Audubon in the Schools (AITS) is starting up after a year’s hiatus. We are pleased to have Caryn Stoess as the new Program Coordinator! She is learning the details from program founder and braintrust Kris Kirkeby. Longtime volunteers Kathy Wilson and Bonnie Henderson are returning as instructors, providing valuable continuity to the program. All of these dedicated folks are training new volunteer instructors so they can offer classes this spring. Over the past 10 years, nearly 10,000 students have benefited from AITS, learning drawing and observation skills combined with bird biology. The program uses a teaching collection of bird skins, bones, feathers, and nests, which is permitted and legal under the US Fish and Wildlife Service and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. The Board and our members truly want this program to succeed.
Ron Renchler, LCAS Outreach Coordinator 541.345.0834 christyandron (at) qwest.net
Lane County Audubon’s great group of friendly booth volunteers were on hand to greet and talk with several hundred visitors during the 10th Annual Good Earth Home, Garden & Living Show, held on January 23–25 at the Lane County Fairgrounds.
This month, I’d like to pass along some news from the Lane County Audubon Society Board:
The 73rd Eugene Christmas Bird Count (ECBC) took place on Sunday, December 28, with 146 enthusiastic bird-watchers contributing their time and expertise in the field. From their sightings, combined with those of 90 Feeder Watchers, we recorded 133 species (plus one during Count Week) and 120,698 individual birds. The average numbers for the past 10 years are 134 species and 89,223 individual birds.
Noah Strycker, Eugene-Creswell native and self-proclaimed bird nerd, is devoting the entire year of 2015 to an international birding adventure. He is traveling light, carrying just a small backpack, binoculars, and a spotting scope, and will visit all seven continents with the goal of seeing 5,000 species of birds. He will eventually write a book about his adventures. You can travel vicariously with Noah by following his blog (hosted by National Audubon) at:
Noah is an engaging speaker and writer; his books are must-reads for bird lovers. He brings intellect, humor, creativity, curiosity, and a deep love of nature to every project he undertakes.
Photo credit: Corey Arnold
Each year at the Lane Audubon volunteer recognition party, as many as 80 attendees crowd the Eugene Garden Club to celebrate the accomplishments of the past year. These volunteers deserve much of the credit for Lane Audubon’s long-standing reputation as the area’s most effective grassroots advocate for birds and the protection of their habitats. Every volunteer plays a vital role in making our organization strong.
Can you volunteer time to work toward Lane Audubon’s goals? Volunteers bring the gifts of time, energy, expertise, and commitment to our organization. We’re always eager to welcome new volunteers into the fold. There are opportunities available for anyone with a little time and the inclination to help. We’ll provide the guidance, training, supplies, and anything else you need to get started.
As the new year begins, there are three specific areas that need volunteer assistance:
This year marks the 73rd Eugene Christmas Bird Count (ECBC) and the 115th National Audubon Society (NAS) Christmas Bird Count. Our count this year will be on Sunday, December 28th. 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.
Like birders everywhere, members of Lane County Audubon Society are a varied lot, especially when it comes to technology use. The proliferation of technologies that make bird-watching easier, more rewarding, and more satisfying corresponds directly to the introduction of new technologies into every aspect of our lives. Depending on how quickly we accept and use these new advances, each of us fits into one of the standard categories for technology adoption—innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, or laggards.
An alarming new report by National Audubon Society (NAS) reveals that hundreds of bird species are threatened by global warming. NAS ornithologists spent seven years studying 588 bird species and found that 314 face significant risk in a warming world. Of those, 126 species are at risk of severe declines by 2050, and a further 188 species face the same fate by 2080, with numerous extinctions possible if global warming is allowed to erase the havens birds currently occupy. To understand the links between where birds live and the climatic conditions that support them, the NAS ornithologists analyzed more than 40 years of historical North American climate data and millions of historical bird records from the U.S. Geological Survey’s North American Breeding Bird Survey and the Audubon Christmas Bird Count. Understanding those links allows scientists to project where birds are likely to be able to survive—and not survive—in the future.
Throughout the summer and fall months, I watch birds use the berry-producing trees and shrubs on our property. The fruit is a magnet for many birds and gives them a wonderful diet supplement during the breeding season and migration. Many bird species have at least a partially frugivorous diet and will eat fruit regularly.