December 2017                                                       

Upcoming Events
For more details see our Calendar of Events   or visit
Sat, Dec 16, 9am
Swannanoa Valley Birdwalk

Sat, Jan 6, 9am
Beaver Lake Birdwalk

Sat, Jan 13, 9am
Jackson Park Birdwalk

Sat, Jan 20, 9am
Swannanoa Valley Birdwalk.

Content Editor: Marianne Mooney,
Technical Editor:  James Poling,

For the latest schedule and any changes:
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The National Audubon
Snowy Owl
Glenn Bartley/VIREO
Society condemned the passage of the Senate tax bill which included a provision opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling. Last month, 37 leading Arctic wildlife scientists united to oppose drilling in the Arctic, making it clear that wildlife and oil drilling don't mix in the Refuge. 

More than 200 species of birds, including the Long-tailed Duck, Snowy Owl and Northern Pintail, depend on the Arctic NWR. Many migrate through six continents and all 50 states to breed in the Refuge. The Refuge is an iconic American treasure on par with the Grand Tetons, Yellowstone and Yosemite. It was first protected by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and leaders from both parties have worked together for generations to stop attempts to open the biological heart of the Refuge-its pristine coastal plain-to oil and gas drilling. 

Audubon is asking its 1.2 million members and supporters to contact their members of Congress and urge them to protect the Arctic Refuge from future development. Please go to this Audubon link to send a letter to Congress or, even better, call the offices of North Carolina's senators directly. Here's a link with both their emails and phone numbers at the NOW website

Thank you for taking action!

by Rick Pyeritz

"Paleontology is simply the biology of the past, and a fossil animal differs only in this regard from a stuffed one, that the one has been longer than the other, for ages instead of days."
---T.H. Huxley

The study of old bones can be a remarkably dry undertaking. It behooves us from time to time, however, to study the past of any animal or plant to see what we might learn about the future. How did the current remarkable diversity of birds arise? What do we know about the early ancestors of today's birds? Did birds really evolve from dinosaurs?  Follow this lin k if you would like to go back in time 150 million or so years ago to find out what was going on in the avian world.
EMAS Promotes Bird Conservation 
at Coffee Expo

The Asheville Coffee Expo was the place to be for all who love coffee - and birds! Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society president Tom Tribble, and board members Monica Schwalbach and Steve Yurkovich shared information about the value of shade grown coffee with event-goers. We met several of our current coffee roaster partners at the event, including Dynamite Roasting Co., Biltmore Coffee Traders, Green Sage Café, Hickory Nut Gap Farm and SRO (Shade Roasted Organic). We also made connections with new shade grown coffee partners there. These include Crooked Door Coffee House and Ingenious Coffee (Marion), Tribal Grounds (Cherokee), Independent Beans (Hendersonville) and Drakes Coffee (Asheville).

EMAS is working with local coffee purveyors to promote the benefits of shade grown coffee for bird conservation. Shade grown coffee provides important winter habitat for neo-tropical songbirds that nest in western North Carolina. Shade grown coffee and cacao plantations with native trees and shrubs have four times the bird diversity than open "sun" plantations. Increased shade, tree density, and more flowering trees in the upper canopy of these forests result in more birds and more species. For people who love birds and coffee, choosing shade grown coffee is one of the most important things you can do to support these migratory birds.

Please check our website for more information about our current and new shade grown coffee partners!
treework Tree Work at BLBS

EMAS would like to acknowledge our gratitude to Scott Kraft of Arborcare. a local tree company. Scott removed a dead Sycamore tree from the BLBS parking lot and did the work pro bono. This is the second time that he's donated his service to EMAS and we are very grateful to him. A Chestnut tree from the American Chestnut Foundation will be planted in place of the Sycamore.

Thanks also go out to Ed Isbey, Terry Lee and Doug Johnston for their help in removing the tree debris. I appreciate all our volunteers do to help maintain the Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary for birds and birders.

Tom Tribble

Text and Photos by Jay Wherley

The variety of avian
Golden-crowned Kinglet
life observable at Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary, even in winter, might surprise you. From the tiny Golden-crowned Kinglet (4 inches long, 6 grams) now being seen, to 2016's Tundra Swan (4 feet 4 inches long, 6600 grams) - it is an amazing panoply.

Tundra Swan
Different duck species have been reported in small numbers so far this season, including Ring-necked, Bufflehead, Red-breasted and Hooded Mergansers, Redhead, and Ruddy Ducks. Birders are still hoping for more numbers and variety in upcoming weeks.

You may notice dredging work in the Eco-Filter pond. This periodic maintenance keeps that engineered wetland in operation preventing more sediment from entering Beaver Lake and the French Broad River.

Notable recent sightings at Beaver Lake include Orange-crowned Warbler, Great Egret, and Redhead.
Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society | | PO Box 18711 Asheville, NC 28814