What's New

Courtesy of John Matthews

Upcoming events:

  • Mon, Feb 1 -- Annual Membership Renewal (cklck the "Support Us" tab to renew membership online or to find membership form)
  • Thur, Feb 4 -- Minto-Brown Island Park Field Trip (Dolan, Stephens and Unger)
  • Thur, Feb 4 -- Beginning Bird Class: Guidelines for finding and identifying birds (Craven)
  • Tue, Feb 9 -- Birder's Night: The Unique Birds and Habitats of Southeastern Arizona (Mike Unger and Tim Johnson)
  • Thur, Feb 11 -- Beginning Birding Class: How to use binoculars, field guides, and online resources plus the best places to see birds locally. (Craven)
  • Sat, Feb 13 -- SAS Shorts: Staats Lake, Keizer (Rich Ford)
  • Tue, Feb 16 -- Chapter Meeting: Turtles in Peril: Saving Ancient Species in Modern Times (Sue Beilke, ODFW)
  • Thur, Feb 18 -- Beginning Birding Class: Backyard birds, food and feeders, habitat, nesting and predators (Craven)
  • Sun, Feb 21 -- Ankeny NWR Field Trip (Stephens and Unger)
  • Thur, Feb 25 -- Beginning Birding Class: Some of the surprising ways birds fly and navigate when migrating (Craven)
  • Sun, Mar 6 -- Minto-Brown Island Park Field Trip (Dolan, Stephens and Unger)
  • Fri-Sat, Mar 11-12 -- Native Plant Sale (Bauman Farms)
  • Sat, Mar 12 -- Winter Wildlife Field Day at Finley NWR -- click here for details
  • Fri-Sun, March 18-20 -- Mid-Valley Yard, Garden and Home Show (Oregon State Fairgrounds, Salem)
  • Tue, Mar 22 -- Ankeny NWR Field Trip (Dolan, Stephens and Unger)
  • Sat, Mar 26 -- Exploring Raptors: Birds of Prey class (Mike Unger) -- click here for details
  • Mon, Apr 4 -- Minto-Brown Island Park Field Trip (Dolan, Stephens and Unger)
  • Sun, Apr 17 -- Ankeny NWR Field Trip (Dolan, Stephens and Unger)

See the Kestrel newsletter for details -- click here.




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Varied Thrush (courtesy of Jim Leonard)


Upcoming Field Trips, Meetings and Other Events

  • Sun, Dec 6 -- Ankeny NWR field trip (Fred Stephens and Barbara Dolan)
  • Tue, Dec 8 -- Birder's Night: Photo Sharing
  • Sun, Dec 13 -- SAS Shorts: Ankeny NWR field trip, Eagle Marsh Kiosk (Fred Stephens and Tim Johnson)
  • Tue, Dec 15 -- Chapter Meeting: please note, there is no December Chapter Meeting
  • Wed, Dec 16 -- Minto Brown Island Park field trip (Fred Stephens and Barbara Dolan)
  • Sat, Dec 19 -- Salem Christmas Bird Count 
  • Mon, Dec 28 -- Dallas Christmas Bird Count (contact Brandon Wagner, bmwboarder@gmail.com)
  • Wed, Jan 6 -- Minto Brown Island Park field trip (Fred Stephens and Barbara Dolan)
  • Wed, Dec 30 -- Silverton Christmas Bird Count (contact Roger Freeman, carrotguy55@gmail.com)
  • Sun, Jan 17 -- Ankeny NWR field trip (Fred Stephens and Barbara Dolan)
  • Tue, Jan 19 -- Chapter Meeting: Sand Rollers, Suckers and Sculpins - Exploring the Diversity and Ecology of the Willamette Basin's Native Non-game Fish (Brian Bags, ODFW)
  • Tue, Jan 26 -- SAS Shorts: Cascades Gateway Park field trip (Fred Stephens)

Check the Kestrel for details -- click here.


Thanks to local businesses! 

Salem Audubon Society wishes to thank the following businesses for their support of our chapter.  We encourage our members and friends to patronize these businesses whenever possible.

  • Capitol Subaru, Salem
  • Great Harvest Bread, Salem
  • LifeSource Natural Foods, Salem
  • Salem Electric, Salem
  • Sportsman's Warehouse, Salem
  • Terra Gardens Nursery, Salem
  • Wild Birds Unlimited, Salem




Join us online at

Salem Audubon's Facebook Page

Click here.





    From the beauty of a Wood Duck to the joy of hearing the collective calls of Canada Geese, the Salem Audubon Society is dedicated to sharing the wonders of the natural world with the entire community and supporting a healthy ecosystem.

    The Salem Audubon Society is a chapter of the National Audubon Society.  Our mission is to connect people to Nature, through education focused on birds, other wildlife and their habitats, and conservation and restoration of natural ecosystems.  To this end, we promote the enjoyment of wildlife and the stewardship of the environment with birding field trips, nature walks,  monthly meetings and a variety of traveling educational programs.  We involve volunteers in education, advocacy, conservation and restoration projects.

    Salem Audubon Society is a charitable organization qualifying as a nonprofit under section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service Code. 

    Birder's Night: a presentation on some aspect of birding, followed by an informal sharing of bird observations and questions. Meets at 6:30 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the month, September through May, held at Carrier Room of the First United Methodist Church, 600 State Street in downtown Salem.

    Our Chapter Meetings are held on the third Tuesday of the month, September through November, and January through May, at 6:30 p.m., with programs starting at 7 p.m. in Loucks Audutorium at the Salem Public Library in downtown Salem.  Various nature-related programs are presented. 

    Salem Audubon organizes 40+ field trips annually.  Programs and field trips are open to the public.  Our monthly newsletter, the Kestrel, details our monthly programs, field trips and other chapter activities. 

    For more information call the Salem Audubon Society office, 503-588-7340.


    SAS Beginning Birding Classes - 2016

    Join us for Salem Audubon Society's Beginning Birding Classes and learn some fascinating but little known facts about the birds you see every day.  The classes are designed for people who have no experience birding and for those with some experience but who want to learn more.  One-half of each session will offer specific keys for identifying at least 12 species.  As a special treat, Karen Hoyt of Sky Hunters Environmental Education will bring some of her rescued hawks, owls and falcons to the first two classes.

    The classes will meet on Thursdays, from 7:00-9:00 PM in the Carrier Room of The First United Methodist Church, 600 State Street, in downtown Salem.  The fee is $12 per class.

    Along with weekly bird identification, the classes will cover:

    • February 4 -- Guidelines for finding and identifying birds.
    • February 11 -- How to use binoculars, field guides and online resources, plus the best places to see birds locally.
    • February 18 -- Backyard birds, food and feeders, habitat, nesting and predators.
    • February 25 -- Some of the surprising ways birds fly and navigate when migrating.

    Reservations will help us plan for you but if you are not registered please feel free to come anyway.  Please call Salem Audubon at (503) 588-7340 or email laurie@salemaudubon.org and give us your name and dates you will be attending.  For more information about the classes, call Wes Craven at (503) 873-3182.


          Salem Audubon Society Nature Center Concept Drawing

    Salem Audubon Society Nature Center Update: 

    For latest news on the SAS Nature Center, see the Nature Center Update article in the February Kestrel -- click here

    A Nature Center has been a dream for Salem Audubon for more that a decade, dating back to when Mark Gehlar donated $1.35 million dollars to Salem Audubon for this purpose.  Recently, Salem Audubon has moved significantly closer to fulfilling that dream.  Links to the following documents provide information on the latest information on the Nature Center goals and accomplishments.

    • Historic White Oak Tree Removal -- On February 15, 2016, you'll start to see a few changes at Ankeny Hill Overlook, a popular spot at Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge. The work to be completed has multiple objectives: clear non-native tree species such as poplar and walnut; re-purpose the declining white oak tree; and ready the site for the Nature Center that will be constructed in 2017.  

    Unfortunately, the large oak tree that has been a dominant feature of this landscape can't be saved and is a safety hazard. An arborist examined the tree last year and it only has an estimated 10% of its leaves left and less than a 20% chance of survival. It would still have enormous value as a snag but since this is the future home of an education center, it poses a risk to visitors and school groups that frequent the site. Fortunately, a local, family-owned mill (Zena Forest Products) will help turn this tree into features you'll see throughout the new Nature Center. It is proposed to take on many important roles: an educational display, tables, a children's experience zone, flooring, and much more. Oak habitat is a rare and priority habitat type in the Willamette Valley and at Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge. White oaks are being replanted as part of the future site and habitat restoration.

    Do you have pictures of this legacy oak that you could share with us? We have some but we know there are neighbors, friends, birders and visitors out there that have captured beautiful photos of this tree and the wildlife it attracts. This tree will be an important part of the new Nature Center and we'd like to include some photos. Share pictures, comments and stories with us: willamettevalley@fws.gov.


    Board Members Wanted: 

    Interested in the future of Salem Audubon Society, the Nature Center we will build at Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge, and all our other programs and activities?   Here is an opportunity to help steer Salem Audubon down the road to our future.  The Board of Directors recently adopted a strategic plan that looks ahead to September 2016.  This is an exciting time of growth and change, and the Board needs more members to help make it happen.

     Our strategic plan has four goals:

    • Strengthen SAS leadership, increase membership and expand the diversity of residents served by strengthening core programs SAS offers and expanding the scope of programs and experiences offered and their availability to diverse audiences.

    • Build community familiarity and respect for the SAS as a nature education and nature advocacy organization.

    • Complete stepwise development of the Nature Center facility and the programs it will offer.

    • Ensure financial stability by developing long term revenue streams and increasing major donor and business/corporate support.

    To accomplish these goals we need Board members who are willing to champion selected aspects of the strategic plan as well as providing governance across all the issues that the Board undertakes.  We need energy, commitment, and skill sets related to fundraising, community outreach, project and program management, business experience, and problem solving. If you are interested or want more information, please email our administrator, Laurie Buswell, at Laurie@salemaudubon.org with your interests and contact information. 



    1) Joint Audubon Statement on the Occupation of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge --

    The occupation of Malheur NRS by armed, out of state militia groups puts one of America's most important wildlife refuges at risk. It violates the most basic principles of the Public Trust Doctrine and holds hostage public lands and public resources to serve the very narrow political agenda of the occupiers.

    To see a joint Audubon statement on the occupation, please click on this link -- click here


    2) Minto Island Conservation Area Plan

    On July 13, the City Council approved the City's Minto Island Conservation Area Plan.  Salem Audubon was represented on the Technical Advisory Committee for this Plan.  The Plan complies with key provisions of the Conservation Easement for the Conservation Area.  Salem Audubon was successful in advocating for:

    • Managing the large basin within the Conservation Area as a wetlands, providing suitable habitat for our wintering waterfowl.

    • Much information regarding native turtles has been collected by Audubon members since the draft plan was written.  Salem Audubon will advocate for a plan which includes continued monitoring of the native turtles species, numbers, and nesting habitats.

    • Mowing and other maintenance will be done according to 'work windows' calendar so it does not occur while birds are nesting.

    If any further trail development is to be proposed, it must not affect the core wildlife habitat values for which the parcel was purchased.  New information about turtles must be considered, and wildlife concerns must trump recreational desires, under terms of the purchase.  The Board recommends no further trail development.


    3) Minto-Brown Island Park Master Plan Update

    On November 27, the City Council approved a new Minto-Brown Island Master Plan.  That plan can be found here --www.cityofsalem.net/Residents/Parks/ParkTour/Documents/minto-brown-master-plan.pdf


     4) Take Action: Help Save Warblers and Other Migratory Birds

    The Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act (NMBCA): It has supported 451 conservation projects on more than 3.7 million acres of critical bird habitat, resulting in crucial progress for birds like the Canada Warbler (shown) and rapidly declining species such as the Cerulean Warbler, Long-billed Curlew, and Red Knot.

    This is the track record of the NMBCA. But Congress is now deciding whether or not to continue to fund this important program. 

    Please act today to ensure the NMBCA is able to continue important work for birds. Tell your representatives: Let's build on this conservation success by reauthorizing the NMBCA!


     Marion Soil and Water Conservation District Grant Award 

    In December, Salem Audubon was awarded a generous grant by the Marion Soil and Water Conservation District (Marion SWCD).  The grant of $795 will pay for room rental and speaker stipends for Birders' Night presentations and speaker stipends for Chapter Meeting presentations through next September.  This award will relieve our annul operating budget of these costs.  The grant was awarded through Marion SWCD's Conservation Learning Education and Resources (CLEAR) Grant program.  This program awards funding to other organizations that provide conservation education and foster natural resource conservation.