ORAS Meeting this Thursday Nov. 1

This Thursday, November 1, 7 p.m. at the Sandy Creek Nature Center, the Oconee Rivers Audubon Society is pleased to have Dr. Betty Jean Craige as our speaker.  She will present "Bird Brains: How Cosmo, a Parrot, Has Awakened Us to the Intelligence of Animals." Dr. Betty Jean Craige is Professor Emerita of Comparative Literature and Director Emerita of the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts at UGA. She has published 17 books in the fields of literature, politics, art, and history of ideas, among them a biography of ecologist Eugene Odum. Her most recent book is Conversations with Cosmo: At Home with an African Grey Parrot.

Meet the vultures of the ACC landfill this Sunday!

Bird Walk at the Athens Landfill

Sunday, October 21, 2012 - 8:00am

The Oconee Rivers Audubon Society, in conjunction with the Athens-Clarke County Landfill, will be hosting a special Sunday birdwalk at the landfill on October 21st.  The landfill is a new rotation in our schedule, and this year's spring trip there was spectacular as there is rich and diverse habitat.  In particular, we are hoping for migrating fall Sparrows.  We will be meeting about a quarter mile inside the gate off of Lexington Road.

Our bird walks are open to the public.  We typically run 3-4 hours though birders may leave at their convenience.  Easy to moderate walking.  Please dress for the weather, wear practical shoes, bring insect repellent and snacks/water as desired.

Sandy Creek Nature Center 28th Annual Birdseed Sale

28th Annual Birdseed Sale
Here's your chance to support a great cause AND your avian friends! Plan to buy your fall and winter supply of birdseed from our partners at the Sandy Creek Nature Center. As always, they have a great range of items to choose from. They will even deliver it to your door if your total is over $50.00. This is one of their annual fundraising events, and they deserve our support for hosting our Audubon group in their facility each month. Consider becoming a member and get their discount on the seed order.  Choose one of four easy options to place your order:

Birds of Honduras meeting and fundraiser a great success!

Our first speaker meeting of the fall kicked off in style, with almost 70 people attending our September speaker meeting, social and fundraiser to hear Robert Gallardo talk about the amazing wildlife of Honduras. The goal of the fundraiser was to support the publication of a field guide to the birds of Hondruas, and artist John Sill was also present to showcase some of his beautiful plates. Please join us next month for our annual fall potluck and hear Professor Bob Cooper talk about birds and climate change!

L-R: Robert Gallardo, John and Cathryn Sill, Bob Cooper, Mark Freeman, Carole Ludwig and Richard Hall

Wine and cheese reception, and silent auction in full swing.


September 8 Birdwalk at the State Botanical Garden

The State Botanical Garden was full of both birds and birders.  An ORAS birdwalk with 15 participants including John and Mai Whigham, John and Judy Willis, Laura Steadman, Steve Duke, Jim Hanna, Mary Case, Alison Huff and Ed Maioriello met other Athens birders Richard Hall, Mirko Basen, Krista Gridley, Rachel Cass and Steve Holzman who were scouring the gardens for everything with feathers.

The birds were not too cooperative for photos, but good looks were had at Yellow-throated Vireo, Northern Parula, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Great-crested Flycatcher and plenty of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds.





September 1 Bird Walk at Sandy Creek Nature Center

We had a nice walk out at the Sandy Creek Nature Center this morning.  Despite being early in the fall migration we had a few migrating warblers including Blackburnian, Worm-eating, Magnolia and Chestnut-sided.  While many of the warblers were hiding in the foliage, all were treated to a nice look at a Great Blue Heron in the Claypit Pond.

Additional highlights were White-eyed Vireos singing around us down by the Sandy Creek and the Oconee River, Hooded Warblers, Pine Warblers, Indigo Buntings and Blue Grosbeaks.

We had a nice group of birders including ORAS regulars Richard Hall, Alison Huff, Steve Duke, and Jim Hanna.

Kitty Cams in the news

A study on the habits of outdoor cats by UGA researcher Kerrie Ann Loyd, and partly funded by an ORAS small grant, has been making national news recently. 'Kitty cams' attached to pet cats revealed the surprising toll on native wildlife and risk-taking behavior by the felines while out on the prowl. Many of us here on the ORAS board are cat-lovers, but for the sake of local wildlife, and the health and safety of our feline companions, we advocate keeping your cats indoors. Some of the press relating to this study can be viewed on the NPR website:



and the LA Times:


September 6 speaker meeting, reception and art auction

For our Sept. 6 meeting, ORAS will host two special guests: Robert Gallardo and John Sill. They are the author and illustrator of a one-of-a-kind book on the birds of Honduras.  At our  meeting Gallardo willspeak on his experience documenting over 700 species in this small but avian-rich country.  Everyone is invited to a 6:30 reception preceding the meeting where Sill will exhibit  original plates  for the book and will offer original art for silent auction.  The reception will offer an opportunity to donate to support  this important field guide.  Both the  party and  the  7:30 ORAS meeting will be held in the Ecology building on the UGA campus.

Robert Gallardo and John Sill