You are not going to want to miss this month’s events
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.
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.
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:
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Cover photo, flock of least sandpipers, by Frank Lospalluto