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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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?
Lane County Audubon Society is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation of and education about our natural environment, with a primary focus on birds and other wildlife and their habitats.
Equity and Diversity Statement
The birds that Lane County Audubon Society pledges to protect differ in color, size, behavior, geographical preference, and countless other ways. We acknowledge the differences among people and also respect the individuality of each member of our community. We are committed to a community free of any kind of discrimination based on race, color, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, and national or ethnic origin.
Just as biodiversity strengthens natural systems, the diversity of human experience strengthens our conservation efforts for the benefit of nature and all human beings.
We encourage positive change in the community and environment.