November-December 2000


The Goldfinch


The newsletter for the Daviess County Audubon Society


Meetings Sept.-June, each second Monday at 7 PM at The Technical College 1501 Frederica Street, Owensboro, KY


Directors’ meetings are the first Monday of each month


50 Christmas Bird Counts Remembered Nov 13


Very few organizations are blessed to have members who possess the qualities that will make Joe Ford’s presentation this month so meaningful.  Joe is a rare bird because of his dedication, longevity, continuity, and record keeping with the Christmas Bird Count during his lifetime.  It is impotant for our club to heed the sage observations of people like Joe Ford, and Bert & Millie Powell.  It is also fun to hear them relate their experiences in the hedgerows and along the country lanes of Daviess County.  We are issuing a special invitation to the Girl Scouts to attend our November meeting because they are studying bird identification next month as they prepare to participate in the annual census of birds in our area.  This program can serve not only to let us share Joe’s memories, but we can start the holiday season off the right way without credit cards, wrapping paper, traffic jams or crowded malls.


Our Pigeon Flew the Coop


Due to a miscommunication, our speaker did not show for our October meeting.  We are asking Joe Ford to give up a small amount of his program time November 13th so that we can have a very quick cram course about pigeons.  We’ll learn about the pigeon’s unique traits, its contrasted esteem in Europe and North America, and its popularity as a hobby in our community.


Let’s do the Gorge with George


It has been said that Kentucky’s Red River Gorge is the most beautiful place in our state.  Many of us have never had the opportunity to take in the beauty of its spectacular scenery.  This month, Bill and Brenda Little will lead a group on a hike that is planned to be easy to moderate in degree of difficulty.  The group will depart Owensboro on November 10 to spend the night in Slade, KY.  We have reserved a cottage that sleeps 10 where there will be a meeting around 9 PM EST to discuss the hike and to go over the types of terrain, flora and fauna that we expect to see the following morning.  The cost for food and lodging is expected to be $50 per person depending on the number of people who sign up for the trip.  We plan to begin our 0 to 3 mile hike the next morning at 9 AM Eastern Standard Time.  Mid afternoon, we will begin our drive back to Owensboro.  The motel is 250 miles from Owensboro.  Please phone (270) 298-4237 or email before November 7 to reserve your place on this trip and to get carpool and driving directions.


Campus Bird Counts # 11 and 12 will be the Sundays following our monthly meetings


Madeline Oetinger, co-chair of the Owensboro Community College Campus monthly bird census, has chosen 2 PM on Sunday afternoons, November 19 and December 17 as the time our group will do a 2 hour walk noting the species and number of birds on the campus.


We apologize to the people who showed up for the count on October 15 only to find themselves alone in the parking lot.  Because so many of our members had conflicts, we were forced to change the date of the count after the newsletter was mailed.  We promise to do our very best to stay with the published details in the future.  These outings are open to the public and are free of charge.  Meet in the South parking lot across from Deer Park Elementary School.


Bird Seed Sale is November 25


Mark your calendar for the Saturday after Thanksgiving when we will sell birdseed all day at The Pet Food Center in Wesleyan Park Plaza.  This is our major fundraiser.  Mr. Mike Stepto, the business owner, makes a donation to our club each time we man a booth at his store.  We will staff the booth to answer questions about bird feeding, about our chapter mission and activities, to recruit new members and to help customers load purchases into cars.  We will need volunteers to work in two-hour shifts beginning at 9 AM until 5 PM.  There will be a sign-up sheet at the next meeting where you may schedule the time that you would like to work or you may phone Laura Morris at 926-8803 for the time(s) you desire.  Please tell your friends and neighbors to support our efforts by buying their birdseed from us the Saturday after Thanksgiving.


Birding for Beginners December 9


Volunteers are needed to teach about the basics of birding to a group of Girl Scouts and their leaders from 10 AM to 1 PM at the Scout Camp located south of Owensboro off of Highway 231.  Topics covered will be the use of binoculars, identifying 20 to 30 birds common to our area, using field guides, and keeping records of sightings.  To volunteer, sign up with Carolyn Williams at the next meeting, 683-5863, or



Field Trip Report


The October trip to Patoka River Refuge was a new venture for our club.  The Refuge is so new that there is not yet much in the way of a visitors’ center or direction signs.  We hiked along the Patoka River and a couple of brave souls climbed the forest fire watch tower for a bird’s eye view of the fall colors in the forest below.  The fauna highlights of the day were a Mourning Cloak butterfly and a Black throated green warbler.  We all got a good case of warbler neck as we studied the tiny bird flitting in the canopy 40’ in the air.


Nature Day 2000 Report


A staff shortage at Audubon State Park caused Don Boarman to cancel as our stryteller for nature day on October 24.  Four of our member: Mary Kissel, Laura Morris, Bill and Brenda Little made last minute plans to tell 250 6th graders the story of John James and Lucy Audubon’s lives.  Life sized pictures of 7 birds were placed in trees to illustrate to the kids how we watch and identify birds.  The students really enjoyed their day outside the walls of their classrooms.  Mike Henshaw and Joe Ford are members of our chapter who manned two of the 10 stations set up around the pond on the Community College campus.  This event takes a great amount of organization and advance work.  We commend the college for providing this fun-loaded nature experience to the students.  The weather was unusually warm for October, but this event is weather-dependent and rain would have forced a cancellation.  Therefore, we gave thanks for the clear skies as we fanned our faces and mopped sweat.  That’s just part of nature, you know.


We’ll go from Mexico to Maine December 11


Two of our members had extraordinary experiences this summer that they will be sharing with us at our December meeting.  Joyce Porter attended ornithology classes at an Audubon Ecology Camp in Maine.  Camp should not just be for kids and Joyce has told us that the fun and learning met, even exceeded, her expectations.


Madeline Oetinger traveled south of the border where she must have been searching high and low because she added several species to her life list and found an artifact believed to date to the stone age.  Madeline is having a hard time of keeping a secret about her find until the program time.  Archaeology is fascinating to many of us and it is a special happening when one of us makes such a find.  You will not want to miss the opportunity to hear about Madeline’s experience and to see her display.


Rose Ann Radzelovage plans to bring us pictures to the December meeting of the little bird she named Alexander and tell of her happy memories hand raising this orphaned bird.



Everybody Counts!


Save your Saturdays in December so that you can participate in the annual Christmas Bird Counts.  This is the 101st year since the Audubon Society began what has become for thousands of people an integral part of their holiday tradition.  There will be something for everyone to do in addition to counting birds.  We need people for cooking and serving lunch to the hungry census takers, driving, taking notes for the counters, and tabulating at day’s end.  There will be sign-up sheets at the November 13 and December 11 meeting for all volunteer positions we need to fill.


16 December 8 AM


The East Daviess County Count will be based at the Yelvington Volunteer Fire Station located on Yelvington-Knottsville Road.  Bert Powell will be in charge of assigning routes in the census area.  There has been discussion about expanding the count to include as many of the hours in a 24 hour period as possible this year.  We think it is possible that some of our member who live in the Maceo area might consider putting in some graveyard shift time.  Please contact Bert at 264-1534 to get your assignment location for any counting you are willing to do before the 8 AM start time.


30 December 8 AM


The West Daviess County Count has been based at Janet Howard’s home at 3534 West Parrish Avenue in past years.  This year the newsletter went to press without confirmation from Janet about the count date and etc.  Therefore, if Janet’s home is not available, we will use the McDonalds on West Parrish as our base.


6 January 2001


There will be other bird counts in the area, but we have not been able to get the details by the time we have to print and mail the newsletter.  Details will announced at the next two meetings and will be posted on our Web site,


Please visit our Web site at  Along with other Kentucky Audubon chapters, we are a work in progress and your patience is appreciated.  Programs and Field Trips are listed for the next 9 months on our Web page.


Membership Matters


During the next two months, the National Audubon Society is offering a special enrollment incentive to chapters to encourage us to work for adding new members to our roles.  We will receive a bonus paid to our treasury for each new member we bring in.  We would like to encourage each of our members to ask friends and family to join our chapter.  We offer a wide variety of programs, field trips, a monthly newsletter, 4 issues of Audubon Magazine, and community service projects that are fun and beneficial.  A membership makes a nice gift as well and is a bargain at a new members’ cost of $20 per year or $30 for a two year membership.  For gift memberships, we will enclose a gift card with our newsletter telling the recipient that you have thought of them in a very special way.


To be certain that our chapter gets the maximum reward from NAS, please mail new membership information and checks to our treasurer, Rose Ann Radzelovage at 2224 Fairview Drive, Owensboro, KY 42303.


Thank you, Kathryn!


Director Kathryn Clay hosted the Kentucky Audubon Council meeting at her home for our fall meeting.  There could not have been a better setting for this very important meeting.  (The KAC is in the early stages of a fund drive for setting up a state office) Kathryn arranged her living room with a conference table to seat the 15 attendees.  She prepared a lunch of chili, pasta salad, shrimp salad, ham with cheese sandwiches, and persimmon pudding squares.  The delegates were able to ear lunch al fresco on the sun deck where they enjoyed the magnificent fall weather.


Kathryn has also donated the proceeds from a recent garage sale to the Daviess County Audubon Society’s Endowment Fund.  Thank you, Kathryn, for thinking of the financial needs we have with our projects and programs.


From the President’s Perch


Happy Holidays!  I can think of nothing to relieve the stress of twenty-first century cooking and shopping better than the great outdoors.  I recommend that we all luxuriate with quiet times as we watch the birds at our feeders with nothing more than a cup of tea or coffee pressing us for completion.  Cornell’s FeederWatch project is another good way to sit still while the others in the fast lane push and shove their way around the malls.  (Irish Coffee is a holiday event at our house)


Gift memberships to Audubon are as easy as writing a check and stamping an envelope.  Ken Kaufman’s new bird guide will soon be in bookstores, and that too would make a great gift.  You could do your holiday shopping at the Pet Food Center the Saturday after Thanksgiving along with our birdseed sale and avoid the mess at the mall.  And then, as we give to those we love, let’s give to our community and our planet by volunteering to help the next generation with the Girl Scouts’ Birding for Beginners class, by working at the seed sale, or by helping with one of the Christmas Bird Counts.  Audubon people are the best at putting the brakes to the runaway commercial train.  Let’s reduce, reuse, recycle, rethink paper, and greet the next century with optimism. 

Cheers from Large Avian


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 Margaret Craig (270) 684-4501 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 (270) 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 Julian Wilson (270) 684-0829 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



Back to Newsletters