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Author: Elva Manquera

Brazil Trip Registration Open

A fun, adventurous, and engaging way to support bird and habitat conservation beyond borders

Jaime Stephens, KBO Director of Conservation and Luiza Figueira, Mantiqueira Bird Observatory Executive Director

We invite you to join the directors of Klamath Bird Observatory and Mantiqueira Bird Observatory for a 10-day adventure exploring the Atlantic Forest of southeastern Brazil. The trip will be held August 20-29, 2024. During the trip, you will:

      1. Visit natural landscapes and enjoying scenic places;
    1. Hike through a diversity of habitats;
    2. Observe birds and wildlife in nature;
    3. Experience local culture;
    4. Learn about birds, bird observatories, and international conservation;
    5. Support Klamath Bird Observatory and Mantiqueira Bird Observatory science based conservation beyond borders intern exchange program

Klamath Bird Observatory is well known for its broad international reach, focusing on partnerships and capacity building across the ranges of our shared birds. KBO’s bird banding internship program has trained over 283 interns from more than 17 countries. OAMa is a fruit of this capacity-building program, which is now running its training program in Brazil. As part of the continued partnership between these two observatories, we are pleased to announce a new internship exchange program! After training in their home country, biologists will have the opportunity to visit and train at the other observatory. KBO will host a student from OAMa for three or six months each year, and OAMa will host a student from KBO for up to three months at their field station in Brazil, joining the local crew at the year-round bird monitoring on the Mantiqueira Highlands.

In addition to supporting the intern exchange program, this trip will fund OAMa’s banding station for an ENTIRE YEAR! That includes six interns and one banding coordinator. Currently, OAMa is the only banding training program in Brazil.

The cost is $5750 per person which includes in-country transportation, single-occupancy lodging, and meals with limited alcoholic beverages – the flight to Brazil is not included. The cost with a double occupancy discount is $5250 per person.

A $ 3,500 deposit is required to reserve your seat. Final payment is due 6 months prior to departure; proof of up-to-date COVID vaccination and liability waiver are also due at that time. Both the deposit and final payment are non-refundable. A portion of the cost directly supports the intern exchange program between the two bird observatories and is tax-deductible. Maximum trip size is 11 participants; some activities will split into smaller groups. We reserve the right to cancel before January 20th if the trip does not fill with a minimum number of attendees. Trip activities will include moderate walking, sometimes on uneven trails, and away from facilities for half to full days.

2024 Trip Itinerary

If you have questions, you can email Elva at ejm@klamathbird.org.

 


Klamath Bird Observatory follows CDC guidelines. KBO events are being offered with COVID-19 safety as KBO’s primary concern. Proof of vaccination will be required for all in-person participants. All individuals attending an event must also fill out the Waiver of Liability form. Please do not attend the event if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Masks are not required but wear based on comfortability.


Registration: Trip to Brazil 2024

Name(Required)
Where did you hear about this event?
Have you attended a KBO event before?
I have read, understand, and filled out the Covid and Liability Waiver(Required)
By clicking yes you are saying that you have filled out the Covid and Liability Waiver. The link to the Covid and Liability Waiver can be found above.
The cost includes in-country transportation, lodging, and meals with limited alcoholic beverages - the flight to Brazil is not included. A $3500 deposit is required to reserve your seat. Final payment is due 6 months prior to departure; proof of up-to-date Covid vaccination and liability waiver are also due at that time. Both the deposit and final payment are non-refundable. A portion of the cost directly supports the intern exchange program between the two bird observatories and is tax-deductible. Maximum trip size is 11 participants; some activities will split into smaller groups. We reserve the right to cancel before January 20th if the trip does not fill with a minimum number of attendees. Trip activities will include moderate walking, sometimes on uneven trails, and away from facilities for half to full days.(Required)

Flock to these September KBO events

You are not going to want to miss this month’s events

Photo by Peter Thiemann

There is still time to sign up for the free hybrid Great Grey Owl talk by Harry Fuller. This is happening at the KBO office in Ashland on September 22nd at 6 p.m. and via Zoom. He will be selling his Great Grey Owl book and his most recent publication, Birding Harney County.

You can register here.

 

 


The last bird banding outing of the year is happening on September 28th. We will be traveling to the Upper Klamath to witness scientists in action. Fall migration is here, and you aren’t going to want to miss seeing these migrants up close and personal. This is great for bird lovers of all ages. Plus, your $75 donation helps support our intern program, which has hosted over 300 interns from around the world.

You can register here.

 


We are excited to welcome Wyatt Williams, Invasive Species Specialist with the Forest Health Unit of Oregon Department of Forestry, as the guest speaker for the KSON Quarterly meeting on September 21st from 1:00-2:30 (virtual).

Mediterranean oak borer, pest of oaks, arrives to Oregon — Mediterranean oak borer (MOB) is a tiny wood-boring ambrosia beetle that is a known pest of cork oak in Europe. Like other ambrosia beetles, MOB is a “fungus farmer” carrying various species of fungi from tree to tree, where it inoculates the wood in host trees and grows food for its developing larvae. Usually, ambrosia beetles are thought of as beneficial insects, as the decay fungi help break down and recycle large amounts of wood from fallen trees and branches. However, some fungal species turn out to be pathogenic to host trees, and in the case of MOB, one particular fungal associate, Raffaelea montetyii, is capable of killing some species of North American oaks. In 2018, an Oregon Department of Forestry insect trap picked up the first known MOB specimen in Oregon. Simultaneously in 2018, an unknown agent was killing hundreds of valley oak
(Quercus lobata) in central California. In 2019, the culprit was identified as MOB. Since 2019, researchers in California have verified in controlled experiments that the fungal species is capable of killing Oregon white oak. Since 2018, MOB has spread to three counties in California, killing thousands of valley oak. In Oregon, traps set by the Oregon Department of Agriculture confirms that the insect occurs in four counties of the Willamette Valley and earlier in 2023, the first infestation of Oregon white oak was observed at Sandy River Delta near Troutdale. State and federal agencies are on the lookout for additional infested trees. I will go over the signs and symptoms of MOB and its fungal associates, as well as introduce how to report oak trees to state authorities that are suspected of being attacked by MOB. The detection of MOB in Oregon, and indeed North America, is still relatively new, and we have a lot to learn. MOB could
develop into a major pest of Oregon white oak, or it could be another exotic species that will have moderate or low risk to oaks. We need more field data to assess the risk of MOB to Oregon white oak and other related species.

Zoom information follows:

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83927418735?pwd=U1NaUUlYYkR1ZnVidmlXZlhmZnB6QT09


Cover photo, flock of least sandpipers, by Frank Lospalluto

KBO tracks the first Western Purple Martin with GPS tag technology

By Sarah Rockwell

Spoiler alert: Our first recaptured Martin flew almost 8,000 miles to southeastern Brazil and back again!

Retrieved GPS tag – photo credit Joe Metzler

The unique western subspecies of Purple Martin is of conservation concern, roughly estimated at just 3,500 pairs. Relatively little is known about the Western Purple Martin compared to the more abundant eastern subspecies. One of the biggest challenges in identifying ways to help migratory species is that we simply don’t know where they are most of the year. Western Purple Martins breeding in Oregon are only here from about April to August, and until recently, we only had the slightest idea of where they spend the non-breeding months. From 2020-2023, a small team of researchers from KBO, USFS, USGS, and Cape Arago Audubon Society captured adult Western Purple Martins and outfitted them with lightweight archival GPS tags that fit like a backpack with two leg loops to track their movements. Our goal is to track martins that nest in Oregon to discover their migratory pathways and winter roost locations and assess whether conservation actions are needed at these non-breeding sites. This is the first study of its kind with the western subspecies and the first to track them with GPS technology throughout the year!

There is one important catch – to have a battery small and lightweight enough for a small songbird to carry safely, the tags cannot transmit GPS data, only store it on board. Returning tagged birds must be recaptured following a year-long round-trip migration to retrieve the tag and its precious geospatial data. It can be very challenging to find these birds again, not to mention recapture them! So, we were thrilled to recapture our first female, whom we nicknamed Roxa (‘purple’ in Brazilian Portuguese – pronounced more like “hosha”), in the summer of 2021.

Joe is watching for Purple Martins to return to their nesting boxes. Photo Credit Karen McGuire.

Roxa returned with fascinating information, revealing new discoveries about her incredible 8,000-mile journey. After she left her nesting area in coastal Oregon in August, Roxa first headed south to Baja California, where she spent about a month from mid-Aug to mid-Sept on an extended fall stopover – although somewhat unusual for a songbird, this long pause was not totally unexpected, as it matched hints from earlier research using geolocators on a few martins from British Columbia (Fraser et al. 2017). She then continued south through western Mexico, with GPS points taken every 5 days, including stops in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Colombia, and Venezuela before entering Brazil, where she passed over many of her Eastern Purple Martin cousins in their wintering area in the Amazon. She then spent another multi-week stopover in late November in northern Minas Gerais, near Parque Nacional do Peruaçu – which was unexpected! Roxa finally completed the last leg of her trip to the southeastern Brazilian coast, where she spent Christmas in Linhares in the state of Espírito Santo. She even made it to the beach city of Praia do Morro in time for Carnaval before winging her way back north and graciously returning her GPS tag to us.

Joe uses a specialized pole that traps the Purple Martins in their nesting box so the box can safely lowered and the Martins extracted. Photo Credit Karen McGuire.

We now have an amazing window into what Roxa and other Western Purple Martins are up to after they leave Oregon and the incredible voyages they undertake. These insights also lead us to more questions. Why does she stop for so long in Baja California Sur, Mexico, and Minas Gerais, Brazil? Could she be molting and regrowing feathers at one of these locations where the insect food resources are especially abundant? Does she use the same route every year, and do other Western Purple Martins use similar or different routes? What changes are occurring in the habitats she occupies along the way? Are any of these places threatened by deforestation, pesticide use, or other conservation challenges? We hope to apply what we have learned to help make sure the Western Purple Martin’s migratory journey, connecting people and places across continents, remains a phenomenon we can all marvel at well into the future.

Female Purple Martin recaptured – Photo credit Joe Metzler

In summer 2023, we recaptured two more returning Purple Martins with new data to add to our understanding of their migration routes and winter homes – we are so excited to process these data and see how they compare to our first recapture! We also deployed 8 more GPS tags on Purple Martins nesting at Fern Ridge Reservoir near Veneta, OR. Those individuals have finished their nests for this summer and will be leaving soon for parts unknown – but a little less unknown than before – so we will also have more chances to add data to this study next summer.

The USFS, USGS, Purple Martin Conservation Association, and the Greenfield Hartline Habitat Conservation Fund supported this work. The research team comprised Sarah Rockwell from KBO, DeAnna Williams of USFS, Joan Hagar of USGS, and Joe Metzler from Cape Arago Audubon Society. Watch the short video On the Wings of Roxa and join her 8,000-mile journey.

Walk into Ashland’s Past with Jeff LaLande

Although maybe not as exciting as having an actual “time machine,” KBO Board member Jeff LaLande (archaeologist and historian) will again offer a “Walk Into Ashland’s Past.” It was over a year ago that Jeff first offered this event. It proved to be very popular.

You will walk through the site of the Shasta Indians’ village, where the Plaza is now, and through the town’s changes — from initial settlement by White Americans in the 1850s to the present time. This history walk is meant to enrich your own experience of the town. (Plus, all of your $$$ go to KBO!)

Choose to join one of the two “history walks”: October 7th and October 14th. Both walks will follow the same route, each lasting about three hours. The walk will be followed by the enjoyment of your choice of a “cheerful beverage” and snack at a downtown eatery — Jeff is picking up the tab.

  • When: Saturday, October 7th and October 14th, 11:30 AM – 2:30 PM
  • Where: We will meet outside the front of the Ashland Library (near the statue at the intersection of Siskiyou Blvd. and Gresham St. We’ll spend time moseying along East Main Street and along North Main Street to Laurel, then we’ll walk through the Granite St./Skidmore neighborhood, and end at the Plaza.
  •  Max. number of people for each history walk: 18
  • Donation per person: $75

Klamath Bird Observatory (KBO) follows Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, and as such, KBO events are offered with COVID-19 safety as a primary concern. Proof of “up-to-date” vaccination will be required for all in-person participants. Upon registration, all individuals attending an in-person event must also fill out KBO’s COVID Release Form and Waiver of Liability. Paper copies may also be available at an event upon advanced request. Please do not attend the event if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.


Final Bird Banding Event of the Year!

Join us for this extraordinary final family-friendly bird banding outing of the year! This fundraiser for our renowned banding program includes an opportunity to meet and chat with KBO’s new Banding Program Manager, Lucinda Zawadski, PhD., Martín López Aguilar from Mexico, and the KBO interns. You will learn about the importance and unique contribution of bird banding to science and see some of Oregon’s birds up close. You will also get to experience one of our field stations on beautiful Upper Klamath Lake and observe science in action, including mist netting and data collection, AND interact with the biologists. After the field station visit, we have a unique opportunity to bird from the deck of Rocky Point Resort with Lucinda and Martín, with light refreshments provided by Rocky Point.

This is a great introduction to science in the field for kids and young adults (as well as for non-birders, almost birders, and fully-fledged birders). Come have fun in the field with us before the birds fly south!

WHEN: Thursday, September 28th, 6:30 a.m. to approximately 1 p.m. (including drive time to and from Ashland). Pick-up time from Rocky Point Resort is 7:45 a.m., if near Klamath Falls.
WHERE: Upper Klamath Lake
TRIP LEADER: Lisa Michelbrink, KBO Board Member
COST: The cost is $75 per person to help support our banding program. Space is limited to 4 cars of 4 people each. Carpooling is essential. We will meet at Rite Aide or Rocky Point Resort, depending on your location.

Please bring a water bottle and any snacks you may need. There will be a short amount of walking on uneven ground. Sturdy shoes/boots are recommended. Dress for the weather in layers, as the morning will be cool. No birding experience is necessary. Please bring binoculars if you have them.


Klamath Bird Observatory (KBO) follows Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, and as such, KBO events are offered with COVID-19 safety as a primary concern. Proof of “up-to-date” vaccination will be required for all in-person participants. Upon registration, all individuals attending an in-person event must also fill out KBO’s COVID Release Form and Waiver of Liability. Paper copies may also be available at an event upon advanced request. Please do not attend the event if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.


Let’s Talk Bird with Shannon Rio

Join Shannon Rio for three weeks of classes, chatting about our local birds and ending with a field trip. Powerpoint presentations will include, for example, a deep dive into a specific group of birds like woodpeckers and learning fun bird factoids. We will explore the use of a variety of bird guides and info books. This class is collaborative and interactive and meant to be fun. We will meet at noon for 1 1/2 hours, so bring a sack lunch along with your curiosity. Please bring your favorite guidebook for referencing the species we are learning about and sharing with the group. The class will be capped off with an all-day outing to use what you have learned.

Dates: September 11th, 18th, 25th, and field trip on Sep 30th or Oct 1st.

Location: KBO Office in Ashland

Fee: $0-$100 suggested donation

Klamath Bird Observatory (KBO) follows Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, and as such, KBO events are offered with COVID-19 safety as a primary concern. Proof of “up-to-date” vaccination will be required for all in-person participants. Upon registration, all individuals attending an in-person event must also fill out KBO’s COVID Release Form and Waiver of Liability. Paper copies may also be available at an event upon advanced request. Please do not attend the event if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.


Meet Banding Intern Giselle Ragoonanan

My name is Giselle Lares Ragoonanan, I am an indigenous naturalist, assistant field researcher, nature soundscape recorder, and wildlife conservationist. I live on the twin island of Trinidad and Tobago at the end of the Caribbean archipelago. Trinidad was once connected to the mainland, making my country a unique combination of rainforest habitat and Caribbean tropical climate. A geographical relic.

I started my degree in Business Management in 2012 with a local accredited university (School of Business & Computer Science) but quit before I graduated because I disliked business and had a burning passion for conservation and ecology. I went on to work in the business field for over seven years and would use all my free time to volunteer in wildlife surveys and programs to live my passion towards becoming a field biologist. My uncle Carl, a certified NABC bird bander since 2012, would teach me techniques and banding ethics while working with local and international universities. I would volunteer to assist in all related wildlife projects and have been involved in fieldwork for over six years.

In 2021, I officially quit my job, gave up my apartment, and left the city. I returned to Brasso Seco and began the journey of reclaiming my indigenous roots. I am an autodidact, I study extensively the importance of life which surrounds me, dawn and dusk chorus, breeding and nesting, howler troops and their localities, pit vipers and their behaviors, botany, herbal medicine, becoming skilled at identifying and observing, listening, and becoming with the rainforest. My passion for wildlife conservation drew me to birds.

Birds help to calm my anxious thoughts and become omnipresent, trying to understand their evolutionary ability to grow flight feathers, what feathers are used for take-off and landing, song and calls, mating, and molting strategies. It all continues to fascinate me, which is why I am drawn to the science of birds. In January 2022, I began my first internship with a local ecologist working on a bird genoscape project collecting blood samples of 100 rare birds on Trinidad and Tobago for the B10K project assigned by the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, using mist-netting. I have since worked on several projects with this local ecologist as well as projects with our local university (UWI) and the Trinidad & Tobago Field Naturalist Club, of which I am a member. As my knowledge expanded, I was assigned Director of our local community conservation organization (ARC Conservation), working to promote rainforest habitat protection through research and education.

I am currently pursuing a certificate in rainforest ecology with YALE University, and I would ultimately like to further my studies in ecology and avian biology. My dream is to open Trinidad’s first Bird Observatory in Brasso Seco. Our island’s pre-colonial name is Kairi Ierette- which translates to land of the hummingbird, with a documented 19 species across both islands; what a special land to have an observatory.

I feel very privileged to be selected as an intern for this year’s KBO internship. Klamath Bird Observatory is the best observatory in North America, providing the proficiency and necessary training required for the level of banding each individual is working towards. It is a dream to be here, and it feels almost surreal the opportunities provided through collaborative networking. My reason for coming to this internship is to become proficient and the best at what I do while constantly learning, applying, and teaching. With this model, I plan to take it back to Trinidad for long-term monitoring efforts and, with the support, eventually, open a sister observatory on Trinidad.

I joined the BirdsCaribbean community in 2022 after meeting Ellie Devenish Nelson at a mist-netting session. In March 2023, I participated in a Caribbean Bird Banding Training Workshop in the beautiful Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic. Since then, BirdsCaribbean has played a massive part in assisting with my work, including providing bird bands and sponsoring this KBO bird banding internship so I can become a certified NABC bander. I am grateful to be part of the Caribbean Bird Banding Network!

There is no better place I would choose to learn than at KBO, Birding in the Siskiyou Mountains!


KBO has offered over 300 banding internships to students from all over the world. This year, Giselle’s internship was made possible through KBO’s long-running partnerships BirdsCaribbean, US Forest Service International Programs, and US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Program, and through donations made to KBO’s Avian Internship Memorial Fund. You can help also support our internship program by visiting a banding station and meeting these scientists in action. Don’t miss our next Upper Klamath banding station visit on September 28th. You can learn more about this trip and register by clicking here.

Klamath Bird Observatory Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice Vision

During a migratory bird’s full life cycle, it may travel thousands of miles, transcending political, cultural, and racial boundaries. Many of these shared migratory birds are suffering population declines, highlighting a need for people to come together to address the environmental crises threatening the lands and waters on which people and birds depend. Unfortunately, our World’s diversity of voices are not equitably heard and included when we try to address global conservation needs. As a result, Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC), and low-income individuals are disproportionately impacted by environmental threats, including climate change, pollution, population growth, and habitat loss and degradation. This fact makes it even more imperative that we approach every aspect of KBO’s work (i.e., science, education, and partnerships) from a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice perspective. KBO actively works to build more diverse partnerships to hear from a wider array of audiences and center more BIPOC voices as experts in the bird conservation movement.

Conservation and Partnerships

Colonialism and conservation are intertwined. In post-settlement acts to protect the environment, Indigenous people have been negatively impacted, excluded, and, in some cases, criminalized. At KBO, a priority is to build sustaining partnerships in Latin America,the Caribbean, and with Indigenous communities in the United States focused on coproducing bird conservation outcomes that benefit people and birds. We do this through collaboration, fundraising, and training with the intent to build capacities and elevate voices that have been underrepresented in most science-based conservation and natural resource management forums.

Education and Outreach

Knowledge is a central aspect of addressing systemic environmental injustice. KBO works to increase the accessibility of our educational materials, outreach events, professional training, and internship opportunities. We are building relationships with local BIPOC partners to ensure our engagement meets their needs and interests of traditionally underserved communities. Additionally, we are addressing income barriers by providing free educational materials and outreach opportunities, financial support for internships, and assisting with travel expenses. Nurturing an environmental ethic through community education and outreach focusing on engagement with underserved communities is a priority in meeting our mission.

Within KBO

KBO staffing demographics have been a model for increasing the representation of women in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics community. However, we recognize that BIPOC and LGBQT+ are significantly under-represented in conservation organizations, including KBO. Therefore, we prioritize our learning and growth to increase DEIJ in all areas of bird conservation and KBO’s work. Advancing justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion means investing in collective learning efforts among our staff and board, developing more opportunities for professional growth, addressing existing inequities, and working toward creating an even greater sense of belonging here at KBO and throughout the bird conservation community. We are reaching beyond our traditional networks to recruit staff and board members and forge new partnerships.

As KBO grows and learns, we make changes toward a more equitable and inclusive organization. We recognize that this can be a long and challenging process; therefore, we welcome and embrace more diverse feedback and collaboration.

Banding Station Visit September 28th

Join KBO’s bird banding team in the field this fall for a bird banding experience. This is a unique opportunity to meet some of our scientists in a small group setting, learn about bird banding, and see some of Oregon’s birds up close. You will experience a beautiful Upper Klamath Lake field station and observe live-action science, including mist netting and data collection. This is an excellent introduction to science in the field for kids and young adults (as well as great for non-birders, almost birders, and fully-fledged birders). Come and have fun in the field with us!

WHEN: Friday, September 28th, 6:30 a.m. to approximately 1 p.m. (including drive time to and from Ashland).
WHERE: Upper Klamath Lake
TRIP LEADER: Lisa Michelbrink, KBO Board Member
COST: Space is limited to 4 cars of 4 people each. Carpooling is essential. The price is $75 per person.

Please bring a water bottle and snacks. There will be a short amount of walking on uneven ground. Sturdy shoes/boots are recommended. Dress for the weather in layers, as the morning will be cool. No birding experience is necessary. Please bring binoculars if you have them. After the banding station, we will stop at Rocky Point Resort to bird from the deck and enjoy some light refreshments.


Klamath Bird Observatory (KBO) follows Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, and as such, KBO events are offered with COVID-19 safety as a primary concern. Proof of “up-to-date” vaccination will be required for all in-person participants. Upon registration, all individuals attending an in-person event must also fill out KBO’s COVID Release Form and Waiver of Liability. Paper copies may also be available at an event upon advanced request. Please do not attend the event if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.