I often ask friends what books they have enjoyed recently and would recommend to others. I’d like to share a few titles that I’ve heard about so you can put them on your winter reading list too!
Audubon Statement on the Occupation of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge
January 3, 2016: Malheur National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1908 by President Theodore Roosevelt to protect the vast populations of waterbirds that were being decimated by wanton killing by the plume trade. The 188,000 acre refuge represents some of the most important bird habitat on the Pacific Flyway. It is one of the crown jewels of the National Wildlife Refuge System and belongs to all Americans. In 2013, the Refuge adopted a long-term management plan developed through an inclusive collaborative process that brought together the local community, tribes, conservation groups, state and federal agencies, and other stakeholders. These stakeholders have continued to work together to implement this strategy which includes one of the biggest wetland restoration efforts ever undertaken.
We have been hearing owls in the evening at our property in the forested area southwest of Eugene. In all of the 22 years we have lived here, Great Horned Owls have nested nearby. Before sundown and into the evening, deep hoots echo through Fox Hollow; the deeper voice is the male and the higher pitched hoots are the larger female. Breeding season has already begun for this species, even though the landscape is wet and the temperatures wintery. Those deep hoots are communicating territory claims as well as courtship and pair bonding—annual rituals for the pair that mates for life.
Great Horned Owls start nesting in January, raising their families in the depths of winter. Like other owls, they do not build their own nests, but take over the abandoned homes of other species, including squirrels, ravens, herons, and Red-tailed Hawks.
If you haven’t returned the donation envelope included in the November issue of The Quail or gone online to show your support for Lane County Audubon Society during our annual fund drive, you can still do so. Simply mail your tax-deductible gift to LCAS, PO Box 5086, Eugene, OR 97405. (Make checks payable to Lane County Audubon Society.) If you prefer to use your credit card through our online donation page, visit http://laneaudubon.org/support/donate to complete the transaction.
This year marks the 74th Eugene Christmas Bird Count (ECBC) and the 116th National Audubon Society (NAS) Christmas Bird Count. The ECBC this year will be on Sunday, January 3, 2016. 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.
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, cowrite the postcount narrative, and assign new participants to teams. If you want to participate this year and were not on a team last year or you want to change teams, call Dick at 541.343.8664. Otherwise, call your Team Leader from last year (although he or she might be calling you soon).
Noah Stryker, Eugene/Creswell native and local bird nerd, is nearing the end of his year-long birding adventure. During his international big year, he has recorded sightings of well over 5,000 bird species, breaking the world record for species seen in one year, which was 4,341. Noah has documented his trip in his blog, Birding Without Borders, hosted by National Audubon. Check it out at http://mag.audubon.org/articles/birds/welcome-birding-without-borders. His blog reflects the intellect, humor, creativity, curiosity, stamina, and deep love of nature that he brought to this project.
One of the highlights of my summer was participating in a bird walk in New York City’s Central Park. After temporarily losing my way in the maze of lanes and paths that make up the park, I finally found the Boathouse, where Robert DeCandido, or “Birder Bob” as he is known locally, always begins his Sunday morning walks. Predictably, it was an international group, including birders from South Africa, Greenland, Turkey, China, and Oregon (me), all eager to see East Coast birds in the sanctuary that Central Park provides in the midst of the great metropolis.
We were treated to sightings of Tufted Titmouse, Eastern Kingbird, Black-and-white Warbler, Baltimore Oriole, and Northern Cardinal, along with some species more familiar to us here in the Northwest: Downy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, and Black-capped Chickadee.
Sara Lee Higgins has served as LCAS webmaster since April 2013. She brought our new webpage from a basic shell into a fully functional web presence, made online donations and membership payments possible, built in new features to provide easier access to information, and created visual improvements. Just a few adjectives to describe Sara include creative, helpful, communicative, talented, skilled troubleshooter and problem solver, attentive to detail, and self-directed. In short, she is a most excellent webmaster!
Sara plans to move out of the area and we wish her all the best. Sara, THANK YOU for all your webmaster help over the past two and a half years!
Since May 2011, Joyce Trawle has served as Audubon Adventures Coordinator. She worked hard to grow the program, which now offers environmental education materials to over 40 classrooms in Lane County.
Joyce created a well-running program and matches up LCAS member sponsors with classrooms throughout the community. She has this year’s program in place, but needs time away for other activities. We all give Joyce a big THANK YOU for her time, commitment, and a JOB WELL DONE!
Volunteers are the “green energy” that drives the activities of the Lane County Audubon Society. The only way we keep our projects running is with the help of folks who have some time, talent, and initiative to help. We have a small and committed Board that steers our various projects and lends a hand when needed. The Board helps new volunteers with advice, support, and experience. We want to see everyone succeed in forwarding our mission. We care about wildlife and their habitats and we also care about people.