Program Meeting, Tuesday, February 25, 7:00 pm: The History of Birding in Oregon with Alan Contreras

Please Note: 7 pm start time!

Alan Contreras is currently writing A History of Oregon Ornithology for OSU Press, with help from Vjera Thompson, Nolan Clements, Chip Jobanek, Herb Wisner, Larry McQueen, and others. This program will feature more people than birds, while illustrating how bird study has changed in Oregon from the early 1800s through the Internet age. You’ll hear about John Kirk Townsend (as in Warbler and Solitaire), whose bird specimens were eaten by hungry members of his team, and Henry Henshaw, who mistakenly let off his shotgun in front of the constable’s home. Another historical character was Olaus Murie, who banded the first Oregon bird and then nearly completed his life list at Three Arch Rocks. More fascinating characters will surely make their appearances as his remarks and anecdotes range over a hundred years of Lane County birding. 

Born in Tillamook County, Alan Contreras is a fourth-generation Oregonian. He grew up mostly in Lane County, where his passionate interest in birds led him to start the Cottage Grove Christmas Bird Count when he was 15, and serve as president of the Eugene Natural History Society when he was 18. A graduate of the University of Oregon and its law school, he is now retired from work in higher education. Although he always wanted to be a famous science-fiction writer, that hasn’t happened yet. Instead, he co-edited Birds of Oregon, edited Birds of Lane County, wrote Afield: Forty Years of Birding in the American West, and co-authored Handbook of Oregon Birds and Northwest Birds in Winter. Plus he has written three books of poetry and, most recently, edited Edge of Awe: Experiences of the Malheur-Steens Country. And that’s not all. For a more complete listing, check out his website:

Again Please Note: By popular request, our program meeting time has permanently changed from 7:30 pm to 7 pm, starting with this meeting.


Event Type: 
Eugene Garden Club, 1645 High St, Eugene
Tuesday, February 25, 2020 - 7:00pm