Silver Feathers   April 1997 

Silver Feathers is the e-mail journal of a group of many seasoned
birdwatchers, nature enthusiasts, and evironmentally concerned
netizens  recording their journeys, pleasures, plans, and musings
about birds, nature, and environmental issues.

The editor is Jim Olson,  Sierrajimo@aol.com

For a  subscription (no charge) send an e-mail message to
sierrajimo@aol.com with the message "Subscribe Silver Feathers"

The newsletter is mailed to subscribers via e-mail and archived
at http://bcn.boulder.co.us/community/senior-citizens/center.html



    From the Nest on the Chippewa (editorial)   
    Introductions - Messages from Readers

    Birding on the Internet  

    Backyard Birding
    Road Runners Report       
    Honor the Earth 

     From the Nest on the Chippewa      

Right now there are about  50 of us  who share several things in
common; an  interest in birdwatching, nature in general, a
concern for the environment, and a connection to the internet.
About half of the list uses the America On Line srvice and the
other hald various other internet servers. We represent various
areas of the USA and Canada, and in the future hope to add
members from around the world.

Silver Feathers, then is a kind of carrier pigeon that can fly
cyberspace carrying messages of interest to each of us and from
those who have something to share with other readers. We hope it
won't become like the Passenger Pigeon and disappear from the
scene, and that many readers will contribute to its continuation.

To facilitate this exchange, the format provides a variety of

An Introductions and general reader comment section.

A section dealing with the internet and various internet
locations of interest. In each issue we will try to spotlight a
variety of internet sites that cover the range of interest of the

A section devoted to Backyard Birding with the concept of back
yard expanded to your neighborhood and  nearby areas as well, a
Mr. Rogers concept of Neighborhood ( a quiet walk preferred to
the trolley, however.)

A Road Runner report for those who travel to help each other as
we make our travel plans and share out travel experiences.

An Honor the earth section to share environmental projects and

And finally a brief bit of poetry to end the newsletter.

note- I've kept this first issue relatively short so it will fit
in AOL mailboxes, but future editions will be longer as more
material comes in and we get to doing more environmental
soap-boxing  and Road Running. Then  the letter will come out in
two parts.

   Introductions - Messages from Readers

Jim Olson

I am Jim Olson, a retired teacher living in Eau Claire,
Wisconsin, in an apartment building along the Chippewa River
sharing an apartment with Maggie, my spouse of  48
years (next week). My AOL screen name is Sierrajimo and I also
have internet addresses at olsonjam@uwec.edu,
jimo@discover-net.net, and olsonj@cvfn.org.

My interests are in birdwatching in general, environmental advocacy
(Sierra Club, Audubon, Nature Conservancy, etc) I am currently the
Environmental Education Chair of the Wisconsin chapter of the Sierra
Club and looking for ways to get the club involved with K-12
environmental education.


Phyllis Hugo Stager 

You mentioned an introduction.....Well, I am a working RN, have a
BA in hist and some grad school hours in Anthropology.  I live on
44 acres, escaped from Big D for the country.  I have four grown
children, two of which are married and 5 grandsons.  It was my
nephew, when he was a child, who got me interested in birding and
he is now a grown man, working as an environmentalist.  I do
have some birds on my list that I spotted in Europe, but dont
count them on my life list.

Catharine Hart

To take you up on your offer to post introductions: I live in Akron,
Ohio which is not (to my sorrow!) on any of the great fly ways. I have
several feeders outside a big window in the living room, and I sit
there for hours watching the show! Normally there are cardinals,
chickadees, gold finches, house finches (and maybe some purples, who
knows?), blue jays, mourning does, nuthatches, downy woodpeckers, red
breasted woodpeckers, various sparrows, juncos (cold weather only), at
least one pair of Carolina wrens, two pairs of rose breasted
grosbeaks, and probably some others I've forgotten about. Some years I
get lucky and see some other species during migration and some years
not. Oh yes, we have red-tailed hawks, and one winter a sharp shinned
My binoculars sit right by the window, if any of the neighbors see me
using them, I can imagine what they think!!

Irene Harvalias 

I live on Mayne Island (one of the Canadian Gulf Islands) and
have a pond across my kitchen window, into which all sorts of
wild and wonderful birds appear all year round.  In the last few
days I've seen a flock of Eurasian widgeon, dozens of mallards,
buffleheads, Barrow's goldeneyes, and a magnificent great blue
heron that perches on his one leg and gazes around.  Yesterday,
there were two red-winged blackbirds on the evergreen tops, and of
course dozens of juncos and chestnut-backed chickadees, as well
as robins and towhees and varied thrushes.  All this from my
kitchen window.  No wonder I love sitting there having my coffee
in the mornings and just looking out... Thank you for including
me in your list of subscribers.

Margaret (Peg) Snyder 

I have three major hobbies: the environment, particularly
including birds; listening to news on my shortwave radio, (no I'm
not a ham, just an SWLer); and baseball -- have a season ticket
to the OU games, and right now we're in the middle of a long home
stand !! I've gone on a number of Elderhostel trips having to do
with birdwatching or other animals, and am scheduled for another
(a "service" trip)-- just got the notification today -- in August
of this year.  It's actually about Dolphins and Whales, but I
always do a lot of watching of birds, no matter where I am. 
(Even at baseball games !!)  My EH trips have included one to
Mexico (STRICTLY birdwatching,) Costa Rica, (the environment
generally, but Birds in particular,) one to the hill country of
Texas -- a mixed bag, but it included birdwatching, and my most
recent, to Texas A&M to learn about mist-netting, banding,
measuring, and weighing the little guys before releasing them
back to the wild. I'm not what the Brit's call a "ticker" --
rushing around to see rare birds so I can "tick" them off my
list.  I'd much rather watch ONE kind of bird long enough to
really get to know it, than see 50 different birds and not be
able to recognize any of them, next time they fly past.

            Birding on the Internet

AOL Birdwatching Message Board on Arts and Leisure Forum

 One forum on birdwatching that is  accessible to all AOL
members is the AOL SeniorNet Online which you can access through
these steps

1. Enter the keyword "seniornet"  (without the quotes)

2. Little boxes will say several things asking if you wish to
proceed further- click on "Open" and later "enter" and you will
be in the SeniornNet Online main area. Somewhere depending on
the version of AOL you are using there will be a log called
'SeniorNet Forums".

note- it does not matter if you are a SeniorNet member or not-
the area is open to all users of AOL.

3. Click (enter that is) the forum area

4.From this point on there will be help areas to explain how to negotiate the

Birdwatching is located in the Arts and Leisure main forum area.


Note- the AARP section on AOL (keyword AARP) also has a message center
and forums that can be initiated by readers. There is no current forum
on birdwatching but there is a section where members can set up any
forum they wish

News Group    rec.birdwatching

This is a very active newsgroup that uses any access you may have to
the usenet systems of message boards. Most network sources have such
access including AOL, Compuserve, etc. and a wide variety of 
library and school based internet sources. Most ISPs (internet service
providers) also provide this access and you can access the news groups
though separate readers they provide or by the internet browsers like
Netscape that are often supplied with the service.


Seniornet World Wide Web RoundTables on Birdwatching

You will then be at the Seniornet web site home page (membership
not required)

Click on Seniornet RoundTables from that page.

You will be at a page called Welcome to Seniornet Roundtables

At the bottom of that page there will be a "tool bars" that say
Login, Register, or guest

Take your choice. If you register (membership not required) you
will be asked to enter your name,  e-mail address(optional) and a
password to use for future logins..

As a guest you can just browse and look around.

On the welcome page will be an line called Senior Interests and

Click on Special Interests and then on Birdwatching and there you

There is a birdwatching and  an environmental discussion in this area.


This is the web site of the Peterson Bird Guide series and has a
number of features including several forums that operate using the
same web-crossing software described above in the SeniorNet notice.

There are forums here for a wide variety of birds and intensity of
interest in birding and nature study.


This is a master web site for links and searches to practically
all existing birding and nature related sites on the web. We hope
some readers will explore a number of them and give us a report
on selected ones for future editions.


>From Peg Synder (see intros)

The expanding world of bird-related online groups is ID Frontiers
(Frontiers of Field Identification.)  This one is for birders
interested in the subject of field identification -- postings are
welcome on any topic related to advances in bird ID by species,
population, age, and/or sex.  There are no geographical
restrictions. Like Birdchat, ID-Frontiers is a "list-serv," a
term that describes a computer exchange/distribution of e-mail
messages, in this case on the subject of field identification.
Distribution is free to anyone who wishes to subscribe, as

Send an e-mail to listserv@listserv.arizona.edu, and in the body
of the message (not in the subject line) include: sub birdwg01
your name, i.e. "sub birdwg01 john smith" Note that the
characters "01" are numbers, and not the letter O and the number
1.  You should receive a response within an hour or so which will
confirm your subscription and which will provide all the
protocols for submitting messages, un-subscribing, etc.

         Backyard Birding

Judy Wiese
EZee Two@aol.com

About 10 days ago, when we had a lovely stretch of warm weather, my
husband and I were out planting some pretty things around the base of
the mailbox.  I looked down the street and saw a bluebird.  My
neighbors there have had bluebird boxes for the last 3 or 4 years, and
it is such a delight to see them back so early.  I remarked to my
husband that I wish we had bluebird boxes, because if they are in the
area, perhaps they might choose our boxes, and we would have the fun
of watching them during the time they nest and raise their brood.  My
husband, later in the day, went into town for something, and came back
with a pattern for bluebird boxes, and made one and put it up on the
telephone pole at the end of our lot line.  Within 30 minutes we had
two pair checking it out. 

 My husband remarked that two pair couldn't nest in one box, so he
immediately went into his shop, and constructed a second box which he
put across the street on the street light pole.  Well, the two pair
flew back and forth across the street and back trying to decide which
box to nest in.  The very next day we had a storm that brought several
inches of rain to the area, and it turned very cold for 2 days.  I
didn't see hide nor hair of the bluebirds during that time. 
Yesterday, when I returned home after running some errands, my husband
greeted me at the door with the news that he had seen the female with
a rather large twig in her beak, and felt it was just too large to get
through the hole in the box.  As he watched, she manipulated the twig,
turning it the long way, and eased it into the box. 
This morning, as I went out to do my birdwatching I discovered that
two pair are bringing nesting material into the box closest to my
house, and I am at a loss to explain why.  Are we going to have two
pair nest in the same box?  I'll just have to keep watching.

          Road Runners

From: "Carol and Jack B." 

If you are traveling in Colorado this summer don't miss Ridgeway
State Park, the jewel in the crown of the CO State Park System.
all kinds of fishing, lake, river, stream, pond mostly for the trout
and salmon.  Facilities are new and outstanding with
showers, laundry, fish cleaning, etc.  The lake has a launch
ramps and marina.  There is a complete picnic grounds, and swim
beach and group facilities.   There are over 10 miles of fully
developed walking trails and  all types of camping from RV with
full hook ups to tent pads.

The park is located about 23 miles south of Montrose, CO on
highway 550 or about 10 miles north of Ouray at about 6700'
altitude.. Camping reservations are strongly encouraged for the
weekends and holidays.. Reservations can be made by calling
1-800-678-2267. The Park is open year around but main season is
April 1 to Oct 1.

Jack  has been doing the volunteer deal for many years, even
worked for the Forest Service for several years.  His main
project now is building a 320-ft foot bridge over a swamp near
Dallas Creek.  Started last year, will finish this spring, as
soon as we can get in the area (snow). We do a lot at the Park
with volunteers and hope some of you can particpate that way.


International Crane Foundation, Baraboo, Wisconsin 

Jim Olson sierrajimo@aol.com

The Crane Foundation has been in the forefront of the struggle
for survival for several rare Crane species around the world.

Visitors in April will get a chance to see and hear mating
rituals for many of the cranes in residence here and learn how
eggs flown in from around the world are incubated and young
chicks raised by human foster parents posing as cranes.

The foundation is just a few miles off a busy freeway to the
west, I-94. Take the highway 12 exit south toward the Ho Chunk
Casino and look for a sign just a few miles down the road.

The foundation grounds are in a rural area with a restored prairie and
wetland that houses a number of species of water and grassland birds
native to Wisconsin.

          Honor the Earth     


I'm a backyard birdwatcher,  and also keenly interested in
environmental reports.

You may be interested to hear of a 3-year-old endeavor here in
Milwaukee. One of our county parks, on the shores of the
Milwaukee River, went into a state of total neglect when the
county decided to stop caring for it.  An environmental group
convinced the county to let it become an urban nature center,
with educational programs geared largely for inner city kids. 
We're winning a running battle with invasive weeds, and it is
gradually going back to where it was long ago.  We have a nice
little oak forest,  some little prairie fields, and wonderful
wetland.  Another bonus was the opening of a nearby dam, built
over 100 years ago; now our river is back to its normal width and
recovering nicely - - wonderful growth returning alongside.  The
children who visit have seldom seen anything but concrete and
closely mowed grass, are awed by the amazing stillness (cars
nearby, but their noise seems to fade), and some actually ask if
there are any bears in our tiny "forest." They titled me a
"volunteer naturalist" which is pretty silly, as I know very
little - but I help where I can.

          The Poets Corner

                Two Hawks by NVAda@aol.com

           Two hawks circle
           each other at tree top
           against cloud-stippled sky.
           Their graceful pattern,
           encoded ritual of procreation,
           rises on windless air
           now far above.

           Earthbound, an envious face
           observes their agile grace,
           their freedom,
           then turns to empty
           the groceries from the truck
           and laughs,
           preferring tender meat,
           to theirs, raw and wild.
             Goldeneyes diving,
          a splash, a ripple, searching;
             the river flows on.
                        -Jim Olson