September 2018                                                       

For more details see our Calendar of Events   or visit
Sat, Sept 15, 8am
Swannanoa Valley Birdwalk

Sat, Oct 6, 9am
Beaver Lake Birdwalk

Sat, Oct 13, 9am
Jackson Park Birdwalk

Sat, Oct 20, 9am
Swannanoa Valley Birdwalk.


Asheville Coffee Expo
Sat, Sept 29, 10 am-2pm
Depot Street, River Arts District. EMAS will be there to share information about the benefits of shade grown coffee for bird conservation. 

Sierra Club Thur, Oct 4 7pm Marci Spencer will present a program on the Cultural & Human History of the Pisgah & Nantahala Forests at the Unitarian Congregation of Asheville, 1 Edwin Place
7:00 p.m., U. U. Congregation, 1 Edwin Place, Asheville, NC

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

For the latest schedule and any changes:
Like us on Facebook
Enjoy this

Black-throated Blue Warbler 
Will Stuart
Going Native is for the Birds! Invasive non-native plants pose serious threats to our native plants by outcompeting them for resources, yet non-natives provide little sustenance for birds and pollinators. With the support of Audubon NC, EMAS, and other local environmental groups, an ordinance has been proposed to the City of Asheville that would encourage greater plantings of native plants on Asheville public property and would require that any new plantings of invasive non-native plants be prevented. In North Carolina, Winston-Salem and Moore County have passed similar ordinances. The planting of native plants on public land can help offset the escalating losses of natural habitats that are such a threat to birds. 

Asheville does not have any invasive, non-native plants on its "Preferred Species" list, but as a member of the Public Works Department pointed out at a recent Asheville Tree Commission meeting: "Preferred means just that - it is not mandatory." An ordinance would make this native plant proposal law, and would help protect Asheville's environment for birds, flora and fauna. 

The proposed ordinance has been recently revised to be more comprehensive and submitted again to the Asheville Tree Commission for approval. If it passes that hurdle, the Commissioner will send it through the channels of local government before it is presented to the City Council. We will keep you informed of its progress through this process. I hope you will join us in letting the City Council know that you care about our birds' environment and that you support the passage of this ordinance. (To read Cathy's full article, click here.) 

Cathy Walsh 
Blue Ridge Naturalist EMAS Board Member at large Audubon Ambassador
emasprog  "Update on Nantahala & Pisgah 
 National Forest Plan" 
 Tuesday September 18, 7 p.m. 
 Reuter Center, UNCA

This fall the US Forest
Golden-winged Warbler 
by Alan Lenk
Service will release an updated draft of the Nantahala/Pisgah Forest Management Plan. The Plan is very important as it will guide the future of the 1.1-million acres of the two national forests for the next 15+ years. Historically, the WNC forests focus centered on timber management but now forest management plans include decisions about wilderness, water quality, wildlife, and endangered species. Audubon NC has provided input on the plan to ensure that habitat needs are met for threatened birds like the Golden-winged Warbler. Citizen involvement and dialogue is a vital part of the process and the Draft Forest Plan will be available for comment from the public this fall. To understand what the draft plan entails, Josh Kelly, Public Lands Biologist for MountainTrue, will talk about the content the Forest Service has released to the public so far. He'll also discuss the draft Environmental Impact Statement for the plan. And most importantly of all, he'll show the importance of how public input can make a difference in the final outcome of the plan. 

Josh is a native of Madison County and a lifelong resident of North Carolina. Josh received his bachelor's degree in biology from UNC-Asheville in 2003, where he studied the botanical diversity of the Southern Blue Ridge and the Pakariama Mountains of South America. In his professional life, Josh has worked to protect and restore the public lands of the Southern Appalachians for the Southern Appalachian Forest Coalition, WildLaw, and MountainTrue. At MountainTrue, Josh monitors logging and development issues on public land and provides site-specific, scientific information to promote ecological restoration and oppose ecologically damaging management. 

EMAS programs are free and open to the public.

by Rick Pyeritz

They know the tundra of Siberian coasts
And tropic marshes by the Indian seas;
They know the clouds and night and starry hosts
From Crux to Pleiades

--Frederick Peterson (1859-1938)

Last month's Bird Notes briefly reviewed why some birds leave their northern breeding areas for their winter territory in late summer and early autumn and return in the spring. Birds brave many dangers on their round-trip flight. Many do not survive this perilous migration; but most are successful. How do they find their way, especially the young birds that have not migrated before? If you would like to find out more about how birds reach their destination, follow the link.

Swift  Swift Night Out 
6:45pm Thursday, September 27th 
on the seventh floor of 
the Civic Center Parking Deck
 It's Chimney Swift
Chimney Swift  by Allan Lenk
season, an exciting time to see swirling hordes of Swifts as they gather at sunset to enter communal roosting sites. One of the most magical fall migration sights, there's nothing like witnessing the display of hundreds of Swifts circling the sky together. Upon reaching a suitable chimney, "they'll go in one by one until it looks like a vortex, like they're being vacuumed in" says Tom Tribble, EMAS president. "I've seen thousands fly into a single chimney!"

EMAS is planning our annual Swift Night Out, a Swift viewing event scheduled for dusk in downtown Asheville. We'll meet at 6:45 on Thursday, September 27th on the seventh floor of the Civic Center Parking Deck. Please check the EMAS website and like our Facebook page for updates. If you're not receiving emails from our listserv, which is a great way to find out what birds are being seen where, sign up here: 
Navigating  a River of Warblers

Mourning Warbler  by Alan Lenk
It's that time again. As you walk around your property or down at Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary, you may hear a couple of high-pitched flight notes as an unseen bird flies overhead or hear a heavy chip-note coming from some dense thickets that betrays the presence of a woodland bird. The "River of Warblers" has started to flow, and from now through October, millions of warblers (and other birds) will be passing through the Western Carolinas on their way south to their wintering grounds.

Even in August
American Redstart  by Alan Lenk
there are a few birds slowly moving downslope from their mountain breeding grounds, and it's not uncommon to find a Worm-eating Warbler feeding in the dead leaves, or a Hooded Warbler flycatching in the underbrush. It appears that many of these local birds begin to wander after breeding, or they could be non-breeding individuals moving south early. Cerulean Warblers are among the earliest warbler migrants. Most begin to move in mid- August and early September; it's rare to find one lingering until late September. Also, as far as we know, most Mourning Warblers slip through in late August and early September, but there are very few records as they are seriously sneaky most of the time.

Please read the rest of Simon's article here and take his Fall Warbler Challenge!

Simon RB Thompson 
Ventures Birding Tours

Text and Photos by Jay Wherley

Blackburnian Warbler
September brings Fall migration to Beaver Lake in full force, which means working on identification of Fall warblers. The post-breeding plumage, and almost non-existent vocalization of these birds, can confuse even experts. Some i.d. tips: 

 * We are much more likely to see Bay-breasted than Blackpoll in the Fall here. (The Spring situation is opposite). 

 * Common Yellowthroat
Common Yellowthroat
is more likely than Nashville Warbler at the sanctuary. Look for a clean yellow throat with distinct boundaries on the sides. Males may already start showing a bit of their dark mask. 

 * Northern Waterthrush is more likely than Louisiana Waterthrush in the Fall here. 

 * Both Tennessee and Orange-crowned Warblers could be seen here in the Fall. Look at the face for a broken white eye-ring on Orange-crowned vs. the long white upper "eyebrow" on a Tennessee. 

 * * * 

 Notable recent sightings at Beaver Lake include 13 species of warblers seen in the month of August - a good start to migration. 

Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society | | PO Box 18711 Asheville, NC 28814