What's New

Tree Swallow courtesy of John Matthews

Upcoming events:

  • Sun, May 1 -- Salem Audubon annual Bird-a-thon begins.  You can pledge and/or collect pledges for any of the following May events.  Contact Tim Johnson (503-507-8552) for more information.
  • Sun, May 1 -- Field Trip: Camassia Preserve and Tryon Creek State Natural Area (Mike Unger)
  • Wed, May 4 -- Field Trip: Minto-Brown Island Park (Dolan, Stephens and Unger)
  • May 6-8 -- Grays Harbor Shorebird Festival (Wes Craven)
  • Sat, May 7 -- 38th Annual Mother's Day Birding and Wildflower Festival, Silver Falls State Park
  • Mon, May 9 -- Field Trip: Talking Waters, Albany (Mike Unger)
  • Tue, May 10 -- Birder's Night: Managing Double-crested Cormorants (Dan Roby with USGS)
  • Sat, May 14 -- Backyard Bird Feeder Tour. a minimum $40 pledge includes lunch. (Barbara Dolan)
  • Sat, May 14 -- Finley NWR Open House. Click here for details. 
  • Sun, May 15 -- Birds and Wine at Left Coast Cellars. a minimum $50 pledge includes lunch and wine tasting (Tim Johnson)
  • Tue, May 17 -- Chapter Meeting: Greater Sage-Grouse: The Canary in the Sagebrush (Kelly Hazen)
  • Sat, May 21 -- Field Trip: Ankeny NWR (Dolan, Stephens and Unger)
  • May 22-26 -- Field Trip: Malheur NWR (Craven)
  • Fri, May 27 -- SAS Short Field Trip: Cascades Gateway Park (Fred Stephens)
  • Sat, Jun 4 -- Field Trip: Bird Haven, Stayton (Stephanie Hazen) 
  • Sat, Jun 18 -- Class: Songbirds Part 1 --Flycatchers to Kinglets. (Mike Unger)
  • Wed, Jul 6 -- Field Trip: Cannon Beach for Tufted Puffins (Tim Johnson)
  • Sun, Sept 11 -- Field Trip: Pelagic Tour, Depoe Bay (Stephanie Hazen)

See the Kestrel newsletter for details -- click here.



Image result for facebook logo

 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.


    Support the Salem Audubon Society by donating to the 2016 Bird-a-thon

    "Connecting People with Nature"


    May is Bird-a-thon for Salem Audubon.  In addition to making a pledge to any of the scheduled Bird-a-thon events in May, you can also donate here. 

    Check the May Kestrel for the Bird-a-thon schedule of events.  

    Thank you for your support!

    <===== Donate by clicking on the green "Bird-a-thon 2016" image to the left.


        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 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.

    • 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) 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.

    2) 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.

    3) 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

     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.