I want to express my gratitude for many levels of support Lane County Audubon Society (LCAS) receives from our members and volunteers. Every November we send our annual donation request to support our education, conservation, and outreach programs. Our members always respond generously to this request, and we are deeply grateful for the continued support of many people. Lane Audubon thanks you, members, for your financial support!
Although the regular walks are on a COVID hiatus, we continue to lead small walks with some restrictions in place in order to adhere to local safety guidelines. Attendance is capped at 10 birders,
The National Audubon Society’s colorful and engaging educational program for elementary-age youngsters offers both printed and online materials. They are available in a variety of formats and subjects suitable for classroom groups, libraries, afterschool clubs, science and nature camps, and homeschoolers, as well as families with students in grades 3-5. If you are interested in having the printed materials for your home-schooling or classroom children, Lane Audubon can purchase the kits for school classrooms and homeschool groups.
Last month I finished a couple of books I probably wouldn’t have gotten around to were it not for our ongoing pandemic. The first fiction book I have read in a long time was Richard Powers’ latest monumental novel, The Overstory. As I pondered writing a review, I decided to just include the intro to Alex Preston’s interview with Richard from The Guardian. Then I’d follow up with notes on related material.
“There was something fitting about hearing the news that Richard Powers’ The Overstory had been awarded the (2018) Pulitzer Prize just as Extinction Rebellion activists took to the streets of London. Powers’ richly layered novel engages profoundly with questions of protest and conservation.
Rebecca Waterman, our current walk coordinator, is leaving the area soon. Lane Audubon is looking for a volunteer to take her place in planning our monthly Third Saturday Bird Walks. This is a fun opportunity to meet and learn from birding experts; best of all, you get to be out birding! Lane Audubon has the traditional dates set, a network of willing field trip leaders, and a list of past birding locations to choose from.
Long-time LCAS board member Herb Wisner, now 98, has completed his memoir, My Life...and Then Some: A Memoir? Herb’s bird-filled autobiography is available on Amazon!
The following teaser is shortened slightly from what appears on the Amazon website:
For 98 years, Herb Wisner has lived a remarkable life. Raised in an extraordinary childhood home near the New Jersey shore, his journeys took him to colleges in Alabama and New York, to overseas exploits while in the Army Airforce during WWII, and to a teaching career that stretched from rural Unadilla, New York, to Eugene, Oregon.
Accompanied by hundreds of photos, Herb’s stories span nearly a century. They include vivid portraits of family and friends whose paths have crossed his. He remembers them all in his unique voice infused with gentle humor.
We’ve posted these before, but they are so useful that they bear repeating.
--by Jim Maloney
This capsule book review concerns a new book by Christopher Ketcham entitled “This Land – How Cowboys, Capitalism, and Corruption are Ruining the American West.” It’s a non-fiction book set in the West but with a broader scope.
The book concerns the exploitation of Western lands by livestock grazers, loggers, mining and fracking companies, and by the corporations that become rich by enabling them. It is an Ed Abbey-take-no-prisoners indictment of not only Cliven and Amon Bundy, the Mormon/Utah public lands grab, and the ultimate entitlement-demanding cattle grazers, loggers, and fossil fuel exploiters. It also manages to include the collusion, manipulation, control, and corporate direction of so-called “public agencies” like Wildlife Services, the BLM, the Forest Service, and other government “protection” agencies under Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama, and Trump.
Although we had to cancel William Sullivan's April presentation on “New Hikes in the Central Oregon Cascades” for the Lane County Audubon Society, here’s a happy twist: the Deschutes Public Library has posted the same program online, and here’s the link:
The focus of the presentation is on the need for social distancing to avoid overcrowding as trails reopen. Bill also talks about the upcoming permit system, fire damage, and newly built trails. We have rescheduled a live presentation for the Lane County Audubon Society next year, February 23, 2021.
By Ron Renchler
Although we all may wish otherwise, it’s quite possible that the statewide stay-at-home order issued due to the COVID-19 pandemic will still be in effect by the time you receive this issue of The Quail. The pandemic has all of us in an unfamiliar spot—staying at home as much as possible and keeping a distance of at least six feet between friends and strangers alike. Although bird watching, especially backyard birding, is still possible as an outdoor activity, we are all probably spending more time indoors than we’d like.
But indoor time is great for armchair birding, especially given all the helpful online resources made possible by current technologies. If you have access to a mobile phone or computer and wi-fi, you can use some of your indoor time to explore and learn more about our fine feathered friends.
Lane County Audubon’s website has a Resources tab (laneaudubon.org/resources) where you can start your adventure. This page has links on a variety of topics, including Field Notes (monthly, going back to 2001), Christmas Bird Count Reports (annually, also going back to 2001), Vaux’s Swift Information, Birding Eugene (links to several birding locations in our area), Mt. Pisgah Arboretum Bird List, LCAS Informational Handouts (handouts produced by LCAS over the years), and Web Links. (cont.)