News Archive

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). 


From Our Treasurer: LCAS—Offering a Connection to the Natural World

In an age of earbuds and iPhones, I often feel strangely alone as I walk (with some intermittent jogging) along the bike paths and pedestrian trails around Eugene and Springfield. With today’s take-it-wherever-you-go media, it sometimes seems that everyone else using the path is plugged into a more private world of music or news. Am I really the only one listening to the birds and watching for them?

LCAS Bird Walk at Mt Pisgah - September 2016

For September’s Third Saturday Bird walk, we explored the north region of Mt. Pisgah. Dennis Arendt was our leader. I was particularly looking forward to this walk, as I had never birded the area before.

The dozen and a half who gathered on this cool and lovely morning included several new birders and even a pair from out of state! Birds were not plentiful, but twenty-nine species were identified, by sight and/or by ear. A possible Pileated Woodpecker was heard, though not seen. One major highlight was a Great Horned Owl, spotted as it flew in for a landing. It remained in sight for as long as anyone cared to view it. 

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 (, and check out our Facebook page ( 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.