November 2016                                                                          

Upcoming Events UpcomingEvents
For more details see our Calendar of Events   or visit
Sat, Nov 12, 9am
Jackson Park Birdwalk

Tue, Nov 15, 7pm
EMAS program
"Raptors at Big Bald"
Reuter Center, UNCA

Thu, Nov 17, 6-8pm
Birds and Brews Social & Movie, Highland Brewing Co. 

Sat, Nov 19, 9am
Swannanoa Valley Birdwalk

Sat, Dec 3, 9am
Beaver Lake Birdwalk

Tues, Dec 6, 7pm
EMAS Board Meeting
Reuter Center, UNCA

Sat, Dec 10, 9am
Jackson Park Birdwalk

For the latest schedule and any changes:
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In the latest issue of the American Birding Association's Birding Guide magazine, George L. Paul writes about a new Big Day world birding record of 431 species seen in Ecuador by a team of four highly organized birders. Wow, that's an amazing number of birds to identify in a year's time, let alone in one day, and an historic accomplishment in the annals of birding. One might wonder of the intrinsic value in undertaking such an effort. Mr. Paul answers that question with a plea for conservation. He says about birders that  "there are huge numbers of us worldwide...and we are united by our special relationship with the natural order. Let us better band together. Let us become self-aware of both our awesome power and our ethical duties. In this critical phase of humanity, we birders should constitute a virtual army, whose soldiers acknowledge a duty to preserve the integrity of all living systems."

EMASSeptemberprogram  A Mountaintop View: 
 10 years of Raptors at Big Bald
Tuesday November 15, 7pm
Reuter Center, UNCAsheville

This month's program, conducted by Mark Hopey, will be an exciting overview of hawk watching and raptor trapping from the The Big Bald Mountain Bird Migration Project.  The Big Bald Mountain Bird Migration Project is a monitoring effort operated by volunteers from Southern Appalachian Raptor Research, a local group of birders passionate about birds, conservation and education. The project encourages visitors from the public, hikers, and local schools, with a focus on educating all about the process of bird migration and the importance of stopover habitat. Raptor migration through the southern Blue Ridge is documented using hawk counts and trapping, providing a close-up view of raptor condition and a long range view of regional movement and abundance. The Big Bald Mountain habitat is also home to the Northern Saw-whet Owl, documented for the past decade using nest boxes and autumn playback trapping. The Big Bald Mountain Bird Migration Project has received funding support from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy for the past six seasons. 

Mark Hopey has assisted with the Big Bald Mountain Bird Migration Project for more than a decade. He attended UNCAsheville, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for Southern Appalachian Raptor Research.

All EMAS programs are free and open to the public.

Birdnotes Bird Notes by Rick Pyeritz

"What is a Scarlet
Photo by Jim Poling
Tanager?' mused the child, whose consciousness had flown with the wonderful apparition on the wings of ecstasy; but the bees hummed on, the scent of the flowers floated by, the sunbeam passed across she greensward, and there was no reply -- nothing but the echo of a mute appeal to Nature stirring the very depths with an inward thrill." "

The first bird that ever arrested my attention was a Scarlet Tanager which flamed through the green foliage like a vision. The fiery trail of a meteor could not have left a more indelible impression. I verily believe the sight of that tanager determined to some extent the particular bent of my mind for ornithology." Quotes from Elliott Coues

I have always been interested in what sparked people's interest in birds. Was it a person who took the time to introduce them to birding? Was it a parent who encouraged a fledging interest? Or was it, like Elliott Coues, a single bird which made a long-lasting indelible impression on his mind. If you would like to find out more about this giant of American ornithology, click on the following link.

birdsandbrew  EMAS Birds and Brews Social & Movie Thursday November 17th 6-8 p.m. 

 Highland Brewing Company 

 12 Old Charlotte Hwy Asheville, NC 28803

We invite our birding
Photo by Will Stuart
friends to raise a pint with EMAS at our Birds and Brews social on November 17 at Highland Brewery. Following a social hour, there will be a screening of
The Wood Thrush Connection, a short film about the migratory journey of a Wood Thrush. Produced by Dayna Reggero for the Climate Listening Project, the film tells the story of the partnership between NC's Forsyth Audubon chapter and Belize Audubon and their efforts to protect Wood Thrush.

A recent geotagging project by Audubon and the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center expanded knowledge about the Wood Thrush's winter range and discovered that a thrush tagged in North Carolina by Forsyth Audubon wintered in Belize-the first documented migratory path of a Wood Thrush from the state. The video features Forsyth and the Belize Audubon Society sharing stories of why they're dedicated to protecting the Wood Thrush everywhere it lives. Dayna Reggero will be on hand to introduce the film and Kim Brand, a Forsyth Audubon member and Audubon North Carolina staff member, will be on hand to answer questions. Please plan to join us! This event is free and open to the public. Highland beer available for purchase and a food truck will be at the brewery.
Kim Brand_ Dayna Reggero and Derick Hendy of Belize Audubon Society with the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary Junior Bird Club

I must say that I could not really believe my eyes! I was going through all of the warbler options and plumages in my head and nothing seemed to fit. I looked again at the bird in question, a large gray and yellow warbler that was working its way up the sunny vine tangles just off Ridge Junction Overlook. It just had to be...........I again studied the bird. Gray head, yellow underparts, white eye-ring, gray rump; everything seemed to fit. The bird was even pumping its tail as it slowly worked up through the vegetation. I called out, "Kirtland's Warbler!" That got everyone's attention. 

Kirkland's Warbler by Simon Thompson
I didn't actually find the bird. Gayle Rice and Chris Jaquette with our Ventures Birding Tours group had stayed behind while the rest of us wandered up the road to look for migrants as they poured through the gap. Gayle and Chris were discussing the identification of the bird and they couldn't agree either. Chris thought it may have been a Yellowthroat, while Gayle was mulling over the immature plumages of Magnolia Warbler. Chris texted and called us and eventually we appeared down at the overlook. Phew. We had great views for the next 5 minutes before the bird flew across the road to continue its southbound migration. We were lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. 

This was the 6th record of Kirtland's Warbler for North Carolina and the best photographed. It was certainly a day to remember. Ridge Junction is one of the most reliable and visible places along the Blue Ridge Parkway to watch fall migration. Plan to bird there next fall to see what you can find. 

Simon RB Thompson Ventures Birding Tours

beaverbits  Beaver Bits
Text and Photos by Vin Stanton

The colorfully named Halloween Pennant dragonfly is found at BLBS in late summer through Halloween! Orange tinted wings with reddish-black bars help to ID this 1 ½" dragonfly.

The Wood Duck is an uncommon visitor to BLBS during spring and fall. They breed along the French Broad so it is also possible to spot them in the summer. Their crazy coloration makes them unmistakable.

The ventral view of the beautiful Gulf Fritillary butterfly is flashier than the top view. Uncommon to BLBS, this 3" butterfly is found during late summer into fall. Its larval food plant is the passionflower vine.

Phantom Crane flies can be found near water and swampy areas. You need to look closely to find this 1" translucent beauty. The legs are hollow and the second leg section from the ends are inflated which allows the insect to drift with the wind.
Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society | | PO Box 18711 Asheville, NC 28814