breathe in the fresh air. I take stock of the weather, watch and listen to the birds for a few minutes, and assess the new day. Connecting with nature is a necessity for my mental and physical health.