From Our President: Bonney Butte Offers a Wealth of Migrant Raptor Flyovers

By September, bird migration is in full swing. We can find shorebirds and ducks arriving at Fern Ridge and other waterways. We can see the Vaux’s Swifts at Agate Hall, as well as other chimneys around the area. A little farther from home, the raptor migration can be observed from atop Bonney Butte in the Mount Hood National Forest.

Conservation Column: Administration Busy Weakening Our Environmental Protections

I prefer bird tweets to presidential tweets. It’s too easy to get distracted by the rhetoric and scandals, which may lead to the false impression that not much is getting done. However, while we are distracted, the current administration has sought to roll back many bedrock environmental protections. The vast scope of these changes and proposals makes it difficult for me to read or listen to the news. The following is a sampling of the more than 60 policy changes. Some are in the proposal stage, while others have been enacted.

  • The federal government is reversing a policy that would have increased vehicle mileage standards for cars made over the next decade. The standards that were to go into effect would have limited vehicle emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. They would have also lessened other forms of pollution, reduced the need for fossil fuels, and saved people money at the pump.

Bon Voyage to Vaux’s Swifts at Agate Hall

Friday, September 7, Sunset 

LCAS will have its annual Fall Swift Event outside Agate Hall on Friday, 9/7/18, at sunset. The Vaux’s Swifts use the chimney to roost for the night, as they gather prior to migration. We may see thousands of birds entering the chimney, but there is no guarantee! It is fun to observe the swifts before they fly off to Central and South America for the winter.

Lane Audubon will have handouts with information about the Vaux’s Swifts. Look for the LCAS banner at 17th and Agate Street. Stop by and enjoy this annual natural phenomenon. It is free, and Prince Puckler’s is just around the corner. Call 541.343.8664 for more information.

Another good location to check out is the Smith Family Bookstore chimney (5th and Willamette, downtown Eugene) where several thousand birds have also been observed.

FMI: see the Vaux’s Swift page on the LCAS website, listed under resources. (laneaudubon.org/docs/vauxs-swift)

Date: 
Friday, September 7, 2018 - 7:00pm
Location: 
Agate Hall, 17th & Agate St., Eugene

Third Saturday Bird Walk - September 15

September's 3rd Saturday Bird Walk (9/15/18) will be led by Stephan Nance! They will be leading us around Skinner's Butte, which is an excellent place to bird during Fall Migration. In addition to being a birder, they are a singer/songwriter. Throughout their songs, you can find references to at least 30 birds. Here is a favorite of their work on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBojRGIcPVY FMI: Rebecca Waterman at 541.653.3354 or Rebecca.waterman@gmail.com

Date: 
Saturday, September 15, 2018 - 8:00am
Location: 
Skinner Butte - meet at SE High School

Program Meeting: Tuesday, September 25, 7:30 pm - Land and Sea Conservation Issues and Strategies

ocean shorelinePaul Engelmeyer will present on the topic of Oregon Marine Reserves and the conservation challenges and issues facing the Marbled Murrelet, forage fish, and coho recovery efforts. He is a dynamic speaker with a passion for his work in advocating protections for seabird populations, Marbled Murrelets, fish, and coastal habitats.

The Oregon coast is one of the wildest and most unique places in the state, offering exceptional opportunities for viewing seabirds, marine mammals, and other wildlife. It is also home to vast underwater kelp forests and rocky reefs that provide important habitat for the hundreds of fish and other aquatic species that live in Oregon’s near-shore waters.

Date: 
Tuesday, September 25, 2018 - 7:30pm
Location: 
Eugene Garden Club, 1645 High St., Eugene

Announcements

New LCAS T-shirts
Classy, freshly designed LCAS T-shirts have just become available, and you can have one for only $15. The simple but striking design features birds flying into the towering Agate Hall chimney on the UO campus. It’s similar to what we see during the spring and fall Swift Events that we host outside the actual chimney. Black with white print is the only color option. The shirts are 100 percent preshrunk cotton and made in the US. They come in sizes small, medium, large, and extra large.

They will be available at our monthly Program Meetings, and at booth events. To make other arrangements for purchasing a shirt, e-mail Ron Renchler at christyandron2@gmail.com.

Eugene Commits to Bee Friendliness
In July, the City of Eugene passed a resolution to become a Bee City USA affiliate. This official bee-friendly designation helps institutionalize our community’s commitment to sustain pollinators. The Bee City USA program endorses a set of commitments, defined in a resolution, for creating sustainable habitats for pollinators, which are vital to feeding the planet.

For details as to what this commitment entails, you can check out their website: beecityusa.org

Donated Canoe, Sold for $200
Two longtime Audubon members/volunteers donated their canoe to LCAS to sell and use the income as needed.  The money will go for purchasing hand lenses to be used in the Audubon-in-the-Schools Program.

Two Booth Volunteers Needed—(1) Setup and (2) Staffing Scheduler
Ifyou’d like to help Lane Audubon in a big way but don’t have a lot of time available, here are a couple of ways to get involved. We need a person to take over the Lane Audubon booth setup and takedown, as well as someone to coordinate the scheduling of booth staffers.

Booth setup/takedown involves delivering and erecting our portable booth, tables, and display materials at event and festival sites, and then dismantling them after the event is over. Setup and takedown require only an hour or two of your time, usually on a Saturday morning and early Sunday evening, a few times a year. If you enjoy being outdoors in the morning and doing a little light physical activity (nothing too strenuous), this could be the spot for you. Access to a larger vehicle (a van or pickup) is useful.

If you’re more indoorsy and have some basic computer and organizational skills, such as sending e-mail messages and putting together staffing schedules, you could help Lane Audubon by sending out announcements alerting our volunteers of booth staffing opportunities. After volunteers respond, you put together staffing schedules and distribute them by e-mail to volunteers. This work usually takes an hour or two and can be done in your own home a couple of weeks before booth events are scheduled.

Orientation and training for these volunteer positions will be provided. It can be rewarding to work behind the scenes to help Lane Audubon spread the word about the importance of birds and their habitats. If you’d like to learn more about either of these positions, please call Ron Renchler at 541.345.0834, or e-mail him at christyandron2@gmail.com.

Audubon in the Schools (AITS) Needs Volunteers and a Leader

This Lane Audubon program is in high demand by grade school teachers. Teachers and their students love this program!

Our volunteer instructors and five new people brought the program to several classrooms this spring.

We hope to continue to build our volunteer pool, and more importantly, we need a leader to organize the teaching materials and set up classroom visits.

We hope to offer more in-school programs going forward.

Please help us provide the kids with these art and biology lessons!

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