October 2017                                                                   emasnc.org

Upcoming Events
For more details see our Calendar of Events   or visit emasnc.org
Tues, Oct 17, 7pm
The Ecology of Wood Warblers
Reuter Center, UNCA

Sat, Oct 21, 9am
Swannanoa Valley Birdwalk

Thur, Oct 26 5:30pm
Birds and Brew

Sat, Nov 4, 9am
Beaver Lake Birdwalk

Thur, Nov 2, 7pm
EMAS Board Meeting

Sat, Nov 11, 9am
Jackson Park Birdwalk

Sat, Nov 18, 9am
Swannanoa Valley Birdwalk

Tues, Nov 21, 7pm
Fire and Birds: Forest Disturbances and Breeding Birds in the Southern Appalachians Katie Greenberg, Research Ecologist, U.S. Forest Service
Reuter Center, UNCA

Wed, Nov 1, 7pm
Sierra Club
Methane, Pipelines, and Climate Change with Kelly Martin, Director of Sierra Club's national "Beyond Dirty Fuels" campaign. Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 1 Edwin Pl. Contact: Judy Mattox, (828) 683-2176 Free and open to the public.

For the latest schedule and any changes:
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Autumn is a time of movement; even the seasonal name "fall" implies action. Leaves are changing, birds are migrating, and issues regarding birds are popping up every day. It's more important than ever to take a little time to advocate for birds. Just pick your topic, there are many of them. Legislation on the national level is targeting the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act and the Endangered Species Act. Species specific threats include the potential for drilling in Greater Sage-grouse habitat and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Click on any of the links which will take you to Audubon or American Bird Conservancy petition pages. If you'd like to do more, writing a brief, personal letter or making a call to legislators can really go a long way. Check out this Audubon 5 Minute Advocate tutorial for some easy tips on calling or crafting a letter. After you've done your advocacy, try solving Rick Pyeritz's Endemic Species challenge. Then plan to join us for an EMAS bird walk, or a beer-you deserve one!

brew  EMAS Birds & Brews Social
Thursday, October 26th, 5 p.m.
New Belgium Brewery
Join EMAS friends and members at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 26th at New Belgium Brewery for an informal get-together. You'll have a chance to meet some EMAS board members, chat with folks, and perhaps do a little birding. We'll meet at New Belgium's Liquid Center deck overlooking the French Broad River. We can't guarantee you'll see Ibises flying past, as at this Texas Audubon gathering, but bring your binoculars anyway!

program  The Ecololgy of Wood Warblers 
Tuesday, October 17, 7 p.m. 
Reuter Center UNCAsheville 
The mountains of
Worm-eating Warbler by David Speiser
Western North Carolina are known for their spectacular spring and fall bird migrations. Many birders in the area spend each birding season nursing aching necks suffered from looking up into trees trying to find warblers. Everyone likes to see the beautiful and elusive warblers, but wouldn't you also like to know more about what they are doing while hidden behind the leaves? This program will examine the similarities and differences in ecology among a "guild" of Southern Appalachian warblers during the breeding season, including feeding and foraging behaviors, habitat, and territory characteristics.

Our presenter, Alan Smith, has lived in the Southern Appalachians since 1979. He was a Professor of Biology at Mars Hill College for 26 years and Chair of the Natural Sciences department prior to his recent retirement. Mr. Smith also served as a contract biologist for various groups including the National Park Service and The Nature Conservancy. His research interests were focused on Worm-eating Warbler by David Speiser the ecology of birds, particularly warblers, but he has also studied trilliums and native orchid species.

EMAS programs are free and open to the public. 

Simon  The Birder's Eye 
French Broad River Greenway, Asheville    
by Simon Thompson

If you haven't noticed by now, many sections along the French Broad River in Asheville are becoming pedestrian-friendly with bicycle and walking paths, benches and interpretative signs. This is part of Asheville's Greenway plan which is destined to become a maze of trails and paths that has been likened to a map of the British Underground train system in London. A full plan can be accessed here: Asheville Greenway Master Plan. 

Baltimore Orioles sing
Osprey by Simon Thompson
their whistling songs from the tall sycamores; Indigo Buntings warble from the vine-covered slopes and a handful of Yellow and Yellow-throated Warblers nest along the river. Wood Duck and Osprey are regular visitors and Cliff Swallows nest under many of the bridges. It may be during migration that Greenways may be the most profitable for birding. Warblers, such as Cape May, Tennessee and Black-throated Green move through the stands of River Birch and Sycamore and the thickets of Dogwood and the invasive Porcelain Vine attract migrant thrushes, tanagers and grosbeaks. Birders have not done a lot of work along the Greenway system, but I am sure that within the next few years, birding along the Greenway system will be as popular as in many of our other local birding hotspots. 

Several sections of the Greenway have already been finished and it's possible to walk from French Broad River Park along the river to Carrier Park and continue on to Hominy Creek Park. A section has also been finished from New Belgium Brewery that will link to French Broad River Park. Work is also starting on several sites across the river offering a multitude of opportunities for leisure in Asheville. Full details are on the EMAS website at: https://www.emasnc.org/local-birding-sites

Simon Thompson
Ventures Birding Tours

  Birdnotes  Bird Notes 
by Rick Pyeritz

This issue of Bird Notes
will be different than any I have written before. You, the reader, will be involved, if you wish, in a contest to test your knowledge and curiosity. This contest is a challenge to correctly name all the endemic bird species which occur in the continental United States. The winner will be awarded a PRIZE of a gift certificate for a one-day Ventures Birding Tours outing of your choice. If you are interested in participating in the contest, follow this
Text and Photos by Jay Wherley

Have you participated in a guided bird walk at Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary yet? It's one of the best birding experiences in the area and fall is one of the most exciting times of the year to observe birds. At the bird walk, an experienced local birder (or two) will lead the group around the sanctuary while pointing out various birds seen and/or heard. Fall and winter bird walks begin at 9 a.m. on the 1 st Saturday of the month. All you'll need to bring is a pair of binoculars. Other EMAS-sponsored bird walks are scheduled throughout the month at other sites. Check this newsletter's events section and the "Go Birding with Us" page at the EMAS website: emasnc.org. All bird walks are free and open to the public, no reservations are necessary.  

In October, migrating warblers can still be seen in the sanctuary. Thrushes are also passing through, and the winter sparrows are arriving. A Lincoln's Sparrow may make an appearance during the next bird walk; one was observed on Oct 6 th, 2016. A Marsh Wren could also be a possibility; one was spotted on Oct 8 th 2016. Winter season birds, such as Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers and Ruby-crowned Kinglets, are already appearing. With the low water level in the lake, there are still chances for interesting shorebirds. A Wilson's Plover has continued to hang around the exposed mudflats on the East end of the lake. 

Notable recent sightings at Beaver Lake include Olive-sided Flycatcher and Mourning Warbler. 

Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society |  elishamitchellaudubon@gmail.com| PO Box 18711 Asheville, NC 28814