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!
Sixty Audubon Adventures kits have been requested by Lane County teachers so far this year! Thanks to our amazing sponsors for making this possible. If you are interested in sponsoring a classroom, there’s still plenty of time! Contact Rachael Friese via
Since 2008, Lane County has maintained roadways mechanically without the use of chemicals that may harm the health of people and wildlife. Some problem areas were identified and a task force recommended allowing limited use of roadside spray. Recently the county announced that it would resume roadside spray along 400 miles of guardrails. They did not respond to requests for information about how they identified or prioritized areas in need of spray despite the fact that the task force clearly stated “All decision making and process development will be transparent to the public and guided by human and environmental health considerations.”
Further, a public works representative agreed with concerns about toxic run-off during the rainy season and indicated they would not spray at this time. Yet, road signs indicate that the herbicide application will proceed NOW.
Please contact the county administrator and ask that they stop the herbicide spray plan immediately until a public hearing can be arranged. We need more information and a chance for public input.
Talking with a longtime friend on a warm evening in early September, I discovered he had never seen the Vaux’s Swifts entering the chimney at the Old Condon School near Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus. The building with the chimney is now called Agate Hall. If you haven’t yet seen the swifts descending into the chimney to roost each evening for a couple of weeks in September and again in April as they migrate through, be sure to put it on your bucket list of birding events. See next April’s Quail for details on Lane County Audubon’s “gatherings” celebrating their spring migration.
The next day, my friend, his wife, and I headed to the chimney, and happened upon a couple of other Audubon folks there doing “citizen science,” counting the number of swifts entering their temporary roost as they migrated south in the fall. There were also a few neighborhood residents who had dropped by to witness the spectacle. It was near sunset, and our small group of observers enjoyed an easy conviviality, sharing our enthusiasm and wonder.
The swifts didn’t disappoint. They began circling right before sunset and gradually increased in numbers until they filled the sky, circling the chimney like a tornado, getting ready to retire for the night.