March 2017                                                                         
In This Issue:

Beaver Lake Sanctuary

Upcoming Events UpcomingEvents
For more details see our Calendar of Events   or visit
Sat, Mar 11, 9am
Jackson Park Birdwalk

Sat, Mar 18, 9am
Swannanoa Valley Birdwalk

Tue, Mar 21, 7pm
EMAS program: 
Northern Saw-whet Owls
with Marilyn Westphal and Mark Simpson

Sat, Apr 1, 8am
Beaver Lake Birdwalk

Tue, Apr 4, 7pm
EMAS Board Meeting

Sat, Apr 8, 8am
Jackson Park Birdwalk

Sat, Apr 15, 8am
Swannanoa Valley Birdwalk

Tue, April 18 7pm
EMAS program: Red Wolves: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow? Presentation by Christian Hunt from Defenders of Wildlife

Tue, May 2, 7pm
EMAS Board Meeting

Sat, May 6, 8am
Beaver lake Birdwalk

Sat, May 13, 8am
Jackson Park Birdwalk

Special Events  

Clean Energy in North Carolina 

The Sierra Club will feature an overview of clean energy in North Carolina. Find out what the future holds for both expanding solar and onshore/off shore wind energy generation. Wednesday, April 5, 7:00 p.m. at the Unitarian Church, 1 Edwin Place, Asheville. This meeting is free and open to the public.
For the latest schedule and any changes:
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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. 

EMAS is working with local coffee purveyors to promote the benefits of shade grown coffee for bird conservation. EMAS is pleased to recognize our new partners in this effort, Dynamite Coffee Roasting Company, Biltmore Coffee Traders, SRO (Shade Roasted Organic), Green Sage Café and Hickory Nut Gap Farm. Over the next few months, we will be featuring partners on our website and in local media. We will also share information about our partnership for shade grown coffee at local events in the area. 

In addition, we would like to thank Rodney Kindlund, who provided design work for the shade grown partnership, and Jane Holt who provided photographs for some of the marketing products developed for the program. 

If you like coffee, please choose shade grown coffee and support our local partners.
sawwhetowls  Observing Northern Saw-whet Owls 
in WNC 
Tuesday, March 21 at 7 p.m. 
Reuter Center, UNCA
EMAS's first program of the spring promises to be an exciting one. Retired environmental scientist and former EMAS board member, Marilyn Westphal, and her husband Mark Simpson, retired pathologist and author of Birds of the Blue Ridge Mountains, have been monitoring Northern Saw-whet Owls in the southern Blue Ridge Mountains by means of night-time calling surveys and setting up nest boxes for many years. They will share the fascinating results of their efforts at our March program. 

Although Northern Saw-whet Owls have been known to inhabit the Southern Appalachian Mountains for many years, few actual nesting records exist. Beginning in 1970, Mark Simpson began setting up nest boxes in the spruce/fir zone throughout the Black Mountains, Pisgah Ridge, and Great Balsam Mountains. Until 2015 none were known to be used by owls. In 2015 one owl nested in a box on the Pisgah Ridge and successfully fledged chicks. Then, amazingly, in 2016 five boxes were occupied, with chicks fledging successfully from four of them. Mark and Marilyn monitored the boxes regularly during the nesting period by using a tree peeper camera, and by setting up motion-activated cameras at each nest to monitor night-time behavior. In their presentation, they will show many photos and videos taken during the nesting cycle. They will also discuss the data 
obtained over the nesting season, from personal observation to analysis of post-nesting box contents. Discussion will focus on owl behavior, egg production and chick growth, prey selection, and other interesting observations. 

All EMAS programs are free and open to the public. 

birdnotes  BIRD NOTES by Rick Pyeritz 

He who studies medicine without books sails on uncharted 
seas, but he who studies medicine without patients 
does not go to sea at all. 
Sir William Osler 

What could the above quote, by perhaps the most famous physician of his day, possibly have to do with birding? If I could change a few words it would read, 

He who studies birds without books sails on uncharted 
seas, but he who studies birds without watching 
birds does not go to sea at all. 

There was one famous American ornithologist, however, who was the exception which proved the rule. He seldom ventured forth into nature to observe birds, yet, he was so well respected by others that this gentleman had five birds named after him. Any guesses? Follow this link if you would like to find out more about who he was. 

beaverbits  Predicting Spring Arrivals at 
Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary
Text and Photos by Jay Wherley

The first migrants have started their seasonal returns to Beaver Lake. A lone Tree Swallow was spotted by Simon Thompson on February 17th. Returnees that can be expected as early as March include Chimney Swift, Blue-headed Vireo, Northern Rough-winged and Barn Swallow, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Yellow-throated and Black-and-white Warbler.

These predictions can be assisted using the website. The eBird "Bar Charts" feature provides a graphical view of annual sightings per week. The height of each green bar gives an indication of how widespread a species is during that week of the year at the given "hotspot" (e.g. Beaver Lake). Readers are encouraged to submit their sightings to eBird as "any contribution made to eBird increases our understanding of the distribution, richness, and uniqueness of the biodiversity of our planet."

A notable February sighting at Beaver Lake was Wilson's Snipe on February 11th seen by Diane Lombardi. No new species have been added to the Beaver Lake bird list in 2017 at the moment. The last addition to the list (currently at 209 species) remains Surf Scoter from early November.
Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society | | PO Box 18711 Asheville, NC 28814