March 2001

The Goldfinch

The newsletter for the Daviess County Audubon Society

Directors’ meetings are the first Monday of each month

Monthly meetings each 2nd Monday 7 PM at The Technical College, 1501 Frederica.

Success at last!

We are back on the World Wide Web.

Last March, our chapter was the victim of cyber vandalism when The National Audubon Society's Web site was hacked, entered by unauthorized persons and disabled. For about 4 months, we waited for our host, The National Audubon Society, to get back into operation. As they worked to reassemble their site and to make it less vulnerable to vandals, the staff at National decided that it was for the best that each local Audubon chapter locate another host for its site.

We began work in August to move our site to the auspices of Western Kentucky University's Biodiversity department. We feared that we would have to hire help with all the technicalities of redesigning our site, getting it updated, and expanding it. Rob Rold, our Field Trip Chairman and one of the chapter's directors, cautiously suggested that he and Eric Williams were willing to try to revive our Web site. Eric spent almost every waking moment after work for about 4 weeks in January and February reconfiguring our Web pages. Rob used his photography skills to scan 'about a buzillion' slides that he then emailed to Eric for posting to our site.

The first week of February, the two Web Wizards put out the word that the site was up and running and open only for preview until the kinks were worked out. When some of our previewers saw it, they could not contain themselves. Within 2 days the word was out and our Web site was seen by people from Evansville to Louisville to Missoula to Auckland, New Zealand and back….literally around the world. The reviews are still coming in with words like 'Great' 'Fabulous' 'Awesome' 'Beautiful' and 'Marvelous'. We are very proud of how well our chapter is displayed for all the world to see. Please go to and be sure you are seated in a sturdy chair, pull up your socks and hold on tight because you are in for a dynamite look at who we are, what we are doing, where we've been, and why we think Audubon's cause is so important.

Thanks to Julian Wilson and Markus Nishimori for designing and working with our first Web site back in 1997. We were the first chapter in Kentucky with a Web site. Thanks to Eric Williams and Rob Rold for redesigning our site and getting it back up and running last month. We could never ever have afforded to pay for the countless hours all of you have donated to our chapter.


Fossils Reveal a Link, Birds & Dinosaurs?

Get Outta Here!

On Monday, March 12, at 7:00 PM Dr. Norm King from the University of Southern Indiana will present a program about the recent information that fossils have revealed about the possible connection between dinosaurs and birds. When archaeologists announced finds linking birds and dinosaurs a couple of years ago, it was touted as the most dynamic evolutionary revelation ever. Then there was controversy when it was thought that some of the evidence had been fabricated and manipulated. You won't want to miss this program as we learn about this fascinating, almost unbelievable, topic.

It's Girl Scout Cookie Time

Be sure to bring your wallet to our March 12 meeting so that you can purchase some cookies from the Girl Scouts. The girls are winding-up their annual fundraiser and will be serving cookies before the meeting begins. This is our chapter's second year of participation with different troops of scouts. We've had joint projects in Beginning Birding, Christmas Bird Counts, and Bat box construction. The bird blind construction project is still on the drawing board for Pennyroyal Girl Scout Camp, perhaps this summer. The building material being proposed is specially baled straw sealed in a coating similar to stucco. Stay tuned for further details.

Audubon and Girl Scouts were made for each other. Let's show them how much we support them next Monday.


Stay in Touch with the General Assembly

Here are some numbers to help you keep track of legislative activities during the final days of the session in Frankfort: On the Message Line, 1-800-372-7181, you may leave up to 3 messages for legislators.

You can check the status of any Bill through the previous day at 1-800-701-1488, Bill Status Line.

The Calendar Line, 1-800-633-9650, will give you a taped calendar of committee meetings for that day.

R.S.V.P. for the Frog Meeting

Don't forget that a meeting is being held in Elizabethtown on March 10th from 11 AM until 2 PM for anyone who wants to learn about the program of monitoring frog calls in Kentucky. The meeting will be held at Nolin RECC Headquarters at 411 Ring Road. Reservations are required because lunch is being provided. Be sure to reserve your place for the Saturday, March 10 meeting with or or at (859)744-4812. Wanna ride? (270)-298-4237. This meeting is for anyone who thinks he might be interested in becoming a Frog Logger; there is no obligation to sign up. Those who sign on will follow a route with several observation points at 4 different times during the Spring and Summer. If you are interested in logging frogs but cannot attend the meeting, ask Bill or Brenda Little to pick up an information packet for you at the meeting.

The Community College Count is Sunday, March 17 at 2 PM

Heavens Above! Mark the date. Get a date. We're Trippin' at Nite on March 24 th We are going to Brescia's observatory, located in the Science Building, to do some star gazing. Western Kentucky University is sending a field trip leader from their Astronomy Club to take us on a trip across the skies. We want to tell you in advance that it is possible we will see nothing. You see, Brescia is located downtown where street lights and advertising light up the night sky. Weather can also be a viewing factor. But as many of you know, there is more to be learned and enjoyed on an outing than simply finding our 'prey', putting a check mark on a life list, or bagging a trophy. This field trip is planned to prepare us for April's program topic about star gazing in a world of blinding light. You also need to know the wooden stairs up to the telescope are not handicap accessible. If it rains, we'll play charades….not really, we'll look at the telescope instead of through it. We're on rain or whatever.


Let's meet at the Science Building at 7 PM. After the hour of looking upward, we will take an opinion poll to see if any of the group wants to gather at a downtown eatery such as Colby's.

First Christian Church Block Party If you can help Rose Ann Radzelovage man a booth from 11AM until 2 PM on Saturday April 21, please phone 683--5972 or let Carolyn Williams know you wish to volunteer at 683-5863. Carolyn says there really is a free lunch that day. The bikers who will be birding that day should either not sign up or volunteer for the last shift.

February 10 Field Trip Report

In contrast to the weather forecasts, Mother Nature smiled on us and gave us a beautiful winter day as we headed to Peabody Wildlife Management Area's grasslands, marshes, and lakes. 11 people joined our search for the LeContes sparrow, waterfowl, the Short-eared Owl, and Red-breasted Nuthatches. Without the help of Rob Rold and Mike Henshaw, it is doubtful that we could have found the LeContes Sparrow. It is not that the bird is skittish, it tolerated our stares from a distance of about 10 feet away, but its behavior is to take short flights just above the waist high grass in the marsh and then to land out of sight, near the ground, in bushes and cattails. We marched through mud, shallow water, and tall grass in a long line until Rob saw the first sparrow and directed us to form a circle slowly and move toward the small tree where the sparrow was perched about 2 feet off the ground. During our formation of a long line abreast, we scared up two Short-eared Owls. The owls stayed aloft along the crest of a low hill for a few minutes at a distance from us of only about 200 feet. They soared long enough to give us a good opportunity to watch them with and without binoculars.

The sun was intense and at a blinding angle when we stopped to watch waterfowl beside a strip pit. Our long observation time and use of scopes made us sure that the only species on the water was a large flock of the Ring-necked Duck. We realized that we were running out of daylight and skipped the pines where we planned to look for Red-breasted Nuthatches. Another brief stop at water's edge let us watch a Pied-billed Grebe.

Sometimes it pays to march to a different drummer. Eric and Carolyn Williams took the road less traveled and were blessed with a chance to look right into the face of a Short-eared Owl who was nonplussed by their presence close enough [my Grandfather's words here] to spit on him. He simply sat and stared at them for several minutes. The rest of the group did not see Short-eared Owls heading out on their sunset search for food. However, they heard a Barred Owl's calls, "Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you all?", and then we heard peenting and watched several pairs of Woodcocks going through their spiraling flight. For the majority of us, the Woodcocks' courtship ritual was a first.

 U.S.I., Hovey Lake, and Wesselman Woods

Four of our members were joined by a guest from the Henderson area, Ken Hurm, for a day of nesting box housekeeping and birding the last Saturday in February. Ken is hopeful that in the near future the Henderson Audubon chapter will become reactivated. Our chapter has offered to assist Henderson in reorganizing. We invited Ken to join us at the annual Bluebird box clean-out on the University of Southern Indiana's campus. We found the section of the trail assigned to us show a decrease in successful nesting last summer. There is a lot of construction that might have scared the birds away. Other teams found the bodies of a few Bluebirds in boxes where it is believed they smothered under the weight of many birds as they sought refuge during the bitter cold of the past 2 months.

We were thrilled to find a juvenile Bald Eagle perched within sight of our scope near the far shore at Hovey Lake. A Great Blue Heron skimmed the water with as much grace as the windy day would allow. We also were able to watch Double-crested Cormorants and Hooded Mergansers on the water and in flight.

A Hairy Woodpecker stole the show from all the feeder birds busily eating at Wesselman Woods Nature Center. The one-way glassed viewing area now has bleacher seating; gone are the cushy stuffed chairs. Drat! We really liked those. The Nature Center has added large flight cages outside where a crippled Red-tailed Hawk is not very happy about being on display. The Maple trees have been tapped to collect sap for a syrup and sugar festival that banners advertised for March 3-4. You may go to their Web site for more information if you are interested in visiting the Nature Center that week-end.

Thank You, Margaret Margaret Craig has served as chapter secretary for the past year and a half. Last month she asked that we replace her because her line-dancing group meets on Monday night. Even though we're sorry to lose her, we know how beneficial physical exercise is for good balance, agility, and social contacts. We'll miss you, Margaret, and hope you'll scoot your boots our way whenever we have events that don't conflict with your dance club.

Madeline Oetinger has agreed to finish out the year as our secretary. Again, we are lucky to have members who are willing to step in to serve whenever we have a need.

This is a test, only a test… Members who wish to receive The Goldfinch on-line only, conserving paper and postage, should contact the newsletter editor, Brenda Little, at .

If you request not to receive your copy in the mail, you will receive an email message automatically when each issue of The Goldfinch is posted to the web.

Send Name__________________________

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You'll be removed from our mailing label list and put on the electronic mailing list. If you realize that the newsletter on-line is not as useful to you and your family as the paper copy, you can ask to be returned to the regular mailing list. I repeat, This is a test, only a test… because the newsletter is our primary method of staying in touch with our members. We do not wish to save money at the cost of losing contact with you. Your payment of dues entitles you to the newsletter and we understand that it is possible a paper copy is read by more people than just the initial recipient. You have license to change your mind.


Officers and Directors for 2000-2001 President G. Wm. "Bill" Little, Jr. (270) 298-4237 Vice-President & Program Chairman Mike Henshaw (270) 275-4250 Secretary Madeline Oetinger (270) 683-7681 Treasurer Rose Ann Radzelovage (270) 683-5972 Membership Chairs Mike Kavolus (270) 685-3305 & Janet Howard (270) 926-3795 Education Chairs Madeline Oetinger (270) 683-7681 & Carolyn Williams 683-5863 Field Trips Chair Rob Rold (270) 684-3209 Conservation Chair Scott Holder (270) 684-1582 Newsletter Editor Brenda Little (270) 298-4237 Webmaster Eric Williams Publicity Chair Alice Gene "Aggie" Lewis (270) 684-0536 Hospitality Chair Ova Hookey (270) 683-6364 Directors: Kathryn Clay, Pat Connell, and Lifetime Honorary Directors: Elinor Wilson, Joe Ford, A.L. "Bert" Powell, and Mildred "Millie" Powell

New Members' Application Introductory dues for membership in The Daviess County Audubon Society, The Kentucky Audubon Council and The National Audubon Society are

_________$ 20 for one year ________$35 for two years and ______ $15 for Students.

Please make your check payable to The National Audubon Society and mail this form with a check beside the membership you desire to: Rose Ann Radzelovage, Treasurer at

2224 Fairview Drive in Owensboro, KY 42303. We will use the name and address on your check for your membership enrollment unless you specify otherwise.

To make a donation to help our chapter with its programs and projects, please make your check payable to The Daviess County Audubon Society. Write any specific use you desire for your contribution on the memo line of your check. If for any reason you do not wish to be a member of The National Audubon Society but wish to receive the chapter newsletter, please make a check payable for $10 to The Daviess County Audubon Society. You will see an 'L' beside the date of your annual dues expiration on the newsletter's mailing label.

The date on the mailing label below is the date your membership will expire. Renewal notices will only be sent by The National Audubon Society. Annual dues in years following the introductory rate is $35.

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