From Our President: Enthusiastic Volunteers Inspire Interest in Birding

classroomSpring was Event-Full for Lane Audubon, and I have several people to thank for their outreach and education efforts over the past two months!

Between April 10th and May 18th, Barb Pope and Kathy Wilson taught 13 “Audubon in the Schools” class sessions in just eight days! They reached 366 students at five different schools in Eugene and Springfield. They were helped by our five new volunteers: Janet Barnes, Rose Britton, Rachael Friese, Marty Merrill, and Bryan Ribelin. Children and teachers alike were thrilled that we came into their classes with bird specimens and art supplies so they could learn to observe and draw the bird specimens. This is an important educational program for Lane Audubon, and we are still looking for a leader to take on the coordination of this effort. We hope to keep this great program moving into the future!

April 20th was our spring “Welcome Back Vaux’s Swifts” event at Agate Hall on the UO campus. Rebecca Waterman, Nick Paget, Rachael Friese, and Debbie Schlenoff hosted the evening event. More than 200 people attended and more than 100 swifts entered the chimney. It is too bad the swifts were not present in bigger numbers, as 2,000 had been there just a few days earlier! We never know how many birds will show up, but we accomplished our goal of reaching out to the public about these fascinating little birds! Everyone had fun watching and applauded the swifts going into the chimney.

On May 3rd Rose Britton presented an “Introduction to Birding” class for an after-school student nature club at Eugene Public Library. She was helped by LaRue Rodgers, and the two of them got high praise from the Youth Services organizer for their fun, lively and interesting program. “Delightful and so valuable!” was how she described it­—Well done Rose and LaRue!

May 5th was Global Big Day 2018, and Rebecca Waterman and Nick Paget led a small group of birders on a birding extravaganza from 5:45 a.m. to 7 p.m., covering several birding spots in Lane County, including Skinner Butte, the Royal Avenue section of Fern Ridge, and Florence (see page 5). They found 133 bird species! Nick and Rebecca hope to involve more people in the Global Big Day next year.

Friends of Hendricks Park asked Lane Audubon for two outreach activities. One was a bird walk on May 6th, led by Rebecca Waterman and Nick Paget. Of about a dozen attendees, some were new birders. Then on May 20th, Dick Lamster presented a Cavity Nesting Birds informational talk at the Hendricks Park shelter. We are happy to help foster an appreciation of Hendricks Park. Thanks to Dick, Nick and Rebecca!

Our annual world Migratory Bird Day event was held May 12th, and we had a great turnout of volunteers willing to assist with this fun time. For more details see the piece on page 6. Thanks for the organizing efforts of Ron, Rebecca, and LaRue to make the day special.

To each of our volunteers who made these events happen, we say thank you for your commitment to helping Lane Audubon reach out with fun birding activities and educational programs. Through these activities we connect with each other and the community. It is important to share the love we have of birds and being in nature. Keep up the good work!