What's New

Pectoral Sandpiper courtesy of Jim Leonard

Upcoming events:

  • Wed, Sep 21, 7:00 pm -- Lecture: Environmental Issues Series -- Public Lands. Salem Public Library Louck's Auditorium ($5 admission fee, Jon Yoder)
  • Sat, Sep 24, 7:00 am -- Field Trip: Ankeny NWR. Meet at Ankeny Hill Rd Overlook Parking Lot (Dolan, Stephens and Unger)
  • Mon, Sep 26, 9:00 am -- Short Field Trip: Cascades Gateway Park (Fred Stephens)
  • Tue, Oct 4, 7:00 am -- Field Trip: Minto Brown Island Park.  Meet at parking lot #3 (Dolan, Stephens and Unger)
  • Wed, Oct 5, 7:30 am -- Field Trip: Keizer Rapids Park. Meet at boat ramp parking lot (Mike Unger)
  • Tue, Oct 11, 10:00 am -- Presentation: "Water Rising." Bush Art Barn Center, 600 Mission St SE, Salem (Leila Philip and Garth Evans)
  • Tue, Oct 11, 6:30 pn -- Lecture: Birder's Night (1st Methodist Church, 600 State St); Title: "Local and Endangered Birds -- Birds as Art" (Douglas Beall)
  • Wed, Oct 12, 8:00 am -- Field Trip: Talking Water Gardens, Albant.  Meet at Salem K-Mart parking lot in front of Jack-in-the-Box. (Mike Unger)
  • Sat, Oct 15, 10:00 am -- Class: Oregon Birds -- Ducks, Geese and Swans. Held at ODFW Headquarters ($10 fee, Mike Unger)
  • Sun, Oct 16, 7:00 am -- Field Trip: Ankeny NWR. Meet at Ankeny Hill Rd Overlook Parking Lot (Dolan, Stephens and Unger)
  • Tue, Oct 18, 7:00 pm -- Lecture: Chapter Meeting. Salem Public Library Loucks Auditorium; Title:"New Hikes on the Oregon Coast (William L. Sullivan)
  • Thur, Oct 27, 8:30 am -- Short Field Trip: St. Louis Ponds. (Barbara Dolan) 

See the current Kestrel newsletter for details -- click here.



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                                           Seen at Minto-Brown Island Park Like us on Facebook - click here 

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 various aspects 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, at the Carrier Room of the First United Methodist Church, 600 State Street in downtown Salem.

    Chapter Meeting: a presentation on various nature-related topics.  Meets 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. 

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


     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.


    "Connecting People with Nature"

        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 September, 2016 Kestrel -- click here

    A Nature Center has been a dream for Salem Audubon for more than a decade, dating back to when Mark Gehlar donated $1.35 million dollars to Salem Audubon for that 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.

    • Ankeny Hill Road Overlook Site Visit -- 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, August 31, 2016.  The site visit provides an opportunity to hear and ask questions about habitat restoration work past, current, and planned for area.
    • 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; memorialize the declining/dying Oregon white oak; 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.



    1) Brown Pelican Survey -- Volunteer Opportunity

    The west coast Audubon network, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and ebird are partnering on a citizen science project conducting bi-annual Brown Pelican surveys. This fall the count will be onOctober 15 at sites along Oregon's coast.  We ask volunteer to conduct the count for at least 1 hour during a 4-hour window ending at civil twilight that day. We have targeted 17 sites along Oregon’s coast but volunteers can choose their own survey sites as well. To learn more about this opportunity visit:  http://ca.audubon.org/brownpelicansurvey.  This website includes an easy protocol to follow, preliminary results from the Spring 2016 count, as well as instructional information on how to enter the survey data directly into ebird.

    Data is being used to help better understand distribution and abundance of Brown Pelicans and track shifts in population structure.

    To confirm your interest in participating & to figure out a site that works for you, please contact Joe Liebezeit at Audubon Society of Portland (jliebezeit@audubonportland.org;971-222-6121). 

    2)  The State of North America’s Birds, 2016

    This is the first comprehensive report assessing the conservation status of all bird species that occur in Canada, the continental United States and Mexico. The report shows that more than one third of all North American bird species need urgent conservation action and calls for a renewed, continent-wide commitment to saving our shared birds and their habitats. It is a call to action to governments, private industry and the public to come together to support a beloved shared resource: our migratory birds.  See: https://www.fws.gov/birds/news/160519SOTB.php

    3) Bald and Golden Eagles at Risk

    New rules proposed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will not adequately protect Bald and Golden Eagles. Take action using the link below prior to July 5.

    See: http://www.audubonaction.org/site/MessageViewer?em_id=67681.0&dlv_id=86272&pgwrap=n

    4) Battle Creek Park Master Plan

    The City of Salem is seeking public input on a new Master Plan for the development of Battle Creek Park in south Salem.  

    For information about the planning process, upcoming public meetings and an on-line survey, click here.

    5) Minto Island Conservation Area Plan

    On July 13, 2015, 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.

    6) Minto-Brown Island Park Master Plan

    On November 27, 2015, 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

      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.