Articles

Conservation Column: Marbled Murrelet News & Bird-Friendly Tips

We are pleased to share the news that the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife voted to uplist the Marbled Murrelet from threatened to endangered status under the state Endangered Species Act. It is our hope that this results in state plans and actions that will make a difference for this iconic bird.

UPDATE* --Conservation Column: Marbled Murrelets Need Our Support

* UPDATE* On July 9, 2021 the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission approved a petition filed by five conservation groups to give marbled murrelets more protection by reclassifying them from threatened to endangered under the state’s Endangered Species Act. For more info: 

https://biologicaldiversity.org/w/news/press-releases/oregon-approves-petition-to-increase-marbled-murrelet-endangered-species-protection-2021-07-09/

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Some of us occasionally enjoy the convenience of buying take-out food and bringing it home to the family. It’s not so convenient though, when the take-out place is located up to 100km (over 60 miles) away. That is the daunting challenge faced by Marbled Murrelets (MAMU), seabirds that nest in the old growth forest of the coastal mountains but forage at sea. The split requirements of life at sea and nesting season in forests exacerbates the misfortune of multiple anthropogenic effects that threaten the species. 

Book Review: Amazing Bird Migrations

I just finished yet another book on the subject of bird migrations. Scott Wiedensaul’s second book on the subject is, A World on the Wing, published this year, 2021. Why two books on the same subject? Because so much has changed in the intervening 20 years. 

I read that first book, too, when it came out: Living on the Wind – Across the Hemisphere with Migrating Birds. Its focus was on avian migration that occurs primarily in the Western Hemisphere. In the second book he has expanded his subject to the global stage. This change reflects not only the more appropriate scope for some of the world’s most long-distance avian travelers, but also the increased range of Scott’s own travels from China’s Yellow Sea tidelands to the Mediterranean killing grounds, to Africa, the mid-Atlantic islands, and more.

Another impetus for revisiting the subject was changes in the ways people track and monitor birds. Over those 20 years, the evolution in tracking technology has led to ever smaller, lighter, and more sophisticated bits of hardware that could be attached to ever-smaller birds as well as the larger ones. It’s the similar hi-tech evolution that led to our current smart phones and flying drone video cameras.

Help Start an LCAS Photo Library

Often while editing The Quail, I wish I had more local photos. Starting an LCAS photo library seems like a good solution. Several people already send me photos. Cary Kerst is an appreciated regular. 

If you have clear pictures of birds that you would enjoy sharing, email them to me. Also, please take photos when leading or participating in LCAS activities. Seeing local people involved in enjoying nature together may well encourage more to join us. Send to quailkaren1@gmail.com.

Appreciative Thank Yous

Thank You to Bryan Ribelin for creating an original poster for our Bike Path Clean Up event in April! His original bird artwork is always fun and joyful to see.

Many thanks, also, to LaRue Rodgers and Robert Piersol for keeping The Quail mailing process on time and in members’ mailboxes. They have taken on the whole task of picking up the newsletters from the printer and labeling each one. They then box and deliver them to the post office to make sure the mailed Quails arrives on time in your mailbox. We all appreciate your hard work for each mailing!

Conservation Column: California Condors Soon to Soar Over Oregon

What’s the largest native bird in North American? That’s easy. With a wingspan of nearly 10 feet, California Condors (CACO) win the prize. Soaring above the landscape, they use their keen eyesight to search for carrion and provide important “clean-up” services to the environment. It’s been about 100 years since these magnificent birds flew in Oregon skies, but I’m happy to report that this is about to change. The Yurok Tribe has worked for decades to bring back this sacred bird, called “pregoneesh” in the Yurok language. A partnership between the Yurok tribe, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Park Service is establishing a population of CACOs in Redwood National Park in Northern California. With a flight range of up to 150 miles per day, these birds will soon be flying in Oregon again.

Once seen over much of North America, the population of these birds plummeted to only 22 individuals by 1987, due to hazards such as hunting, habitat destruction, and lead poisoning. These were rounded up and placed into a captive breeding program. Thanks to a comprehensive recovery program with a focus on careful breeding, mentorship by older birds, and training programs to prepare the birds for release, more than 300 California Condors now live in the wild, ranging over California, Arizona, Utah, and the Baja Peninsula. Nearly 200 more are living in captivity.

Aggressive “Hazard Tree” Removal: The Latest Scheme to Clearcut Oregon Forests

In the aftermath of the 2020 Labor Day Fires, Oregon’s forests are ringing with the sounds of chainsaws. These days, visitors to fire-impacted federal lands will see miles of clearcut corridors along roadsides where trees have been removed by forest management agencies in the name of public safety. You can read Sam Krop’s complete blog/article on the Oregon Wild website: oregonwild.org.

Impressive Numbers Joined in LCAS Bike Path Cleanup


We want to thank the organizers: Phil Johnson, Maeve Sowles, and Katy Vizdal for making the event a success. These four arrived early for the Sunday, April
11th, cleanup, and nineteen others joined them on the cool sunny morning to complete the task at hand! Thanks also to Bryan Ribelin, who created our posters to advertise the event!

Conservation Column: The River Democracy Act of 2021 Would Protect More Oregon Waterways

Riddle: You’re out hiking one day, and you catch glimpses of osprey, kingfishers, American Dippers, herons, perhaps a flycatcher, a woodpecker, a warbling vireo. Where are you?

As you listen to the bird calls, the sun glints off the water but the edges of the stream are cooled by the shade of riparian vegetation. You see flashes of fish, and darting damselflies, hopping frogs, and puddling butterflies. Dare you dream that this river oasis will still be providing habitat in a few years?

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