Articles

Zoom Program Meeting on YouTube Now--Dead Trees: Why We Need Them

Lane County Audubon's first Zoom program meeting was on Tuesday, September 15, at 7:00 pm. You can see the recorded program by clicking on this link:

https://youtu.be/efbd2V_KJAI

"Dead Trees: Why We Need Them" with Ken Bevis

Ken is an accomplished natural history educator and wildlife biologist whose entertaining environmental conservation lectures focus primarily on the birds and forests of the Pacific Northwest. His presentation will be about dead trees. Fortunately, he is very humorous and has the ability to make something as seemingly dull as dead trees exciting. He will elaborate on the many creatures that find food and housing there: slugs, bugs, and salamanders for starters. If you have ever wondered how many ways dead trees can be valuable, tune into this program.

Ken Bevis is currently the Stewardship Biologist for the Washington Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) Small Forest Landowner office. He helps landowners learn how to manage small private forest lands for the benefits to wildlife. For 15 previous years, he worked for the U.S. Forest Service, Yakama Indian Nation, and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. He was one of first biologists to look at the Spotted Owl situation in Washington.

Bird Walk Coordinator Needed!

Lane Audubon is looking for a volunteer to plan the 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.

Thanks for a Job Well Done

Thank You to Ramiro Aragon for completing a bird survey and list for a property near Cheshire, Oregon. He was helped by John Sullivan on one of the visits. The 219-acre property was designated a perpetual wetland by the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the owner requested our help in supplying a bird list. Ramiro did a great job!

 

The Mysterious Lives of Birds Who Never Come Down Except to Nest

Swifts spend all their time in the sky. Common Swifts are the big cousins of our Vaux’s Swifts and are found throughout Europe during breeding season. They fly south to Africa, to equatorial and sub-equatorial regions for the winter. What can their journeys tell us about the future?

If you’d like to know more about these mysterious birds, check out this link: nytimes.com/2020/07/29/magazine/vesper-flights.html 

Conservation Column: Anti-poaching Campaign

Lane County Audubon Society has joined a diverse group of stakeholders to fight poaching and illegal harm to wildlife in Oregon. This campaign is a collaboration among conservationists, recreationists, hunters, and landowners. We and other wildlife organizations (including Portland Audubon) believe this to be an opportunity to help protect non-game wildlife.

Stakeholder meetings include representatives from the legislature, Oregon State Police, Oregon Department of Justice, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Oregon Hunters Association, and Defenders of Wildlife among others. Recently passed legislation authorized the Oregon Department of Justice, State Police, and Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) to work together to fight poaching. New legislation increased fines and restitutions for fish and wildlife crimes. Funding was made available to support the Stop Poaching campaign. 

Numerous illegal bird-killing reports over the years have included Bald Eagles, Red-tailed Hawks and other raptors, swans, crows, and Red-winged Blackbirds.

Book Review: "This Land – How Cowboys, Capitalism, and Corruption are Ruining the American West"

--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. 

Conservation Column: Diseases Respect No Boundaries

I hope that everybody is safe and well as we deal with this devastating pandemic. Turns out that many of the conservation issues that have been on our radar for years are associated with pandemics. Zoonotic (zōe’nätik) diseases are caused by pathogens that jump from other species to us. They can be particularly problematic because we have no previous immunity.

Armchair Birding

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.)

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