April 2016                                                                                    emasnc.org

Upcoming Events UpcomingEvents
For more details see our Calendar of Events   or visit emasnc.org
Sat, Apr 16, 9am 
Black Mountain Birdwalk 
Fletcher Park Birdwalk

Tues Apr 19, 7pm
EMAS Monthly Program The Nature Conservancy of WNC, The Reuter Center UNCA

Tue, May 3, 7pm
EMAS Board Meeting at The Reuter Center, UNCA

Sat, May 7 8am
Beaver Lake Birdwalk

Sat, May 14, 8am 
Jackson Park Birdwalk

Sat, May 21, 8am
Black Mountain Birdwalk
Fletcher Park Birdwalk

For the latest schedule and any changes:
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Elisha Mitchell
Scarlet tanager in oak tree Asheville backyard bird sighting
Audubon 
is excited to announce that we are establishing a demonst ration Bird-Friendly  Garden at the Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary. The garden will be at the entrance to the Sanctuary near the gazebo. As a couplement to the existing trees, the garden will be planted with native perennials and shrubs that support birdlife by providing seeds, berries and cover. We're planning a May garden planting date which will be announced on the website and list serve. We welcome you to join us. 

The garden highlights an initiative by Audubon North Carolina to promote planting for birds to counteract loss of habitat and the impacts of climate change on birds. A study by the National Audubon Society confirmed that climate change is the single greatest threat to North American birds. We can all help by reducing our carbon footprint whenever possible. But another way to help is by planting native plants useful to birds in your own backyard. A garden rich in native trees and plants will help bird populations - both residential and migratory - be more resilient in the face of climate change. As a bonus, you may reduce the amount of grass in your yard, meaning less mowing and reduced emission of greenhouse gases. 

The second way we are working to make the Sanctuary a better place for birds is by eliminating the scourge of invasive plants. Doug Johnston, the Co-Coordinator of the Sanctuary, has started an Adopt-A-Plot program. An individual selects a small plot to clear of invasives and then maintain. If you'd like to volunteer, Doug or I will provide training and help identify the invasive plants. Participants will then work on their own schedule. More than 20 people have already signed up. Help us keep the Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary a haven for birds by volunteering to "Adopt-A-Plot". Contact me  tntribble@gmail.com; 828-253-7994) or Doug Johnston  wellsteadwest@gmail.com; 828-777-9925. 

Thanks and Good Birding! 
Tom Tribble President, Board of Directors 
Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society
natureconserve  The Nature Conservancy
in Western North Carolina
Reuter's Center UNCAsheville
Tuesday, April 19
The mountains of western North Carolina feature a renowned ecological biodiversity. The conservation of this biodiversity has led The Nature Conservancy 
Bluff Mt. M. Mooney
to protect more than 160,000 acres of land within an hour's drive of Asheville. Local TNC projects include the Hickory Nut Gorge, Bluff Mountain (pictured), Grandfather Mountain, the Roan Highlands, and areas along the Green River. In the state of North Carolina, TNC has protected 700,000 acres, nearly all of which are now open to the public as state parks, wildlife refuges, and nature preserves. For years, the organization followed the mantra of quietly protecting nature. They often worked behind the scenes and in collaboration with a wide array of conservation organizations, including the National Audubon Society, to achieve remarkable results.

TNC staff from the Asheville office will talk about local land protection goals, forest restoration, and conservation focuses on species like the Golden-winged Warbler. They will also share their global conservation strategies and the investment the organization is making to protect the last great places.

Megan Sutton is Director of The Nature Conservancy's Southern Blue Ridge Program in North Carolina. She has worked for TNC since 2007, first as TNC's Stewardship Manager, before being promoted to project director five years ago. Before joining TNC, she worked for the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy as Stewardship and Conservation Planning Director. Megan oversees all of the conservation work in western NC and specializes in forest and bog restoration and management.

Mike Horak is Senior Associate Director of Philanthropy for the North Carolina Chapter of The Nature Conservancy and has worked as a major gifts fundraiser for the last 13 years. Prior to that, he was TNC's national Media Relations Director.

Free and open to the public
Birdathon EMAS Spring Birdathon!

Every spring three
Wood Thrush
by Will Stuart
teams of EMAS birders compete in a friendly Birdathon. This is chapter's major yearly fundraiser, and the goal is to raise money both for a conservation project and for a UNCA environmental studies student scholarship. This is how the Birdathon works. Each team identifies as many species of birds as it can in one day. Sponsors donate an amount per species or simply a fixed amount. The 2015 highest team count of 129 was tallied by the Beaver Lake Bluebirds and a total of $6,821 was raised by all three teams.   

This year's donations will support an American Bird Conservancy  project in Nicaragua. The project focuses on enhancing habitat for two key-note species, the Golden-winged Warbler and Wood Thrush. You can learn more about the project by clicking on this link to a Birdathon donation form. We thank you very much for your generous support. 

On May 17th, please join us at our biggest EMAS program event of the spring. Our speaker will be John Yow, author of The Armchair Birder, and the $5 admission donation will go to the Birdathon. See you there!
Birdcall   Birdcams
 
On rainy days
Eagle cam screen shot
when birders seek indoor shelter, it's fun to watch birdcams for an inside look at nesting birds. Nesting species captured on camera include falcons, owls, and even condors. One of the most popular is the President and First Lady cam in D.C. You won't be spying on the Obamas, though. You'll be watching their namesake Bald Eagles who have nested in the National Arboretum. It's amazing to see the two chicks grow as the parents supply them with a steady diet of sashimi, or fish, if you will. Put down your binos and check them out at http://www.eagles.org/dceaglecam/
beaverbits  Beaver Bits
Text and Photos by Vin Stanton

Tree swallows are early arriving migrants that nest at BLBS in the bluebird boxes near the lake. Look for them as they gracefully swoop over the lake catching insects. Body length is 5-6 inches.

The Eastern Comma is an over-wintering butterfly which can be seen on sunny warm early spring days. Notice the silver "comma" on the ventral view in the picture. Their caterpillars feed on nettles, elm and hops.

The Blue-ringed Dancer is an uncommon one inch long damselfly found at BLBS. The male has dark blue eyes and upper thorax and the last blue ring on the abdomen is smaller. The female is brown with brown, not blue, rings. Look carefully in the photo to find the damselfly exoskeleton.

One of the earliest dragonflies seen at BLBS is the Springtime Darner. Pictured is a female, notice the bluish-grey spots on the abdomen. The male's spots would be bluer. Length is 2 to 21/2 inches.
Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society |  emas@emasnc.org | PO Box 18711 Asheville, NC 28814