May 2001

The Goldfinch

The newsletter for the Daviess County Audubon Society

Directors’ meetings are the first Monday of each month

Meetings Sept.- June, each second Monday at 7 PM, O'boro Tech 1501 Frederica

Eric Williams will Present Program May 14

The White-eyed Vireo was the study subject of Eric Williams' Masters Thesis. Eric will share what he learned with us at our May meeting. This will be a chance for us to learn about a bird that many of us have only seen in pictures. Eric is a 110% guy who will do an outstanding presentation. If you have seen our Web site, you know how talented he is. Also, Eric is not only gifted, he is also a perfectionist with a work ethic that guarantees a good program. Don't miss it. Eric is also leading the May 26 Field Trip that is planned as an auditory search for the White-eyed Vireo. We'll meet at McDonalds on Highway 60 at the end of the By-Pass at 10 AM. After we use their bathrooms (please see Editorial P. 4), we'll caravan to Daviess Wildlife Management Area near Maceo. The trip is expected to end around noon with a potluck picnic.

Mary Kissel says 14 birders are in the gate and ready to take flight for the First ever "We're Winging-It Birdathon"

Right now the Birdathon volunteers are going through their Christmas card lists, their address books, their church directories and they're snaring people around the water coolers at work as they stalk their prey, potential sponsors for our Birdathon. During the next couple of weeks, there is a strong possibility that you will be asked to pledge an amount for each species identified by one of these dedicated birders. Each individual or team will watch birds for a time period of their choice between May 6 and International Migratory Bird Day, May 12. When they have completed their lists of sightings, they will contact each of their sponsors to tell them the amount they should donate to our chapter. The proceeds of the Birdathon will go toward buying materials for The Powell Bird Blind construction project that is already underway.

 In observance of International Migratory Bird Day, the monthly Community College Count will be SATURDAY, May 12, at 9 AM. We will meet in the college's southernmost parking lot near the entrance across from Deer Park Elementary School. The two-hour bird watching walk will be geared to people of all ages and all levels of bird watching expertise. Golf cart transport will be available for those unable to walk the cross-country path.

See Y'all at the Mall

WaldenBooks was the first corporate sponsor recruited to support our fundraising for The Powell Bird Blind. Waldenbooks will give our chapter 20% of every purchase that is accompanied by one of our coupons for the 14 days designated as the Daviess County Audubon Society Book Fair. To kick-off the fair, our members will man a tabletop display booth at Towne Square Mall just outside WaldenBooks all day, during Mall hours, next Saturday April 28. To request a coupon, contact any Audubon member, officer or director. There is a list of phone numbers at the end of this newsletter for your convenience. We will mail or deliver a coupon to anyone who asks us for one.

Our booth will feature field guides, books about bird watching and feeding, gardening, and nature. We encourage you to browse through the booth and WaldenBooks as well next Saturday. There is a 'people watching' bench nearby where you may peruse books at your leisure. We'll be passing-out coupons and talking-up our fundraising project til closing at 9. See you there!

If your schedule won't work for next Saturday, then please take your coupon and look through the bookstore anytime before May 11. We guarantee that you will find good buys for yourself and gifts for family and friends. Laura Morris is chair for this event. Laura and the store manager, Terri Marx, have special ordered items for The Book Fair that you will want to see. We expect a sell-out of some items, but Ms. Marx has agreed to extend the 20% donation to any sold-out item that you might order. But you gotta have the coupon!

Powell Bird Blind Progress Report

By Chrissi Murphy This past month I have met with the Girl Scout staff responsible for site management at the Girl Scout Camp. I have now received final approval of the site for the bird blind. Wayne Witherspoon owner of Witherspoon Builders is the volunteer contractor for the project and he helped with the site's selection. The trees and undergrowth have been cleared from the site and I have been out seeking donations of plywood for the flooring. The walls and roof are scheduled to go up early in May. There will be a progress report at the meeting on May 14. Stay tuned. Things are happening!

We're not millionaires, but 'How are we doing?', you ask…….. A fundraising update:

Ova Hookey reports that $50 was added to our coffers for funding the bird blind following a successful basket weaving class last month. Our members should know that Jan Treesh has offered to contribute to our fundraising for any future participants who take basket weaving classes. All you have to do is tell her you are with Daviess County Audubon. (Shopping tip---Reed, Ribbon & Silks, 1722 Sweeney in The Thatch, has a really nice selection of coffees, teas, and top quality gift items. Go there. Be good to yourself. They've been good to us.)

Joan Boggess and Joyce Moody have pronounced the Krispy Kreme Doughnut Sale a success. All the volunteers showed up for their time slots and our chapter made a profit of $275 for our efforts. Even the weather cooperated except that the warm sunshine melted the last two dozen of our inventory. We were forced to eat them ourselves. Our success was sweet in more ways than one.

Earth Day Almost Blew Us Away

Our hats are off (they literally blew off more than once last Saturday) to First Christian Church for its efforts to offer the public an event in recognition of Earth Day each year. It is a tough sell in a society much more devoted to consuming the earth's resources than managing and conserving them. The predicted rain did not fall, but strong winds forced almost all the booths to move inside the church's recreation gymnasium.

The Block Party featured: a Watershed Watch booth; Daviess County Audubon Society's display honoring trees; handlers with two long-suffering Red-tail Hawks and a Milk snake; a petting zoo with miniature horses, a hen with tiny chicks, and an alpaca; face painting; and a children's craft table for making nature collages. A few of us gave the climbing wall a try and, though we did not reach the ceiling, we gave a decent effort by reaching the 75% height. (Be advised, we'd just biked into the wind for 10 miles.)

We sold 15 Silky Dogwood seedlings, a Kentucky Coffee Tree, 2 Feverfew herbs, a native orchid (like a speckled violet), and a domestic honeysuckle vine. We still have 35 Silky Dogwood's for sale. These shrubs are native to Kentucky. They grow quickly to a size between 5 and 10 feet in height and diameter. They make good landscaping screens, bloom with a delicate white flower, and produce small blue berries for the birds at summer's end. Phone (270) 298-4237 or email for a free-with-donation dogwood. All proceeds go to the Powell Bird Blind project.

A favorite event of the day was taking a trial drive in a new sporty two-seater Honda that gets a whopping 70 miles to the gallon of gas. The car is totally, completely silent. The manual gears are so smooth that it is hard to tell when you are driving in a less-than-perfect range. Don Moore Auto Mall also provided a 4 to 5 passenger Toyota with an automatic transmission for trial drives. If you missed the Block Party, you should go to the Auto Mall for a test drive. It can be so much fun to be an environmentalist. The answer to your question is $20,500.

Thank you to Ed Odom of Risley's Audio and Video for providing a Television Set-VCR combination for use in our booth at the Block Party.

 And the Bikers Got Back in the Saddle

You either love biking or you don't. Some of our club members really love it! Last Saturday's adventurists did not let dismal weather forecasts deter them. The feeling is hard to describe when you first ride after months, or years, of wishing you could schedule a leisurely ride. Nobody is denying the thigh muscles that protest. And last Saturday's biking birders will admit that you never knew your rear-end had so many nerve endings. Traffic was light along the Ohio River but the wind made a ride of 7 to 10 miles the equivalent of almost 20. Brenda Eaden tried to spot the Bald Eagle that has been rumored to be nesting on French Island. The skies were gray and the largest bird aloft was a Turkey Buzzard. The sentiment of the group, (aside from 'Thank Heavens I see the pick-up') at ride's end was that none of us had had so much fun in a very long time. The hot dog offered at First Christian's Block Party did not even hit stomach's bottom for the bike riders; Seconds were mandatory.

The last week in April is Turn off TV Week. Just do it! 


An editorial raspberry to Mickey D: A 'Little' bird told me yesterday that the McDonalds in Wesleyan Park Plaza, has posted a sign barring everyone except their customers from the use of the restaurant's toilets. I would like to send out this written reaction to the restaurant's management. What I am about to write is my opinion only; written with knowledge of the problematic 'Parking Lot Puppies' and Cruisers in the shopping center lot. I have not asked for input from other Audubon members and do not speak for the organization.

When I travel in Europe, I realize how lucky we are in America to have access to toilets at fast food restaurants, shopping malls, and gas stations. Like most people, when I'm away from home and I need to use the bathroom, a fast food restaurant or gas station is the first place I look. In '94, I took a trip with a group of seniors to Italy as they and their families returned to World War II battlefields where they fought 50 years before. I found myself scurrying around looking for toilets almost every day for two weeks because my elderly friends needed to empty their bladders about every 2 hours. I found myself marching through the kitchen of a Trattoria in Florence with waiters and cooks waving their arms at me making it very clear that their toilets were not for use by the public or their patrons. I used the language barrier to my advantage and pulled an elderly lady behind me without even slowing my gait. As she used their bathroom, I leaned against the cramped and dark hallway walls appreciating some things American and muttering, "Thank God for McDonalds".

I want to tell McDonalds' CEO's, managers and stockholders that I spend a lot of hours picking up trash along the road where I live. A lot of what I pick up comes from McDonalds. I feel as if McDonalds is using my street as its toilet and I will feel no guilt as I use their toilets whether or not I have bought any of their fast food. There will be times when I will make a purchase as a token of my appreciation for their facilities, but there will be times when I just use them and go my way.

If a poor beleaguered McDonalds employee ever confronts me, I will take the same tack as I did in Florence, Italy. "Stand aside, Dude, I'm going to the bathroom!" Afterwards I will tell anybody who wants to listen that if my hours of bending to pick up cups, lids, straws, ketchup packets, Styrofoam boxes, and sacks were added up, I'd be justified in asking McDonalds to install a bathroom stall with my name on it, my own private privy. Ask anybody who owns property within 10 miles of a fast food restaurant if McDonalds ever asked him or her for permission to use their lawns as trash receptacles. I'll make a deal with you, Mickey D, you stop sending out tons of ugly litter to the roadways that I love dearly as if they were your toilet, and I'll start buying something from you every time I use your toilet. Brenda Little, Editor

Arbor Day 2001 Kentucky celebrates Arbor Day on the first Friday in April. Our chapter's participation in the national event was the planting of a John James Audubon Golden Rain Tree at Panther Creek Park in The Historic Tree Museum that was begun last year on Earth Day. The tree was donated by Stan LeMaster, a former Owensboroan, who propagates trees from historic sites related to famous people. Stan will be delivering the Keynote Address at the National Arbor Day celebration in Ohio this week.

"Too old to plant trees for my own gratification, I shall do it for posterity." Thomas Jefferson 1822

During the next several days we need a few volunteers to work with the Tree Museum doing weeding, pruning, and mulching the trees. We also need someone to do some chain saw work with fallen Cedar tree trunks that we plan to use for tree identification signage. Please contact Brenda Little, (270) 298-4237 or Joe Ford (270) 926-8215 to volunteer.

Upcoming fundraising events:

Flying Geese Quilt project will get underway during May. We have 9 people who have signed-up to donate fabric scraps, use templates to cut pieces, sew pieces by machine, and then quilt the top/batting/back. Some of the volunteers are not sewers, but their cutting of pieces is a valuable help. Chairmam Madeline Oettinger's completion goal is next Fall in time to raffle the quilt at the apple festival at Reid's Orchard in October. We hope to display the quilt in a prominent place in town a few weeks before the festival.

Car Detail by appointment. Cost is $50. The Volunteer Center will staff the clean-up teams that will wash each car inside and out down to the ashtrays and air vents, hand wax the exterior, shampoo the upholstery-carpet-floor mats, apply Rain-X to the windshield….all-in-all they'll do an all-day going over of each car. A retired business executive will supervise the detail work and the work will be covered by insurance. Only one car will be detailed per day. If you know a 'car nut' please tell them about this opportunity to have a car spiffed-up with the proceeds going to The Powell Bird Blind construction. To schedule a car for detailing phone (270) 298-4237 or

A Tribute to the Beatles two tickets have been donated to our club by Brenda and Tony Eaden. The performance is Saturday night April 28 at 8 PM at the Executive Inn. The chapter will award the tickets to the highest bidder. You may make an offer by phone (270) 683-5972 to Rose Ann Radzelovage or by email to until 10:00 PM Friday April 27. We will notify the highest bidder by phone Saturday morning around 9 AM and the tickets may be picked up at the Book Fair booth at WaldenBooks in Towne Square Mall.

April 22-28 is National Volunteers' Week and Daviess County Audubon Society is in the thick of it.

From the President's Perch My term as President of The Daviess County Audubon Society will end in about 60 days. The past 2 years have been a great ride. Brenda and I joined the chapter about the time we sold our business in 1996. After a year as new members, we were asked to serve on the chapter's board of directors where we began to learn about some of Audubon's local history and modes of operation. Then when I was elected to serve as the chapter's Vice-President and Program Chairman, I got to meet the environmental Movers and Shakers that presented programs each month. Brenda and I traveled with then-President, Mike Kavolus and his daughter, Emily, to Colorado's Rocky Mountains for the National Audubon Society Meeting. It was there that we caught fire with all the excitement and challenge of Audubon's culture of conservation. We learned about Audubon's efforts on behalf of our oceans, forests, and animal habitats the world around. We got ideas and energy from learning about other chapters' successes all across America. I've worked with charitable organizations since I was a college student at Kentucky Wesleyan, and I can tell you without any reservations that my experience with The Daviess County Audubon Society has been The Best, most fun, most challenging work with the best group of people ever. As is customary, I will continue on the chapter's Board of Directors for two years after my term of office ends. I leave the Presidency with a feeling of contentment, satisfaction and optimism about the future of our club. Large Avian

Back Up!

 By Charles Morris

My fourth grade teacher, Miss Etta Schiffman, of Caesar Cone School, Greensboro, N.C. (1952) would be proud of me. I was the President of our Junior Audubon Club. She gave me the basics of bird watching through her love of birds shared with the club. After elementary schooling, my birding fell off and I did not really pursue the birds much; however, as an adult, I always had a field guide and binoculars and would occasionally scramble to identify a new bird in the field or at our feeders.

When our lives took a real turn in 1987, I took a job in Oregon. We packed up in Tennessee and moved to Lake Oswego, a suburb of Portland. Almost immediately we put out the feeders and Were we surprised! We were getting birds that neither of us had ever seen before: Steller's Jay, Western Scrub Jays, Black-capped Chickadees, Chestnut-backed Chickadees, Anna's and Rufous Hummingbirds.

Our birding interest skyrocketed after we visited the local Sauvie's Island Wildlife Refuge. Later on, we learned that on Lewis and Clark's trip, they spent the night on Sauvie Island and could not sleep because of the noise the geese made. This refuge has at least four subspecies of Canada Geese, plus Snow, Ross and occasionally an Emperor Goose, ducks galore (including regular showings of Eurasian Wigeons, many shorebirds and Bald Eagles.) Well, I'm getting ahead of myself.

We bought better binoculars and a spotting scope and became hard-core birders. At first, as we sighted new birds, we wrote the date and other information next to the pictures in our field guide. Later on, we purchased a computer program to keep track of our sightings. Thank God we did!, because someone stole my binoculars and field guide from a rental car during a trip to California. Without the record of birds we'd seen having been recorded in the computer program, the thief would have taken years of memories from us.

We moved back east in 1999 and joined The Daviess County Audubon Society, in Owensboro, KY ( Shortly thereafter, my computer crashed and we lost all the data. However, I had a hard copy of my bird list, and re-entered the data. Then in summer of 2000 lightning caused a system crash with loss of all data again. Once again, I had to go back to my hard copy.

The only nice thing about re-entering all the data was the enjoyment of reliving some of the fabulous trips we had in Oregon, California, Arizona, Mexico, Hawaii, Alaska, Bermuda, England, Puerto Rico and over half the states in the U.S. As I was entering all of the names, I could not help but notice that number 500 was a Lucy's Warbler that we saw in Arizona. Wonderful memories of the sightings flooded back.

Some people keep journals as a way of documenting their sightings and trips. However, this has its downfalls also. We have a friend in Namibia who had his journals and binoculars stolen. From his experience and mine, I think the best way to protect our list of sights, dates, in a word, 'memories', is to use a bird database program which is regularly backed up, as well as keeping a current hard copy. Whatever you do with your sightings Back them up!

Editor's Note: For another tribute similar to Charles' acknowledgement of Miss Etta Schiffman's influence in his life, read "The Most Worthless Class I Ever Took" by Fred Bauer on pp. 117-120 in Readers Digest May 1993.


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.

Membership Options Available

Members may request that:

Members may request any or all of these options by contacting the Membership Dept, National Audubon Society, 700 Broadway, New York, NY 10003 or


_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Membership Application for New Members Dues for membership in Daviess County Audubon

Society, the Kentucky Audubon Council and The National Audubon Society are

_________$20 1- Yr introductory

_________$35 for 2-Yr introductory

Student or Senior Membership $15_______

Please make your check payable to : The National Audubon Society and mail to: Rose Ann Radzelovage, Treasurer at 2224 Fairview Dr. Owensboro If you do not wish to be a member of The National Audubon Society, but wish to receive our newsletter, please make your check payable for $10 to Daviess County Audubon Society. The name and address on your check will be our file data unless you tell us otherwise.

If you wish to make a donation in support of any of our chapter's activities, the payee on your check should be The Daviess County Audubon Society. Thank you for supporting Audubon. The date on the mailing label below is the date your membership will expire. You will receive renewal notices from The National Audubon Society before the expiration date. Labels with the letter 'L' are for those who are not members of The National Audubon Society. Our chapter does not send renewal notices; the L followed by the date is the only notice you will receive. Please keep your membership active.


The Goldfinch

306 Hoover Hill Road

Hartford, KY 42347


May 2001

Insert: WaldenBooks coupons


Programs planned for 2001

June 11 The Brown-headed Cowbird Study at Bernheim Forest .

By Dr. Blaine Ferrell

June 23 Birding at Mount St. Joseph. The Sisters are in charge of the