Cape Arago Audubon Society, Coos County, Oregon

Our mission is to promote appreciation and understanding of the birds and natural environment of Coos County through education, field trips, and local restoration and conservation projects that enhance our community.

January 2016

The Coquille Valley CBC, including Bandon, is conducted annually on the first Saturday in January, the 2nd, 2016. We generally have the second highest number of species in Oregon following Coos Bay. Harv Schubothe is the compiler and everyone is invited. Experienced leaders who have led teams in one of the twelve areas in the circle in the past are assigned to lead teams in one of the areas again. All other participants from beginner to intermediate to advanced birders are then assigned to each of the teams. Again, the effort is a day-long commitment from dawn to nearly dusk. For those unable to get out in the field, it is possible to count birds in the yard or neighborhood. Those interested in participating can contact ninerharv2@msn.com.

The Curry County - Port Ordford Area - Christmas Bird Count led by our sister Kalmiopsis Chapter Audubon will happen on Sunday 3 January, 2016. Contact Tim Rodenkirk timrodenkirk@gmail.com or Ann Vileisis annvil@earthlink.net beforehand for info.

CAAS Chapter Meeting - Wednesday January 13, 2016 7 pm

The Cape Arago Audubon Society continues its regular second Wednesday meetings on January 13, 2016 at the 7 Devils Brewery in Coos Bay at 7 PM. This month’s program will be “Matson Creek Wetland and Fisheries Restoration: The Nexus of Public Water Supply Management and Environmental Stewardship.”

Shannon Souza will be the presenter on this restoration project in the Catching Slough area. Ms Souza is a designer of alternative energy systems for Sol Coast. Shannon specializes in alternative energy system design, water rights examination, and project management.

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Past events

Birding 2015 - February 2016 

THINK WINTER IS TIME TO SLOW DOWN, ADVENTURE FROM YOUR ARMCHAIR, AND DREAM OF WARMER WEATHER OUTINGS?  THINK AGAIN! THERE ARE A LOT OF GREAT BIRDING AND RELATED ACTIVITIES HAPPENING ON AND NEAR THE OREGON SOUTH COAST IN THE NEAR FUTURE!  CHECK OUT THESE ACTIVITIES, AND MARK YOUR CALENDARS NOW! 

December 2015

Umpqua Valley Audubon Society Umpqua River Estuary Boat Trip Sunday December 6th 

Two spaces open (as of 11/22)- hurry! For more information:  www.umpquaaudubon.org.

CAAS Chapter Meeting - Wednesday December 9, 2015 7 pm

The Cape Arago Audubon Society begins its regular second Wednesday meetings on December 9, 2015 at the Coos Bay Library at 7 PM. Our first program will be “Birding Tanzania: A Small Part in A Big Year” featuring Harv Schubothe and Kelle Herrick.

Harv and Kelle will be sharing their adventures in Tanzania where they joined Noah Strycker in his 2015 year-long quest to find 5,000 different bird species in his travels around the world. Noah and Harv encountered 387 different bird species in Tanzania and many are captured in Kelle’s spectacular photography.

The Cape Arago Audubon Society is the local Coos County chapter of the National Audubon Society with monthly programs at various locations throughout the county. There also are monthly field trips to birding hotspots throughout the area and beyond. We also work on restoring and maintaining bird habitat throughout the county. 

For more information, call (541) 297-2342

Our next CAAS Birding field trip is Saturday Dec 12. Join us for a fun time! Meet at 8:30 AM at the Millicoma Marsh or 8:00 AM at the Coos Bay Library parking lot SW corner to carpool. The gravel road is not recommended for parking. Instead park above the Marsh. For directions or other info, see above link to Local Birding, or call Tim Rodenkirk 541-269-4696.           

Pacific Flyway Shorebird Survey, Coos Bay December 17, 2015

The Pacific Flyway Shorebird Survey (PFSS) is looking for citizen science volunteers to conduct shorebird surveys. The Pacific Flyway Shorebird Survey is a multi-partner project, led by Point Blue Conservation Science; the survey depends on citizen science effort to help protect shorebirds and wetlands all the way from Canada to Mexico. This year Klamath Bird Observatory is assisting with the coordination of surveys at Coos Bay, Oregon.

Time Commitment: ~1-2 days:
1. Review: Learn the protocol and training techniques
2. Scout: Become familiar with your site; make sure you know the access points and how long it will take to cover the area.
3. Survey: One survey on December 17th, 2015 from 11:30am-1:30pm
4. Data Entry: Surveyors will enter their data online into the California Avian Data Center.

The best candidates for the project will:
1. Be confident with their shorebird identification
2. Have their own binoculars and scope (some scopes are available to borrow if needed) and possess reliable transportation
3. Be physically able to walk long-distances carrying a scope and tripod in muddy and often inclement conditions
4. Be willing to follow a protocol to count birds
5. Be comfortable entering data online into California Avian Data Center
6. Have a passion for and dedication to shorebird conservation.

For more information about PFSS please visit www.prbo.org/pfss.
If you would like to participate or have any questions please contact Ellie Armstrong, at eea@KlamathBird.org 541-201-0866 ext. 5. 

Umpqua Valley Audubon Society  Birder's Night, Thursday, December 17th

Mercy Community Education Bldg. Room #3 (2nd Floor), 
2459 NW Stewart Parkway, next to the Parkway Mobility & Medical Supply
(at the SW corner of NW Stewart Parkway and Renann St. between Del Taco and McDonalds). 
6:30 pm unstructured social time (or earlier if you want to help set up)
7:00 pm open sharing time (stories, sightings, photos, video, artifacts, journals, art, quizzes, questions) UVAS has acquired a new projector so looking at photos and video is much more enjoyable!
7:30 pm Christmas Bird Count Refresher for the Roseburg/Sutherlin CBC Dec. 19th. Even if you are unable to participate in the CBC, everyone is welcome for this review of our local winter birds!
8:15-8:30 pm close up

We are encouraging people to bring in bird-related books or other literature to give away or share. There will be free Oregon Birds magazines. If you would like to borrow a beginner spotting scope contact Matt Hunter at matthewghunter@gmail.com

You may bring something to eat or drink for yourself and/or to share if you like. No red, carpet-staining liquids, please. Questions? Call Matt Hunter 541-670-1984.

There will be two Christmas Bird Counts (CBCs) in Coos County this year. The first, on Sunday, December 20, is the Coos Bay CBC which includes the Bay Area through Charleston and the South Slough. The second, to be conducted on Saturday, January 2, is the Coquille Valley CBC which includes the area between Bandon and Coquille going as far north as 7 Devils Road.

The Coos Bay count is done biannually and is being conducted this year on Sunday, December 20. Tim Rodenkirk is the compiler for the count that generally sees the largest number of species of all the counts done in Oregon. While the CBCs are open to all, Tim generally encourages beginners to come on his monthly Cape Arago Audubon field trips first; these are slower-paced and easier to learn birds on rather than on the CBC day. The CBC is an all-day rain or shine event. We expect participants to hang in there and do their area regardless of weather conditions (otherwise areas of the circle would be overlooked). Because of the large area each group tries to cover, it is pretty fast paced and with not much time for beginners to figure out which bird is which. Tim always has an open invitation to come on field trips that he leads for Cape Arago Audubon - generally the Saturday after our monthly meeting (rain or shine). Tim can be reached at garbledmodwit@yahoo.com.


King Tides citizen science photo project December 23-25, 2015
Help out this citizen science project by taking a photo of King Tides  -- the most extreme tides of the year-- at the highest point on these days. Such photos can help more people grasp the significance of the increased tidal surges that are expected to become far more common with climate change. Photos that show the location of the tide in relation to the built environment (roads, seawalls, buildings) are especially useful in demonstrating impending threats. The ideal photo would be taken from a location where the photographer can return later at an ordinary high tide to take a comparison shot. 

Participants can post photographs online through the King Tide Photo Initiative website, http://www.oregonkingtides.net/  where project information and the online submission form can be accessed. Be prepared to include the location, date, description, and direction of the photo.

This project is sponsored by Surfrider, Coastwatch and Oregon’s Coastal Management program.  For more info, contact: Fawn Custer, CoastWatch, (541) 270–0027, fawn@oregonshores.org Andy Lanier, DLCD, (541) 934–0072, Andy.Lanier@state.or.us
or Ryan Cruse, Surfrider, (503) 729–7471, rcruse@surfrider.org

The first ever Reedsport Christmas Bird Count will happen on Wednesday 30 December, 2015. Contact Matt Hunter for info: matthewghunter@gmail.com

CAAS Chapter Annual Membership Meeting - Wednesday November 11, 7 pm

Birders in and near Coos County should mark their calendars for the annual membership meeting of the local National Audubon Society chapter. The Cape Arago Audubon Society will be meeting on Wednesday, November 11th at the Community Center in Bandon at 7 PM. This meeting is open to the public and all wishing to get involved in birding activities in the area are encouraged to attend.

Birding activities for the coming year will be discussed. This includes monthly field trips to locations throughout Coos and Curry counties as well as monthly programs on issues and topics of interest to birders. Details on planned National Audubon activities will also be outlined including Christmas Bird Counts, North American Migration Counts and Backyard Bird counts.

Come join fellow birders from around the county at this information-packed get together. For more details, call Harv Schubothe at 541-297-2342.

Birding Field Trip - This Saturday October 24, 8 am

The Cape Arago Audubon Chapter field trip for this month will be this Saturday on the north spit of Coos Bay. Tim Rodenkirk will lead the trip, meeting at 8 AM at the Coos Bay library. We will bird until about 1 PM and will bird a bit around other areas of Coos Bay weather permitting. Bring snacks, water and rain gear.

Pelagic Birding Trip - This Saturday October 25, 7:30 am

Matt Hunter has put together a pelagic trip out of Charleston this coming Sunday October 25th. Matt lives in Roseburg and interested folks from there and elsewhere around the state will be coming over to the coast.  There was still space left the last we heard. The cruise is planned to run from 7:30 to 5:30 (10hrs.) and the cost is $120. Of course weather is unpredictable this time of year, so if it does not go, there will be a full refund. Contact Matt ASAP if you are interested:  matthewghunter@gmail.com

Learn about the California Condor - Thursday April 30, 7 pm.

The Cape Arago Audubon Society will host a presentation at 7p.m. on Thursday April 30th by Susan Haig, PhD, senior scientist for the U.S. Geological Survey, on efforts to save the California Condor.   This program will be held at the Coos Bay Library. 

Originally found along the entire west coast and beyond, the California condor disappeared from Oregon in the early 1900s. Only a captive breeding effort has saved the species from extinction.  Condors are very social and excellent parents. The current wild population of about 200 birds is intensively managed by wildlife biologists and vets. 

This intense handling is due to the birds needing to be chelated at least once a year to remove lead from their bodies, largely from lead bullets used in hunting animals that the birds then consume as carrion.  A blue ribbon panel commissioned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the California Audubon Society concluded that lead must be greatly reduced in order for the birds to survive a reintroduction to Oregon.  The talk by Dr. Haig will cover these topics and efforts to bring the birds back to Oregon in the next few years. 

Haig is a senior scientist with USGS, a professor of wildlife ecology at OSU, and a research associate of the Smithsonian Institution.  She directs research projects on recovery of endangered birds as well as recovery of Great Basin wetlands.  She recently completed a term as president of the American Ornithologists’ Union, the oldest and largest professional ornithological society in the western hemisphere. 

The event is free and open to the public.  

Spring Migration Early Bird Field Trip Saturday May 2
Tim Rodenkirk will lead an EARLY field trip to Powers and Coquille on Saturday, May 2. This is great timing for spring migration in Coos County, but the best birding is between dawn and 10 AM. So we will meet at Coos Bay Library at 6:30 AM to carpool. if you want to go on the field trip and you live near Hwy. 42 between Coos Bay and Powers, we can arrange to meet up with you on the way. Call Tim (541 260-5763) by April 30 to make arrangements.

Godwit Days, April 15-21: Travel south to Arcata/Eureka, California, in April to take part in this very popular annual birding event. It's a birding extravaganza, with something for everybody, but it fills up fast. Go to Trip Reports for an account of last year's events plus info on highlights for 2015. Or go to http//:godwitdays.org to sign up now.

REMEMBER: first Saturday of every month, the South Slough Reserve leads birding outings either in the Charleston area or at the reserve. Check their website for details.

Noah Strycker's Big Year: You've heard of Big Years. But maybe you haven't heard of this version, in which avid birder (I don't know, does avid even begin to describe it?) Noah Strycker is on a voyage around the world to see 5,000 species of birds (yes, that's five thousand) in their natural habitats. You can follow him on his blog at audubon.org.







Website last updated 3 December 2015.  If you have any questions or suggestions regarding this website, contact Larry Basch at: lbasch@uoregon.edu