May 2016                                                                          

Upcoming Events UpcomingEvents
For more details see our Calendar of Events   or visit
Sat, May 14, 8am
Jackson Park Birdwalk

Tue, May 17, 7pm
EMAS Program featuring John Yow.

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

Sat, Jun 4, 8am
Beaver Lake Birdwalk

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

Sat, Jun 11, 8am 
Jackson Park Birdwalk

Sat, Jun 15, 8am
Black Mountain Birdwalk
Fletcher Park Birdwalk

June 21st EMAS program
If You Want to Feed the Birds, First Feed the Bugs! By Jim Costa, Executive Director of the Highlands Biological Station and Professor of Biology at Western Carolina University
Additional Events
Wednesday, June 1, 7 pm
Sierra Club will present "Celebrating 100 years of the National Park Service in the Southeast" with author Danny Bernstein. Danny will describe discoveries she made visiting the 71 national parks in the southeast U.S. at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville. Free & open to the public.
Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary
Thanks to the following "Adopt-A-Plot" volunteers who have joined the "2016 War On Invasives" to fight invasive plants at the Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary. If you would like to sign up and take responsibility for removing invasive plants from a small area in the Sanctuary, please contact Doug Johnston (link email address) or Tom Tribble (link email address). You can recruit a partner and share a plot.

Alice Aldrich
Joyce Birkenholz
Sandra Bromble
Tom Bush
Florie Funk
Jamie Harrelson
Jarvis Hudson
Jane and Ed Isbey
Doug Johnston
Alan Lang
Terry Lee
Patti and Glen Liming
Ellen Marion
Pat McKee
Carl Nyberg
Len and Esther Pardue
Viva Pizer
Bill Rhodes
Simon Thompson
Jay Wherley
Jon Whiteside
Steve Yurkovich
For the latest schedule and any changes:
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Golden-winged Warbler 
Rick and Nora Bowers
We're excited once again to announce the Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society's annual Birdathon!  This year's Birdathon takes place in May when three teams of expert birders compete to find the most bird species in one day to raise money for conservation. While the teams have fun vying to out-do each other, birding from pre-dawn to near midnight, the larger goal here is to encourage you to donate. Some folks pick a team to support, pledging an amount per species seen, and some folks choose to donate to the Birdathon event as a whole. 

This year we are funding a $1,000 scholarship award for a UNCAsheville Environmental Biology student. The remaining donations will go to an American Bird Conservancy project in Nicaragua to increase habitat connectivity and to create shade-grown coffee systems for the benefit of Golden-winged Warblers, 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. Audubon North Carolina is actively engaged in Golden-winged Warbler research and conservation in Western North Carolina and also conducts and supports efforts to survey wintering distribution of Golden-wings in Nicaragua. 

We're reaching out to our membership to help us meet our fundraising goal of $5,000. To donate, you can find a donation form at this link as well as more information on the ABC project that the Birdathon is supporting. We welcome you to attend our special EMAS Birdathon program featuring John Yow. All EMAS programs are free and open to the public but in May we ask for a $5 donation to support the Birdathon.

Johnyow   John Yow, The Armchair Birder 
Reuter's Center UNCAsheville
Tuesday May 17, 7 p.m. 

John Yow, author of The Armchair Birder and The Armchair Birder Goes Coastal, will be the guest speaker at our special May Birdathon program. John's presentation promises, like his books, to be both entertaining and enlightening. He'll delve into the concepts behind his books and what makes them unique and of interest to both the casual and the serious birder. He'll highlight some fascinating bird species from the books, as well as insights he has discovered in the work of great bird writers past and present. Expect lots of audience participation and a birder-busting Birdsong Identification contest, with prizes! 

With the exception of a decade spent in the book publishing business, John has been a career freelance writer. He has authored a wide range of books covering everything from the highway-building industry, to global economic trends, and even golf. Watching a red-bellied woodpecker cache sunflower seeds in a cherry tree outside his window convinced him to write about something he was actually interested in. The results were The Armchair Birder and The Armchair Birder Goes Coastal, both published by the University of North Carolina Press. He and his wife, Dede, live in the woods outside of Acworth, Georgia, just north of Atlanta.
nominee 2016 EMAS
Board of Director Nominees
This year's nominees for the Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society board will be serving as At-large directors. We have five candidates who will be voted on at the June 21st general program meeting. Their bios will appear in the June newsletter. The candidates are: Jamie Harrelson, Cherie Pittillo, Monica Schwalbach, Aaron Steed, and Jay Wherley. If anyone else would like to nominate someone, please send an email to
beaverbits  Beaver Bits
Text and Photos by Vin Stanton

Wild Geranium, one of our loveliest native wildflowers, blooms in open woods from April until June. The plant is 12-24" tall and has rose-colored flowers with five petals and purplish anthers. It was used medicinally by Native Americans and early Appalachian settlers.

The Brown-headed Nuthatch is a tiny (4 ½") denizen of southern pine forests. A cavity nester, they breed in tree holes or boxes at Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary. To find one, listen for its squeaky call which sounds like a baby's toy. Both sexes look alike.

A dragonfly, possibly a Common Baskettail, emerges from its larval carcass. When water temperatures hit the magical point, dragonfly larvae leave their watery home and metamorphose into the more familiar critters we are used to seeing. Its name refers to the mass of eggs the female forms and carries like a basket at the tip of her abdomen.

Pictured is a mating pair of Double-striped Bluets. The male shows a very striking blue pattern. He holds the female by the back of the head and they remain in this "tandem" position for 15 seconds to one hour. Notice at the end of the female's abdomen she is carrying water mites which are parasites.
Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society | | PO Box 18711 Asheville, NC 28814