June 2016                                                                                    emasnc.org

Upcoming Events UpcomingEvents
For more details see our Calendar of Events   or visit emasnc.org
Sat, Jun 18, 8am
Black Mountain Birdwalk
Fletcher Park Birdwalk

Tue, Jun 21, 7pm
EMAS Program featuring James Costa

Sat, Jul 2, 8am
Beaver Lake Birdwalk

Sat, Jul 9, 8am 
Jackson Park Birdwalk

Sat, Jul 16, 8am
Black Mountain Birdwalk
Fletcher Park Birdwalk

Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary
Thanks to the following persons who helped plant 91 plants in the new native plant garden on Tuesday, May 31. Please contact Doug Johnston or Tom Tribble if you would like to help in future workdays at BLBS. 

Patti Liming
Jamie Harrelson
Jon Whiteside
Nancy Pellegrini
Diane Lombardi
James Poling
Tom Tribble
For the latest schedule and any changes:
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Golden-winged Warbler
Rick and Nora Bowers
The EMAS  Birdathon  campaign is still under way! This is Elisha Mitchell Audubon's major fund-raiser and we hope to meet our target goal of $5,000. This year we will award a $1,000 scholarship to an UNCAsheville Environmental Biology 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, Wood Thrush, and other neotropical migratory birds. The Golden-winged Warbler is of particular concern as it has suffered one of the steepest population declines of any songbird species in the past 45 years and is being considered for listing as an endangered species. As Golden-wings nest in the mountains of NC, we as birders feel a responsibility for their welfare.   

This year the American Bird Conservancy is offering matching funds for donations received by June 30th so please get those checks in soon! If you'd like to make a Birdathon contribution, please click here for a donation form. Since the 2010 Birdathon, our chapter has raised over $28,000 for bird conservation. We are most grateful for the generosity of our members in helping us in this cause. Thank you all very much for your support. 

bugs   
If You Want to Feed the Birds, 
First Feed the Bugs!
Toward an ecological appreciation
of insects in your garden
 
June 21, 7pm, UNCA Reuter Center

With bird populations in
House Wren
Photo by Alan Lenk
decline and natural habitats shrinking, people with a bit of gardening space are exploring options to help biodiversity. The current focus in gardening is on planting natives to support pollinators and also insects that feed migratory and nesting bird species. Jim Costa will take a "birds-eye view" of insects, exploring their tremendous importance to birds both as pollinators and protein. His talk will feature native insect ecology and its bearing on songbird populations, drawing on the themes of entomologist Doug Tallamy's book Bringing Nature Home. Jim will also look at strategies insects employ to avoid becoming bird food. Also, he'll highlight native plant species that support insect populations important to birds.

James Costa, Ph.D. is Executive Director of the Highlands Biological Station and Professor of Biology at Western Carolina University. An author of  The Highlands Botanical Garden: A Naturalist's Guide , Jim is passionate about the Highlands Biological Station's legacy and mission. Jim is a naturalist with a broad interest in insects and evolutionary biology, and teaches, writes, and lectures widely on entomology, biogeography, and the history of evolutionary biology. He is the author of four books from Harvard University Press, including one on insect social behavior,  The Other Insect Societies . Jim is also a long-time Research Associate in Entomology at the Museum of Comparative Zoology. 

All EMAS programs are free and open to the public.

nominee 2016 Nominees for
EMAS At-large Directors
At the June 21st program meeting, there will be a vote for the 2016 EMAS board At-large candidates. We have five stellar nominees this year as well as five current at-large board members who are up for re-election. The current board members are Dayna Feist, Beth Holley, Simon Thompson, Emilie Travis, and Steve Yurkovich. We are sad to say farewell to board members Diane Lombardi and Marilyn Kolton. We are very fortunate to have had them on the board and thank them very much for their contributions and support of the board's mission. Marilyn has been a long-time promoter of local birding and EMAS, and has faithfully scheduled the monthly Beaver Lake Bird Walks. Diane volunteers at BLBS and has designed our new Bird-friendly Garden. She'll continue on the BLBS committee for which we are most grateful.

Our 2016 nominees are Jamie Harrelson, Cherie Pittilo, Monica Schwalbach, Aaron Steed and Jay Wherley. For an introduction to the nominees, please follow this link  to read their bios. They're impressive and we are very happy they are all joining the board.

Please attend the June program to meet and vote on our new board members and to thank our out-going board members for their service.
birdathon  The Birdathon Team Reports

The EMAS Birdathon teams have completed their missions to see or hear as many bird species as possible in one 24 hour (or less) period. Everyone had a great time birding their way through the wetlands, farmlands and mountains of our area. The Birdathon is a marathon that requires in-depth knowledge of birds and bird songs, birding stamina, the ability to temporarily survive on junk food, and a full tank of gas. The teams all gave it their best, getting up before dawn and birding to well after dark until they couldn't possibly add one more bird to their list. It's all great fun and for a worthy conservation cause, helping Golden-winged Warblers, Wood Thrush and other neotropical migratory birds survive. To read the exciting accounts of each team and how they ticked off their bird species, please click here

All team members would like to encourage you to support the EMAS Birdathon fundraiser. Please make a pledge to your favorite team or simply write a check to Elisha Mitchell Audubon and send to EMAS, P.O. Box 18711, Asheville, NC 28814. 

Thank you to all of our generous supporters and donors, our birding efforts would all be for naught without you. Now, the moment you've all been waiting for, this year's winning team is The Peregrines with 130 species. Read their exciting tale of their big day at the above link. Our congratulations to their team of great birders!
beaverbits  Beaver Bits
Text and Photos by Vin Stanton

Green Herons are a common nesting bird at BLBS. If you are lucky, you may see one chowing down on small fish, frogs, or an occasional dragonfly. Its call is a series of kuck's, also a loud skyow or skewk. The smallest of herons, its height is roughly 20 inches.

Cherry Scallop Shell Moths are sort of like a little brown thing but a very nice pattern of browns!! Found near willows at BLBS, its larval form feeds on wild cherry trees. Width is roughly 1 1/2 inches.

The Ashy Clubtail is a common spring/early summer dragonfly found at BLBS. A very swift flyer, it often perches on the ground, waiting to dart up and capture prey. It is roughly two inches long. 

Wool Sower Gall is a type of gall created by a gall wasp. It is the size of a golf ball and is found only in the spring near the ground on young oak saplings.
Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society |  emas@emasnc.org | PO Box 18711 Asheville, NC 28814