October 2016                                                                                    emasnc.org

Upcoming Events UpcomingEvents
For more details see our Calendar of Events   or visit emasnc.org

Sat, Oct 15, 9am
Black Mountain Birdwalk

Tue, Oct 18, 7pm
EMAS program
"Birding in Morocco" 
Reuter Center, UNCA

Tue, Nov 1, 7pm
EMAS Board, Reuter Center, UNCAsheville

Sat, Nov 5, 9am
Beaver Lake Birdwalk

Sat, Nov 12, 9am
Jackson Park Birdwalk

Tue Nov 15 7pm
EMAS program with
Mark Hopey of Southern Appalachian Raptor Research.

For the latest schedule and any changes:
Like us on Facebook
Enjoy this

The Chimney Swift
Photo by JPoling
is Audubon NC's 2016 Bird of the Year. In our last issue, we reported on the Chimney Swift towers recently built in Black Mountain. Here is more news. According to Audubon NC, Chimney Swift populations are decreasing steeply and the swifts are now listed as "near threatened. To compound the problem, many chimneys are being capped or removed, leaving fewer places for swifts to nest, raise their chicks and to roost.
Here are some things Audubon NC suggests that you can do to support Chimney Swifts: 

1. Keep Your Chimney Open - The practice of capping older chimneys makes them inaccessible to swifts. One solution is to cap the chimney in November and open it up again in the spring or simply keep your chimney open. Chimneys with metal liners are too slick for swifts, so older chimneys with brick linings are important. 
2. Report nesting and roosting Chimney Swift sightings at Audubon NC or at eBird.org. The more we know about Chimney Swift roost sites, the better we can protect them. 
3. Construct A Chimney Swift Tower - Provide more nesting habitat to your neighborhood swifts. 
4. Save Roost Towers --Be proactive. Scout for chimneys used by swifts and contact folks in charge before plans are made to tear the chimney down. Offer to give a brief presentation, provided by Audubon NC, to a group of people connected with the building. To learn more, visit http://nc.audubon.org/news/take-swift-action-help-urban-bird.

Thanks and good birding!
EMASSeptemberprogram   Birding in Morocco
Tuesday October 18, 7pm
Reuter Center, UNCAsheville

Black-eared Wheatear 
by Doug Johnston
Grab your fez and join EMAS for an exciting "virtual birding" tour of the North African country of Morocco with Simon Thompson. Morocco has a surprising diversity of habitats, from rugged mountains and Mediterranean beaches to cloud forests and Saharan deserts. Bird diversity is high as well with over 400 species listed. Last March, three Elisha Mitchell members took an exploratory trip there. Doug Johnston, Tom Tribble and Simon Thompson spent the better part of three weeks in this fascinating country, racking up over 200 species of birds. They toured the Atlas Mountains and the deserts of the south with a birding guide, then explored the northwest region on their own. According to Doug Johnston, "the main reason I had always wanted to visit Morocco, is that you can see high snowy mountains, hot sandy deserts, and wild sea coasts all in the same relatively small country. It is also the only North African country I can think of that is still safe and easy to travel around." With birds like the Pharaoh Eagle-owl and the Bald Ibis, we guarantee you a birder's eye view of Morocco at this fun program.

Originally from Suffolk, England, Simon Thompson has resided in North Carolina for over 10 years. He has lived in Lebanon, Kenya, Yemen, and Ghana, where his interest in birds and natural history began. In addition to traveling extensively in the United States, Simon spent six months in China studying the crane and birds of prey migration as a member of the British "China Crane Watch" expedition. As director and originator of Ventures Birding Tours, Simon has led birding trips all over the world.

All EMAS programs are free and open to the public.

Birdnotes Bird Notes by Rick Pyeritz

(Continued from last month) Saturday March 14th, 1993 - 3 PM - The storm had lost its fury. Many trees and limbs down. Power still not on. Huddled by the fireplace which has consumed much of the season's remaining firewood. Lots of activity at the bird feeders. Only one dead robin, which was amazing considering the ferocity of the storm. How do birds keep from becoming hypothermic and dying? As I discovered a few days later, most birds do become hypothermic --- that is only one of the many ways they survive during times of cold stress. If you would like to find out about some of the adaptions birds use to survive the cold of winter click the link for this month's article.
Lenk  Book Corner

A new book just out in October should be of interest to birders. Its author is J. Drew Lanham, a native of Edgefield, SC, and an Alumni Distinguished Professor of Wildlife Ecology and Master Teacher at Clemson University. Dr. Lanham is a birder and naturalist, and he's also in a very small minority of black birders. He's previously written a somewhat serio-comic essay, 9 Rules for the Black Birdwatcher. But in his new autobiography, he writes honestly about his love affair with birds and nature. Helen Macdonald, author of H is for Hawk says that "The Home Place is a groundbreaking work about race and the American landscape, and a deep meditation on nature, selfhood, and the nature of home. It is thoughtful, sincere, wise and beautiful. I want everyone to read it." Lanham himself considers "conserving birds and their habitat a moral mission that needs the broadest and most diverse audience possible to be successful."
beaverbits  Beaver Bits
Text and Photos by Vin Stanton

The Painted Skimmer is a colorful, uncommon dragonfly at BLBS. The females and males are similar. Note the black or brown spots on the wings and the orange veins on the leading edge of the wings. Length is 1 1/5 inches. Flight period is late April through July.

The Twelve-spotted Skimmer  is a common dragonfly at BLBS that can be found May through September. The male (pictured) has black and white spots on the wings, the female has brown or black spots. Easy to i.d. by counting the black spots. Length is 2 to 2 1/2 inches.

The Little Yellow Butterfly is uncommon at BLBS. The image is a ventral view of a Female. A dorsal view would show a mainly orange wing with black edging. Wingspan is roughly 1 1/2 inches

Photo by Doug Johnston
Vesper Sparrow is an uncommon sparrow seen mostly during the spring and fall migration at BLBS. This sparrow is lighter brown than the more common BLBS sparrows. I.d. marks to note are the white eye ring and white outer tail feathers.
Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society |  emas@emasnc.org | PO Box 18711 Asheville, NC 28814