What's New



American White Pelicans on a stopover at

Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge

Upcoming events (all events are free unless otherwise noted)

Field Trips

  • Tuesday, October 1, 8 AM -- Minto-Brown Island Park. Meet at Parking Lot 3, at the end of the road into the park.
  • Sunday, October 6, 1:00-300 PM -- Leapin' Lizards! A program that looks at many of the reptiles and amphibians of the Willamette Valley Wildlife Refuges. Meet at the Refuge Office and Nature Store at William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge. Click here 
  • Friday, October 11 (note date change from Kestrel), all dayNewport Beach area for shorebirds.  Preregistration required. This field trip is full.
  • Sunday, October 13, 8:00 AM -- Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge. Meet at the Pintail Marsh Parking Lot.
  • Monday, October 21, 8:00 AM -- Illahe Hills Country Club Bird Walk. Meet at the Country Club, 3376 Country Club Drive S. 
  • Thursday, October 24, 8:30 AM – Brown’s Ferry Park, Tualatin. We will meet at Salem’s Airport Rd Park and Ride at 8:30 AM to carpool, with a distance of about 47 miles one way to the park. Or you can join us at the park, with our expected time of arrival there at about 9:15 AM.
  • Sunday, November 3, 8 AM - Minto-Brown Island Park. Meet at Parking Lot 3, at the end of the road into the park.
  • Wednesday, November 13, 8 AM -- Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge. Meet at the Pintail Marsh Parking Lot.
  • Tuesday, November 26, 9 AM -- Fairview Wetlands. The Fairview Wetlands is across the street from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) Headquarters at 4034 Fairview Industrial Drive SE (south of Madrona Avenue). Meet in the ODFW parking lot 5-10 minutes before 9:00 AM.

Birder's Night

  • Tue, October 8, 6:30-8:30 PMBirding New Zealand: Invasive Exotics, Imperiled Endemics, plus Penguins and Albatrosses. Meet in the Carrier Room at First United Methodist Church. Please enter the church through the office entrance at 600 State Street.

Other Events

  • Every WednesdayAudubon Reserve Work Parties 9:00 – 11:00 AM
  • Saturday, December 7, 10:00 AM to Noon -- Salem Christmas Bird Count Workshop. Meet at Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Headquarters, 4034 Fairview Industrial Dr SE, Salem

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

  • October 5, 2019 - Sex Life of Birds. Register for this workshop by clicking here.
  • January 18, 2020 - Raptor ID. Register for this workshop by clicking here

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

Salem Audubon Trips to Mark on Your Calendar

  • June 4-7, 2020 - Malheur NWR Trip, Eastern Oregon
  • Summer 2020 - Summer Lake Trip
  • Summer 2020 - Oregon Puffins Trip, Cannon Beach, OR


  • February 13-16, 2020 -- Winter Wings Festival, Klamath Falls, OR
  • March 20-22, 2020 -- Sandhill Crane Festival, Othello, WA
  • March 20-22, 2020 -- Wings Over Water, 18th Annual Northwest Birding Festival, Blaine, WA
  • April 24-26, 2020 -- Gray Harbors Shorebird and Nature Festival, Hoquiam, WA
  • April 2020 -- Birding and Blues, Pacific City, OR
  • May 2020 -- Harney County Migratory Bird Festival, Burns, OR
  • May 2020 -- 42nd Annual Silver Falls Birding and Wildflower Festival
  • June 4, 2020 -  Dean Hale Woodpecker Festival, Sisters, OR

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



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 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 complete in late summer 2020. 

For the past year, the Service has been restoring most of the site to native wet prairie, upland prairie, oak savanna, and wetland 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. 



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. 


1) 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.

2) 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.

3) Bird Wiindow 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's things we can do to effectively prevent birds from striking windows in our homes and businesses. To learn more, click here.

4)  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

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.

  Marion Soil and Water Conservation District Grant Award 

In March, 2017, Salem Audubon was awarded a generous grant by the Marion Soil and Water Conservation District (Marion SWCD).  The grant of $1,000 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.