Connecting with birds!
Continuing to serve your conservation needs with new strategies!
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Like many of us, Dee Brausch started working from home this week.  His "home office" (aka living room) window looks out into a side yard that is somewhat of a bird sanctuary with bird feeders and native plants. This slideshow includes photos of his "workmates" that dropped in on March 23rd. It’s just one day of visitors!

Staying Connected 

Dear Benton SWCD Community,
How is your week going so far? We have been thinking about you and what you might be doing to stay active and involved. This week we felt inspired by the slideshow Dee Brausch shared with us from his at-home office. To enhance your enjoyment of the birds who are still able to drop in to pay you a visit, we have put together this collection of resources.  

Build a Bird Box!

The birds visiting your yard might stay longer if you provide the right nest box for them! Different birds have different nesting needs, and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's NestWatch website can help you figure out which boxes to build for the birds you want to support. 
The Right Birds, Right House interactive tool allows you to select bird house plans for birds found in our region and specific habitats. The plans are rated for difficulty and kid-friendliness.

Learn about Birds with Kids!

The Willamette-Laja Twinning Partnership brings together students in the Willamette Valley with students in the Laja Valley of Mexico. Participating students learn about bird adaptations, migrations, and habitats. We won't be able to visit the classrooms or hold the field trips we had planned for this spring, so the Twinning team is making many of the lessons available to participating families and you! Special thanks to the Twinning Partnership's education lead in the Willamette, Dionne Mejia, for compiling these activities.

1. Species Comparisons! 
Pick two Bird Cams from Cornell Lab (live or recorded) and use pages 8-9 of Cornell BirdSleuth Explorer’s Guidebook  to describe the birds. Compare and contrast the two bird species: How are they similar (size, color, beak shape, habitat) and how are they different?

2. Online Bird Games 
Explore online games about birds designed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology for students of different ages. Explore animal sounds as a "wildlife DJ," discover the fanciest birds on the planet, train your brain to recognize bird songs, and much more!

Bird Garden Resources

We've compiled our favorite bird gardening resources on our new webpage. Dig into the BIG FOUR needs of birds: 1) Water, 2) Cover, 3) Nest sites, and 4) Food. View our bird friendly gardening tips and landscape designs, like the hedgerow for birds pictured above.

View the Resources!
Well wishes,
The Team at Benton SWCD
  • Holly Crosson, Executive Director, 541-753-7208 ext. 203 
  • Donna Schmitz, Resource Conservationist, 541-753-7208 ext. 201
  • Teresa Matteson, Resource Conservationist, 541-753-7208 ext. 204
  • Heath Keirstead, Communications & Community Engagement, 541-753-7208 ext. 205
  • Laura Brown, River Restoration and Invasive Species Program Coordinator, 541-753-7208 ext.202
  • Linda Lovett, Operations Manager, 541-753-7208 ext. 200

Upcoming Events

4/6 Virtual Board Meeting
4/8 Invasives in Your Backyard Webinar
4/14 Invasives in Your Backyard Webinar
5/4 Virtual Budget Committee Meeting
5/6 Invasives in Your Backyard Webinar

These and more events on our calendar.
Check out this infographic for tips on building a nest box with integrity
Find out how you can provide Water, Cover, Shelter and Nest Sites for birds!
Get out on the Willamette with us in June, July, and August! Details coming soon!

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We are always looking for ways to improve our planet and we hope you are too.
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