Welcome

What's New

Black Phoebe seen on Salem Christmas Bird Count at Minto-Brown Island Park 

 Nature Center road work has begun at Ankeny NWR


Upcoming events (all events are free unless otherwise noted)

Field Trips 

All Salem Audubon field trips have been canceled until fall because of COVID-19 concerns. While the
governor has started the process of re-opening the state and returning us to a somewhat normal life, we feel
that it is prudent that we wait a while and see how things progress. We will review the situation in August,
and, if it is determined to be safe, we will resume our field trips in September. Until then, we can enjoy the
birds as individuals or in small groups, taking precautions such as wearing masks and keeping our distance
from others to keep ourselves and others safe. Check back with the Salem Audubon website throughout the summer
for current information. 

Birder's Night

  • If it's safe to do so, we will resume Birder's Night program in the fall.

Other Events

  • Every Wednesday, 9:00 - 11 AM – Audubon Reserve Work Parties -- Have resumed!

Bird Identification Workshops ($10 each, check future Kestrels for further information on each workshop.)

  • March 14 – Hummingbirds of the U.S. Click here to register -- CANCELED
  • April 18 – eBird and Birding Resources. Click here to register  -- CANCELED
  • May 2 – Land Birds (Woodpeckers, etc.) Click here to register. -- CANCELED
  • July 25 – Owls of the Pacific Northwest. Click here to register. 
  • October 3 – Sparrows. Click here to register.

All bird identification workshops are held from 10 am to noon, at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Headquarters, 4034 Fairview Industrial Dr SE, Salem

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

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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.

Salem Audubon organizes 40+ field trips. Birder's Night and field trips are open to the public.  Birding workshops are offered for a small fee. Consult the monthly newsletter, the Kestrel, for details on Birder's Night, field trips, workshops and other chapter activities.  

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

To join Salem Audubon Society, renew your membership or otherwise support our mission, click on the "Support Us" tab above.

Salem Audubon's long-awaited Nature Center project at Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge has taken a huge step forward with completion of the first phase of construction.

Photo of Phase One of the Gehlar Classroom Building

This is the product of an unusual and effective partnership among Salem Audubon, The Friends of the Willamette Valley National Wildlife Refuge Complex, and the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Half of Gehlar Hall, the main building of the Center, has been completed.  It's a very classy structure, with an indoor classroom, a covered outdoor learning space, and restrooms.  Most of the cost of this building has come from a bequest made by Mark Gehlar to Salem Audubon many years ago; the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service has provided the rest.  

With the anticipated increase in traffic to the site of the Nature Center, a new, safer road access point is needed. After the upcoming rainy season, a new road will be constructed with access to the site east of the current access point on Ankeny Hill Rd. The contracting for this road work, which will include a new parking lot and trails around the Nature Center site will begin in March 2020. The public will not have access to the site until after that road work is completed, which is anticipated to be in fall 2020. 

For the past year, the Service has been restoring most of the site to native emergant prairie, upland prairie, oak savanna, and raparian habitats.  This work has included removal of the nonnative plants on the site. That work continues.

When we can raise the needed funding, the other half of Gehlar hall will be constructed, along with the David Marshall Classroom to be situated on Peregrine Marsh.  This is a long-term project; all phases will be operated in a three-way partnership. Watch the Kestrel for updates.

If you're interested in supporting the completion of the Nature Center or would like related information, please contact Tim Johnson, chapter president, at tim@salemaudubon.net. 

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 BOOK COLLECITON AVAILABLE

Acquire a lifelong collection of bird-oriented books and support Salem Audubon - click here for more information

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 SEEKING VOLUNTEERS! 

We have some great opportunities to volunteer for Salem Audubon Society with some upcoming events. These offer us the chance to connect with our community and discuss their interests in plants, pollinators, and of course, birds!

Please contact Maureen Leong-Kee at SalemAudubonVolunteering@gmail.com if you are interested in volunteering! We greatly appreciate our members’ support. Thank you!

Please be sure to check out the SAS Volunteer Calendar for upcoming events and opportunities: http://bit.ly/2kTDAC6. 

 CONSERVATION CORNER  

1) Why Care About Birds? 

There are at least five compelling reasons to care about birds. Please click on the following link to learn more. -- click here.

2) Loss of 3 Billion Birds in North America

A recent study published in the journal Science reveals that nearly a quarter of the birds or North American have been lost over the past 50 year. To learn more, click here. To learn what you can do to help protect our local bird populaitons, see the two items below.

3) Bird and Cats

Predation by domestic cats is the number one direct human-caused threat to birds in the United States and Canada. Outdoor cats suffer a much higher incidence of injury, parasites, and disease than cats kept indoors. To learn more, click here.

4) Bird Window Strikes

It is estimated that a billion birds die each  year in the United States when they hit glass widows, walls or other structurs, making this threat one of the most costly to bird popularions. But it's a relatively easy problem to solve. There are things we can do to effectively prevent birds from striking windows in our homes and businesses. To learn more, click here.

5)  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

6) 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.

  Marion Soil and Water Conservation District Grant Award 

In 2019, Salem Audubon was awarded a generous grant by the Marion Soil and Water Conservation District (Marion SWCD).  The grant will pay for room rental and speaker stipends for Birders' Night presentations through May, 2021.  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 organizations that provide conservation education and foster natural resource conservation.