From Our President: Lack of Rain Is Problematic for Wildlife, Plants, and People

April showers are on my wish list this year. As I write this in early March, we are in a dry spell and are well below our normal rain and snowfall amounts in western Oregon. I will perform a rain dance if it will help bring us rain. At our property, spring began in February this year. A young satsuma pear tree was in full bloom before the end of February. Pollinators were out looking for flower nectar, but most were left wandering and wondering where their food was during the untimely warm days. Bats were out looking for food earlier than I’ve seen them before too. Many of the spring birds arrived at our property early—Turkey Vultures, Tree Swallows, Violet-green Swallows, and Rufous Hummingbirds.

Conservation Column Apr 2015: Senate Bill 613 Addresses Herbicide Spraying

Debbie Schlenoff                                541.685.0610                             dschlenoff (at) msn.com



The Oregon public is concerned about the harmful effects of spraying herbicides from helicopters, a routine practice in the Oregon timber industry. There have recently been several reports of people, especially rural residents (and their pets), being harmed from exposure after aerial spraying. The current laws insufficiently protect and inform people about aerial sprays, but now some sensible people aim to change that. The Public Health and Water Resources Protection Act (Senate Bill 613) has been introduced in the 2015 Oregon Legislature to address these concerns. The buffer zones protecting our waterways are smaller than in other states. There are no buffers around schools. There is a confusing, difficult-to-access notification system that does not provide specific information about when the chemicals will be sprayed or follow-up information that identifies the chemicals that were actually applied. The bill would improve notification to the public about aerial sprays so people can better act to protect themselves, their families, pets, and food crops; improve public access to records so that residents and their health practitioners know what has been sprayed if they need to seek appropriate treatment; and prohibit aerial application of pesticides on forestlands near residences, schools, waterways used as community water sources, and waterways that support native fish populations.

LCAS Offers Birding Resources & Apparel

Lane County Audubon has several items available for purchase to help you get ready for spring and summer birding. All proceeds help LCAS fund its educational, conservation, and outreach programs.

You can purchase these items at the LCAS program meetings on Tuesday, April 28, and Tuesday, May 26.

  • High-quality, heavy canvas tote bags with Quail logo ($12)
  • National Audubon hats, one-size-fits-all ($10)
  • T-shirts—LCAS Quail logo and Swift Event theme ($15)
  • 52 Small Birds, by Richard Weeks ($20)
  • Birds of Lane County (half-price sale, $10)

 

Thank You, Dick Weeks!

Over the past year, sales of Dick Weeks’s book, 52 Small Birds, have resulted in almost $1,000 that he has donated to LCAS!

The book is a memoir of an eight-year quest to photograph and paint the 52 breeding warblers of the United States, and Richard’s beautiful artwork appears throughout the story. According to the author, “This narrative relates how the process of searching for, photographing, and painting birds enhanced and deepened my connection to the natural world.” Published in cooperation with LCAS, 52 Small Birds sells for $22 plus $2 shipping. It’s also available at LCAS monthly meetings for $20. All profits go to LCAS.

If you have not yet seen Dick’s work, visit www.rweeksart.com

 

John Cooney bequeaths book collection to LCAS

John Cooney, who was a vocal presence for the environment in our community, passed away last November. His radio show, John Cooney’s Natural World, aired on KLCC for 15 years and provided audio glimpses of the natural areas that surround us. His style was distinctive, reverent, informative, and poetic. He gave us a unique perspective and educated us while entertaining us with his radio shows. He will be missed.

John’s wife, Angela Andre, has donated John’s bird books to Lane Audubon. The collection includes 93 books, with topics ranging from hummingbirds, warblers, seabirds, and birds of North America to birds of the world. The donation also includes a collection of the Life Histories of North American birds, including 18 bird groups.

Apparently, John could never pass up a bird book. Angela said that he had planned to be involved with our group when he retired.

Welcome Back Vaux’s Swifts at Agate Hall - April 25

Lane County Audubon Society will hold its annual spring Swift Event outside Agate Hall on Saturday, April 25, at sunset. We hope to see early arrivals by mid-April and the numbers will increase over the next three to four weeks.

Date: 
Saturday, April 25, 2015 - 7:30pm
Location: 
Chimney outside Agate Hall on UO Campus (Agate St & E 18th Ave)

April Program Meeting: Eastern Africa South of the Equator: Babblers to Barbets, Blue Monkeys, and Beyond with Bob Fleming

AFRICA, with an area of almost 12 million square miles, is the world’s second largest continent and hosts some 2,500 bird species within about 111 families. The eastern portion of Africa south of the equator features some of the most dramatic topography on the continent, including Mt. Kilimanjaro, the Ngorogoro Crater, the Zambezi River with Victoria Falls, and the Drakensberg escarpment that marks the border between Lesotho and South Africa.

Date: 
Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - 7:30pm
Location: 
Eugene Garden Club, 1645 High St.

Community Calendar, Events, and Opportunities

John Scharff Migratory Bird Festival
April 9–12, Burns, OR

Spend an amazing weekend witnessing the spectacular spring migration in the Harney Basin of Southeast Oregon. View thousands of migratory birds as they rest and feed in the wide-open spaces of Oregon’s high desert.

FMI: www.migratorybirdfestival.com, 855.438.8625

 

Olympic Peninsula BirdFest
April 10–12

Participate in guided field trips, a boat cruise in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, a silent auction, and a gala banquet.

FMI: www.olympicbirdfest.org

Southern Willamette Ornithological Club
Monday, April 13, 7:00 p.m.
Eugene Birders Night
Horsefly Lookout with Maitreya

Everyone is welcome to attend these monthly meetings. After initial introductions, we’ll share recent sightings and discuss birding-connected topics. Then Maitreya will present photos from his work as a lookout on Horsefly Lookout in south central Oregon. He will discuss the 105 species of birds that were found on Horsefly Mountain in 2014, as well as some of the unusual local flora.

Meet at the McNail-Riley house, 601 West 13th Avenue, Eugene (NW corner of 13th and Jefferson). The parking area, located immediately west of the house, can be accessed from Jefferson via the driveway located just north of the house.

Free. FMI: ellencantor (at) gmail.com

 

North American Butterfly Association
Monday, April 13, 2015, Refreshments 7:00 p.m., presentation 7:30 p.m.
The Eugene Garden Club at 1645 High St.

Monarch Waystations: A Milkweed Railroad along Migration Routes with Tom Landis.

Tom Landis, a retired forester, will present an in-depth look at how to create monarch waystations—specialized pollinator gardens that link up to create a “milkweed railroad” along the monarch butterfly migration route.

Free. FMI: 541.344.7630

 

Godwit Days Spring Migration Bird Festival
April 15–21, Arcata, CA

Observe the bird species and wildlife of the Redwood Coast through field trips, lectures, workshops, and boat excursions led by experienced local guides.

FMI: www.godwitdays.org

 

Willamette Resources and Educational Network (WREN) 
Saturday, April 11, 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.

Family Exploration Day at Meadowlark Prairie

Meet at the parking area on Greenhill Road, north of West 11th Ave.  Bring water and wear sturdy shoes. WREN will provide exploration packs and binoculars.

Tuesday, April 14, 9:00 a.m.–10:30 a.m.
Wetland Wander at Wild Iris Ridge

Park on Bailey View Drive in Eugene and walk to the end of the street to meet our group at the entrance. Bring water and wear sturdy shoes. WREN will provide binoculars.

Free. FMI: 541.338.7047, info (at) wewetlands.org

 

Mount Pisgah Arboretum
Sunday, April 5, 8:00 a.m.–10:30 a.m.

Spring Bird Walk

Join Nature Guides Chris Roth and Julia Siporin for another monthly bird walk intended for people with all levels of birding experience. Please bring binoculars. Rain or shine.

Sunday, April 12, 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
Pollination Ecology Walk

Join Arboretum Assistant Site Manager August Jackson for a tour of the Arboretum’s wildflowers and their pollinators. Learn the foraging and nesting habits of common native bees, and meet a cartoonish bumblebee-mimic fly that finds a home on Mount Pisgah’s prairies.

Sunday, April 19, 10 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
Wildflower Walk

Join local ecologists Peg Boulay and Bruce Newhouse in enjoying April wildflowers at the Arboretum. Rain or shine. Co-sponsored with NPSO.

$5, Members free. All events begin at the Arboretum visitor Center. FMI: 541.747.1504,
www.MountPisgahArboretum.org

 

Mountain Bird Festival
May 29–31, Ashland, OR

Registration is open for the second annual Mountain Bird Festival. This event is hosted by the Klamath Bird Observatory in partnership with several Ashland-area organizations. Participate in guided bird walks, attend keynote presentations, a fine-art auction, cocktail parties, and enjoy live music, local foods, and a feel-good community atmosphere. Registration required.

FMI: www.klamathbird.org, 541.201.0866

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