ASC Monthly Speakers
“Greater Sage-grouse: The canary in the sagebrush”
September 15, 2022 – 7:00 PM
Greater Sage-grouse (GSG) are chicken-sized birds that are found in 13 western U.S. states and three Canadian provinces. At dawn in spring, the courting behavior of male birds is spectacular. They fan their pointed tail feathers, inflate yellow air sacs on their breasts, and burble their availability to interested females. Habitat fragmentation and development have caused severe declines for this dramatic bird. Like canaries in a coal mine, GSG are indicators of the health of the sagebrush environment and its plant and animal inhabitants. Wildlife biologist Kelly Hazen will share information about their natural history and Oregon’s Adopt-A-Lek program. Kelly and many volunteers count leks in the remote isolated eastern corner of Oregon in southern Malheur County, and these data help researchers track population trends.
Kelly has been an avid birder for over 40 years and says, “Wherever I live or wherever I travel, I enjoy taking advantage of the local birding opportunities.” Early work started in Burns, Oregon in 1993. Kelly studied the huge flocks of Arctic White Geese that migrate through the region each spring. In the winter of 2011-2012, a rare Snowy Owl established a foraging territory just a few miles from Burns. Kelly Hazen jumped on this rare opportunity to collect data about the owl’s diet and foraging behavior.
How to See the Monthly Presentations
The 2022 – 2023 Monthly Meetings will be both in-person and available on Zoom! They will be held in the Corvallis Community Center on NW Tyler Ave. in Corvallis. At 6:30 pm there is a social gathering, followed by a Board meeting at 7:00 pm, and the program begins at 7:30 pm and lasts about an hour.
The in-person meetings will also be available on Zoom. ASC members who provided their email address with their membership dues will receive an invitation and instructions the day before the webinar. Members can view the presentation on their computers or phones at home. A few days following the meeting, the link to the recording will be posted on the ASC website (Monthly Meetings) and will be available until the next meeting.
2022-2023 Speaker Schedule
Hybrid in-person and Zoom meetings
Sept. 15 – Kelly Hazen “SE Oregon Greater Sage-Grouse Adopt-A-Lek Program.”
Oct. 20 – Manuela Huso “Effects of Wind Energy Generation on Bats and Birds”
Nov, 17 – Worth Mathewson “Band-tailed Pigeons”
Dec. 15 – Annual Member Slide Show
Jan. 19 – Ram Papish “Wildlife Art on Interpretive Signs”
Feb. 16 – Fred Ramsay “Birds of Mongolia”
Mar. 16 – Marina Richie “Belted Kingfishers”
Apr. 20 – Don Boucher & Lisa Millbank “A Yard Full of Native Plants, Birds, Bugs and More”
May 18 – Bob Beschta “Trophic Cascades & Yellowstone”
Past Video Presentations
The ASC Board has decided to provide a link to presentations for 2021-2022 from one or two previous months but not to continue linking to all the presentations for the past year. Former ASC Vice President Mark Baldwin has recordings of the 2020/2021 speakers, but we are unable to archive them on our website. Contact for more information.
Jonathon Valente discussed the OSU College of Forestry Oregon Marbled Murrelet Project (www.oregonmurrelet.org). TLaunched in 2015, the focus of the project is to understand basic murrelet biology. Jonathon discussed how the research team is using cutting-edge technology to better understand murrelet habitat requirements, movement, and limitations to population growth, as well as how this research will be used to improve management of public and private forest lands. Link to Zoom recording – audio only
ASC members Matt Lee and Sue Powell shared their photos and stories from their “bucket-list” trip to the Ecuador mainland and Galapagos Islands in October 2021. Ecuador is small but has mega-diverse habitats, including coastal lowlands, foothills, Andean peaks, dry forests, cloud forests, high-altitude Páramo grasslands, Amazonian jungles, and Pacific Islands. This habitat diversity supports 1700 species of birds, more than 130 of which are hummingbirds.
OSU researcher Matt Betts presented recent findings on (1) the importance of old growth for moderating the effect of climate change on birds, (2) the effects of deforestation on species endangerment worldwide, and (3) the effects of herbicide on birds and biodiversity generally in the Oregon Coast Range.
Dave Mellinger spoke about developing user-friendly acoustic tools for studying marine mammals and their environment. Results are important for research and conservation of marine species throughout the world. Dave ‘flew’ ocean gliders underwater to study sperm whales in the Gulf of Mexico.
Humpback whale “songs” are a complex series of repeated sounds usually made by males during the breeding season.
Ryan Baumbusch is researching the foraging ecology of Barred Owls in the Pacific Northwest. By examining the stomach contents of owls removed from Spotted Owl territories, he is inventorying what they eat and comparing it to Spotted Owl diets.
Seven ASC members showed some of their recent photos during the annual Member SlideShow. Presenters included Matt Lee, Sue Powell, Dodie Wilson, Teri Engbring, Mikaela Lea, and Tom Health. Mikaela also showcased the results of the 2nd annual Bird Coloring Contest. Forty-four artists entered, with ages between 5 and adult.
Jamie Cornelius presented information about how nomadic birds survive survive environmental changes. She shared some of what she’s learned about life as a wanderer from Red Crossbills, Pine Siskins, Goldfinches, Zebra Finches, and more.
Julia Corbett examines nature in our lives with all of its ironies and contradictions by seamlessly integrating personal narratives with morsels of highly digestible science and research. Each story delves into an overlooked aspect of our relationship with nature—insects, garbage, backyards, noise, open doors, animals, and language.
Fred Ramsey is one of ASC’s founding members and weekend field trip coordinator for 5 decades. He has some treasured photos and stories from the hundreds of field trips he guided over the years and shared them with the ASC audience.