October 2016                                                                                    emasnc.org

Upcoming Events UpcomingEvents
For more details see our Calendar of Events   or visit emasnc.org
Sat, Dec 17, 9am
Swannanoa Valley Birdwalk

Sat, Jan 7, 9am
Beaver Lake Birdwalk

Sat, Jan 14, 9am
Jackson Park Birdwalk

Sat, Jan 21, 9am
Swannanoa Valley Birdwalk

Sat, Feb 4, 9am
Beaver lake Birdwalk

Sat, Feb 11, 9am
Jackson Park Birdwalk

Special Event:  

Wednesday Jan 4, 7pm 
The Sierra Club will present "Birds around the World with Simon Thompson." Simon Thompson of Ventures Birding Tours is a world-renowned birder and tour guide leader who will give a traveling birder's view of birds of the world. 

Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville, 1 Edwin Place. 
Contact: judymattox@sbcglobal.net, 828-683-2176

Free & open to the public. 
For the latest schedule and any changes:
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Thanks to you, our active and engaged members, the Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society has accomplished much this year. You've attended our bird walks and programs, volunteered at the Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary, served on the EMAS board, contributed sightings to the list serve and stayed in touch via the newsletter. We thank you all in helping make this a productive year in which EMAS: 


  • Established a demonstration Bird-Friendly Garden at BLBS 
  • Helped install 2 Chimney Swift towers in Black Mountain
  • Conducted a successful Birdathon raising $5,500 for bird conservation and $1,000 for a UNCA Environmental Studies scholarship 
  • Gave more than 10 presentations on Bird-Friendly Gardening and the Threat of Climate Change to Birds
  •  Presented 8 fascinating nature programs to record-breaking crowds
  • Worked with Audubon NC on initiatives aimed towards helping birds thrive 
With your help, EMAS can continue to make a difference for birds. We have a lot of initiatives planned for 2017 that we can only do with your involvement. Please consider making a year-end, tax-deductible donation to Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society. EMAS relies on your donations to support our good work. We also welcome your help if you'd like to be more involved through volunteering or serving on a committee. Just email or call me. If you'd like make a donation to the chapter, click on the "Donate" button on the home page of the EMAS website (http://emasnc.org) or send a check to EMAS, PO Box 18711, Asheville, NC 28814. 

We are very grateful for your support. 

Thanks and Good Birding!
Tom Tribble, President
Board of Directors, EMAS
Birdnotes Bird Notes by Rick Pyeritz

Our day began at dawn
White-eyed Vireo by Alan Lenk
on East Ship Island, part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore, one of the barrier islands protecting the coasts of Mississippi and Alabama. First job was to unfurl the 15 mist nets placed across the island. Every half hour we would walk the path taking us by the nets seeing if any of the returning trans-Gulf migrants got tangled in the nets. First bird of the day was a feisty White-eyed Vireo. Carefully removing its legs, then its wings from the fine cotton mesh, it was free of the net and now in my hand. I could feel its fast heartbeat in my fingers. To hold a bird which had just finished a non-stop, overnight journey across the Gulf of Mexico, orienting itself by the stars, or if cloudy, perhaps the earth's magnetic field, and after losing half of its body weight, is an awe-inspiring experience. Some writers are able to put pen to paper to capture some deep meaning about birds and nature from what they experience. Their observations and reflections need to be shared over and over because we have not learned well. I believe the following two quotes are worthy of our reflection.

Man's relationship to Nature is explored in John Burroughs, The Gospel of Nature. Started as a sermon in 1912, Burroughs expanded it to a collection of 5 essays. His knowledge and love of birds is evident in most of his writings. Many consider Burroughs to be America's greatest Nature writer.
"I do not know that the bird has taught me any valuable lesson. Indeed, I do not go to Nature to be taught. I go for enjoyment and companionship; I go to bathe in her as in a sea; I go to give my eyes and ears and all my senses a free, clean field and to tone up my spirits by her 'primal sanities.'"

Follow this link to continue reading the third essay of this short work.

"Nature is a part of our humanity, and without some awareness and experience of that divine mystery, man ceases to be man," is one of the thoughts explored in the The Outermost House, authored by Henry Beston in the 1920's. The book was written while he spent one year living in a cabin on the Great Beach of Cape Cod. Beston was an excellent observer of bird behavior. Follow this link to finish reading the short paragraph which was written after he observed the unique flight of shorebirds.
AudubonNC  From Audubon North Carolina

Nearly 200 species of birds found in North Carolina are at risk because of the damaging effects of climate change. If we don't take action now, many of those birds might be gone forever. Audubon's Birds and Climate Change Report found that 1 in 5 of our birds in the continental US and Canada are at risk of suffering severe declines by 2050 without immediate action to reverse climate change. That is within our children's lifetime. But armed with this science, we have an opportunity to create a different outcome. Audubon is sounding the warning bell, and we are inviting everyone to join us. The time is now to make real and lasting change for the future - for birds, for ourselves and for generations to come.

All of Audubon's work in North Carolina to protect habitats and birds, to drive public policy and to engage citizens becomes even more important as birds are forced to make changes while adapting to the effects of climate change. It will take all of us acting together to secure a better future for the birds we care about.

Birds are stepping up once again to be our watchdog and to give us hope. Climate change can seem like such a large and daunting issue, but birds can show us the way to solutions and motivate us to change. It's not too late. Join us, and pledge to take action to help climate threatened birds. Small changes will add up to a brighter future for birds and for ourselves.
thankyouvin  Thank you, Vin!

Our warmest thanks go out to Vin Stanton, author of our popular Beaver Bits column. Sadly, after many years, this will be Vin's last column. With his photos and text, Vin kept us in touch with seasonal nature happenings at EMAS' Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary. His beautiful photos and interesting facts about birds, butterflies, dragonflies, and more were a delight to read. We appreciate Vin's sharp eye in unveiling the nature to be found at BLBS. Vin has also been a long-time volunteer at the Sanctuary and we thank him for his many contributions and hard work in helping to maintain it. Thank you, Vin, for all you've done for EMAS. 

beaverbits  Beaver Bits
Text and Photos by Vin Stanton

 The American Coot, a member of the Rail family, is a common winter resident at BLBS. If you're lucky, you might see its lobed toes or hear its raucous calls.

The Horned Grebe is an uncommon winter visitor to BLBS. Note the long neck, which is white in front and dark on the back. If you see one up close, note its striking red eye.

While watching yellow fall leaves drop to the ground, keep an eye out for the large (2 ½") Cloudless Sulphur aka the Lemon Sulphur. Pictured is a ventral view of a Female. This butterfly is common at BLBS.

Here is a little birding magic in two shots!! Now you see it, now you don't, a cryptically-colored bird blending into the tree bark. 

Brown Creeper
is an uncommon winter visitor at BLBS and the only member of the Creeper genus in the U.S. 
Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society |  emas@emasnc.org | PO Box 18711 Asheville, NC 28814