May 2017                                                                   

For more details see our Calendar of Events   or visit
Upcoming Events
Sat, May 13, 8am
Jackson Park Birdwalk

Tue, May 16, 7pm
EMAS program:
Nicaragua: Birds, Coffee, and People

Sat, May 20, 9am
Swannanoa Valley Birdwalk

Sat, Jun 3, 8am
Beaver Lake Birdwalk

Tue, Jun 6, 7pm
EMAS Board Meeting

Sat, Jun 10, 8am
Jackson Park Birdwalk

Sat, Jun 17, 8am
Swannanoa Valley Birdwalk

Tue, Jun 20, 7pm
EMAS Program

Sat, Jul 1, 8am
Beaver lake Birdwalk

Sat, Jul 8 , 8am
Jackson Park Birdwalk
Many thanks to the volunteers who helped make the Chimney Swift tower happen!
Clifton Avery
Dan Bennett
Tom Bush
Michele Combs
Doug Johnston
Chris Kelly
Terry Lee
Glen Liming
Bill Rhodes
Aaron Steed
Jay Wherley
Special Events  

The Sierra Club will present an update from Asheville's Energy Innovation Task Force on reducing energy use in Buncombe County. Unitarian Congregation, 1 Edwin Pl., June 7, 7 p.m.
Free & open to the public
For the latest schedule and any changes:
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Enjoy this

It's EMAS Birdathon
Golden-Winged Warbler by Alan Lenk

The three EMAS Birdathon teams have binoculars, sandwiches, and full tanks of gas and are ready for the Birdathon. It's a marathon day spent birding from dawn to after-dark to raise money for bird conservation. This year we will award a $1,000 scholarship to a UNCAsheville Environmental Science student. The remaining donations will support an American Bird Conservancy project in Nicaragua aimed at increasing highland forest connectivity and creating shade-grown coffee systems for the benefit of the Golden-winged Warbler and Wood Thrush, as well as resident and other neotropical migratory birds. Please read more about this bird conservation project here. While the teams have fun vying to out-bird each other, we also do our best to raise money for conservation. We hope you will support our efforts with your contribution. Please access the application form here, print it and send it in with your check, or bring it to the May meeting. Thank you very much for your generous donation!
Nicaraguaa Nicaragua: 
Birds, Coffee, and People 
EMAS Program, Tues, May 16,  7 p.m. 
Reuter Center, UNCA
May's Birdathon
Crimson-collared Tanager
John Gerwin
fundraiser program will feature John Gerwin speaking on birds and coffee-growing in Nicaragua. An amazing total of 706 bird species occur in Nicaragua, including 190 of the 210 migratory bird species found in all Central America. BirdLife International has designated 33 Important Bird Areas there and the Golden-winged Warbler Working Group has identified many key conservation focal areas in their Wintering Grounds Conservation Plan.

Habitat deforestation in the country, mainly for coffee-growing and other agricultural purposes, poses the most significant threat to resident and migratory birds. In his program, John will discuss the coffee-growing/harvesting process and the various certifications involved for shade-grown and bird-friendly coffee. He will also highlight birds and other wildlife found among coffee farms.

John Gerwin is a research curator of ornithology with the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, where he has worked since 1988. He began co-leading ecotours to Nicaragua in 2005, along with conducting bird surveys. In 2012, he began collaborative research on the Golden-winged Warbler. John is Treasurer of Wake Audubon Society and has served on Audubon NC's Important Bird Areas Technical Committee, as Chair for the NC Wildlife Resources Commission Scientific Advisory Council, and as a reviewer for the NC Birding Trail.

EMAS programs are free and open to the public. A $5 or donation of your choice is requested only at our May Birdathon fundraiser program. Thank you!
  Birdnotes  Bird Notes by Rick Pyeritz

Regardless of whether displays are subtle or flamboyant,
the rule of thumb for courtship remains blissfully
simple: get the attention of the opposite sex and
propagate. A bashful bird would hardly make it
in the avian world.
Evolutionary law determines what is essential. 
 frivolous feature or unnecessary task is 
perpetuated in a bird's life. 
Bird, Egg, Feather, Nest by Maryjo Koch 

Have you ever wondered how the egg you ate this morning was produced? I was lucky enough as a young kid that I had the experience of being around chickens at my grandmother's farm. In the morning, I would go to the chicken coop to gather the freshly laid eggs. I was oblivious to the wondrous fact that a chicken could produce an egg in 24 hours. In fact, domestic chickens can produce close to 300 eggs per year. How do they do that? If you would like to find out, follow the link.
Prints   Buy an Audubon Print 
and Support EMAS

Bill Steiner is a local birder and field ecologist who has compiled one of the most significant private collections of Audubon prints in the United States. He is an expert analyst of Audubon prints and author of the book Audubon Art Prints: A Collector's Guide to Every Edition. Bill and his wife Peg plan to sell some of their Audubon prints and have generously offered to donate the proceeds to Elisha Mitchell Audubon to support our annual Birdathon fundraiser. Even more generously, they will match the total sales with a cash gift to EMAS. 

The Audubon prints will be on display and for sale at the May 16 EMAS Birdathon Program meeting at the Reuter Center, UNCA. Bill is offering the prints at incredibly affordable prices of $10, $25 and $50 and may offer three or four for $75. A description of the prints and an online link to view the images will be available soon on the EMAS website and Facebook page. 

Please come early to the May 16, 7 p.m. meeting to view and purchase your very own Audubon Print. At the same time, you will be helping to preserve critical habitat in Nicaragua for Goldenwinged Warbler, Wood Thrush and other neo-tropical migrants that breed here in western North Carolina.
Election  2017 Officer Nominations 
and Bylaws Revisions

The EMAS Nominating Committee will present the following slate for vote by the membership at the June 18 meeting. If there are any other nominations for the board, they will be accepted from the floor. We have an urgent need for a treasurer. If you have an interest in serving on the board, minimum two-year term, please contact Tom Tribble,

President: Tom Tribble, Vice-President: open, Secretary: Susan Hudson, Treasurer: open, At-large nominees are: Bethany Sheffer, Marianne Mooney and Nancy Casey. There will also be a vote on a revision of the EMAS Bylaws regarding board member terms. Please click here to review the changes, as well as to read the bios of our new board candidates.
Text and Photos by Jay Wherley

Thanks to a grant from Wildlife Rehabilitators of North Carolina, along with your donations to EMAS, a new "Chimney Swift Tower" has been installed in the meadow at Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary. These "pseudochimneys" can serve as both nesting and roosting locations for Chimney Swifts. Loss of chimneys and natural roosting habitat (large hollow trees) has led to a 50% population drop since the 1960s for Chimney Swifts - which are now at a "near-threatened" level.

A large part of the construction, plan interpretation, and logistics of assembly is due to Doug Johnston's efforts. Volunteers also put in work with muscle, painting, stenciling, and interpretive signage. In the left-hand column, see the complete list of volunteers without whose help this wouldn't have happened. Many thanks to all of you!

Chimney Swift facts:
* Nests, built from twigs collected in flight, are held together with saliva
* One pair may nest in a chimney, 100's per night could roost in it in fall
* Fly all day without perching; only cling upright in the roost * Migrate 6000 miles per year round-trip to/from South America

If you see any swifts enter or exit this tower, please submit an report. 

Visit: to learn how to make your existing chimney friendly for these birds.

Notable April sightings at Beaver Lake include Golden-winged Warbler, Cerulean Warbler, and Yellow-breasted Chat.
Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society || PO Box 18711 Asheville, NC 28814