What's New

Varied Thrush (courtesy of Jim Leonard)


Upcoming Field Trips, Meetings and Other Events

  • Wed, Nov 4 -- Minto-Brown Park Field Trip (Fred Stephens and Barbara Dolan). Note new 8 am start time.
  • Tue, Nov 10 -- Birder's Night: An Owl Ate my Poodle: Bird Myths, Facts and th ePower of Wonder (Jim Dawson)
  • Mon, Nov 16 -- SAS Shorts: Minto-Brown Island Park (Barbara Dolan and Fred Stephens)
  • Tue, Nov 17 -- Chapter Meeting: Plant Roots, Create a Habitat, Transform the World...One Yard at a Time (Nikkie West)
  • Thur, November 19 -- Oregon Coast: Lincoln County (Wes Craven)
  • Sat, Nov 21 -- Ankeny NWR Field Trip (Fred Stephens and Barbara Dolan). Note new 8 am start time.
  • Sun, Dec 13 -- SAS Shorts: Ankeny NWR, Eagle Marsh Kiosk (Fred Stephens and Tim Johnson)
  • Sat, Dec 19 -- Salem Christmas Bird Count 
  • Mon, Dec 28 -- Dallas Christmas Bird Count (contact Brandon Wagner, bmwboarder@gmail.com)
  • Wed, Dec 30 -- Silverton Christmas Bird Count (contact Roger Freemon, carrotguy55@gmail.com)

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 a child hearing the collective calls of Canada Geese, the Salem Audubon Society, in Salem, Oregon, 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 and other educational programs.  We involve volunteers in education, advocacy, conservation and restoration projects.

    Salem Audubon 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 and field trips. 

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


    Salem Audubon Society Nature Center Concept Drawing

    For latest news on the SAS Nature Center, see SAS Nature Center Update article in the November 2015 Kestrel -- click here


    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. 


    2015 Salem Christmas Bird Count Date is Saturday, December 19.

    The Salem CBC circle map:  

    Look for details on the Salem CBC in the December Kestrel.



    1) 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.


    2) Minto-Brown Island Park Master Plan Update

    After receiving input from the community through a series of online surveys and public meetings, the City of Salem has developed a Conceptional Plan for the Park Master Plan Update (see www.cityofsalem.net/Residents/Parks/ParkTour/Documents/Conceptual%20Plan%20presented%)

    The Salem Audubon Society Board of Directors has taken a solid position of advocacy for maintaining Minto-Brown as the premier Natural Area that we know.  We remain concerned by a proposal for Community Farm, which appears incompatible with the Natural Area designation for the park, and for the lack of enforcement of dog leash rules outside of the off-leash area in the park. 

    The next steps in the establishment of the Master Plan Update are:

    • At the October 12 City Council Meeting, Staff presente a new Master Plan for Minto-Brown Island Park for Council consideration, with adoption at a future meeting.  The City Council voted for a 30-day reveiw period to give Council members to review and the general public to comment on the proposed plan.

    • for the public hearing and address them in the proposed Master Plan as appropriate.


    3) 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. 


     Salem Audubon Society Nature Center Update 

    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 Natue Center goals and accomplishments.

    Salem Audubon members, other stakeholders and the broader community will have opportunities to provide input to the Nature Center plans over the next few months.  See the Kestrel for regular updates on the Nature Center development.