September 2016                                                                          

Upcoming Events UpcomingEvents
For more details see our Calendar of Events   or visit
Fri, Sep 9, 6pm
"For the Birds" by Tom Tribble at the Black Mountain Center for the Arts, Black Mountain, NC

Sat, Sep 10, 8am
Jackson Park Bird Walk

Thu, Sep 15, 7:15pm
EMAS Swift Night Out
Convention Center Garage, 74 Rankin Ave, Asheville

Sat, Sep 17, 8am
Black Mountain Birdwalk

Tue, Sep 20, 7pm
Black Bears of western NC, Reuter Center, UNCA

Sat, Sep 24, 8am
Special EMAS birdwalk
Ridge Junction, MM 355, Blue Ridge Parkway.

Sat, Oct 1, 8am
Beaver Lake Birdwalk

Tue, Oct 4, 7pm
EMAS Board, Reuter Center, UNCAsheville

Sat, Oct 11, 8am
Black Mountain Birdwalk
Many thanks to all the folks who dug in at the BLBS work day on August 13. We appreciate your help! 
Clifton Avery 
Joyce Birkenholz 
Chris Kelly 
Doug Johnston 
Patti Liming 
Glen Liming 
Diane Lombardi 
Ellen Marion 
Diane Matheson 
Esther Pardue 
Len Pardue

The Sierra Club presents an "Environmental Legislative Update: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly" on Wednesday, October 5th. Updates on coal ash, water quality, clean energy, recycling and more from the 2016 NC legislative session and what we can expect in 2017. 

7:00 p.m., at The Unitarian Universalist Congregation.
For the latest schedule and any changes:
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An amazing collaboration of some dedicated folks and The Town of Black Mountain led to the building of two Chimney Swift towers last month. It all began with Susan Cameron, a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service staff member, who enjoyed watching swifts swirl around the chimney of a local restaurant. In 2015, the building was re-roofed and the old chimney removed. This prompted Sue to reach out to Aimee Tomcho of Audubon North Carolina and Tom Tribble of EMAS for advice on how the roost could be replaced. The project gained an organizer in resident Libba Tracy who said "watching the birds swarm a chimney... offers an opportunity for people to gather and witness this marvel together." Town Manager Matt Settlemyer was inspired to support the project as a commitment to environmental preservation efforts in Black Mountain. He stated that "the Town has a long history of dedication to sustainable projects and the towers are a continuation of that effort." With guidance from Audubon staff and volunteers, as well as Chris Kelly of the NC Wildlife Resources Commission , locations were scouted and two spots judged likely to attract swifts were chosen. The towers were quickly built and hopefully will be in use next summer. 

Libba Tracy has organized a celebration in Black Mountain this September called For the Birds. Festivities include a month-long exhibit of bird art by local artists, an educational program for more than 300 local grade-school children and a reception on Sep 9, 6pm at the Black Mountain Center for the Arts featuring a talk by Tom Tribble. Congratulations to all on a wonderful accomplishment! 

EMAS' Swift Night Out event on September 15. Meet at 7:15 pm at the Convention Center Parking deck, 5th floor.

EMASSeptemberprogram Black Bears
of Western North Carolina

Tuesday September 20 7 p.m. 
Reuter Center, UNCAsheville

Join us for a special presentation on the ecology of black bears by the NC Nature Conservancy  biologist and bear expert Adam Warwick. Adam will discuss results of research on local bears and the interface between black bears and humans in Western North Carolina. 

The black bear has made a remarkable recovery in both population and range in the last four decades. Today, there are approximately 15,000 bears in the state, occupying about 60 percent of the state's total land area. Bear sightings are becoming increasingly common across western North Carolina and Asheville as bear populations grow, and as they expand their search for food and space. Human-provided foods are becoming a greater proportion of bears' diets while their natural food sources are declining. Warwick will talk about how forest health and management impacts bear populations. He will also share insights into The Nature Conservancy's efforts to restore fire to the Southern Blue Ridge landscape and how that helps reduce the bear-human conflict. And if we're lucky, he'll toss in his renowned, dramatic rescue of a drowning bear. 

Adam Warwick is the Southern Blue Ridge Stewardship Manager for the Nature Conservancy. He focuses on habitat restoration issues including supervising controlled burns, restoring mountain bogs, and addressing forest health issues. Adam has a degree in Zoology from the University of Tennessee and a Masters in Fisheries and Wildlife Science from the University of Missouri. 

All EMAS programs are free and open to the public.

 Bird Notes by Rick Pyeritz

Friday March 13th, 1993 - 9pm -- already 3 inches of snow on the ground and the wind beginning to howl --- the start of the storm of the century. Power was out. Jugs of water filled. Extra blankets added to the bed. Went to sleep early on a night W.C. Fields once said "was not a fit night out for man nor beast." Dawn greeted me with the sight of 3 feet of snow and more predicted with temperatures in the low 20's. I looked out my study window and saw there was a bit of activity at the bird feeders. I also spied a dark object in the snow. I bundled up and ventured into the continuing storm. It was a robin, quite frozen. For some reason it had not survived the harsh conditions of the storm. As I walked back to the relative warmth of the house, I heard the sweet notes of a fox sparrow. Later that morning, I reflected on the different fates of the two birds ---- one dead and one with energy to produce its wonderful song. The next two Bird Notes will deal with birds' responses to heat and cold. Click here for this month's article on a bird's ability to deal with excessive heat. 
Lenk  Photographing Kestrels at
Sandy Mush Game Lands
by Alan Lenk

In May, 2016, Alan Lenk had the opportunity to photograph Kestrel nesting boxes at the Sandy Mush Game Lands. Doug Johnston and Joe Tomcho helped set up this amazing opportunity which turned out to be a photographer's dream. To see some fantastic photos of adult and fledgling Kestrels, and to read Alan's account of how he photographed them, please follow this link.

beaverbits  Beaver Bits
Text and Photos by Vin Stanton

Silver-spotted Skippe AKA "SSS" or "Triple S" is a common butterfly at BLBS. The top view shows lovely buff markings but the easy ID mark is in the ventral position. Look for the large silver spot which is easily seen when the skipper is perched or in flight. A medium sized butterfly, its wingspan is roughly 2 inches.

Eastern Pondhawk A male and female pair are caught here in a mating position called a wheel. The male is light blue, while the female is a striking mixture of green and black along the abdomen with a green thorax.

The Dusky Dancer
is an uncommon 1 ½ -inch damselfly found at BLBS. The male, pictured, is mostly black. The female has a black and brown thorax and both display thin pale rings along the abdomen. 

An immature White Ibis was a very rare sighting at BLBS during the lake dredging in the summer of 2007. A wonderful array of uncommon to rare birds visited BLBS during the dredging. Keep an eye out for mudflats in the lake this fall.
Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society | | PO Box 18711 Asheville, NC 28814