by John Day
Dear Members and Friends of Skagit Audubon Society,
In my President’s Message for the September 2022 Flyer, I noted that the National Audubon Society (NAS) had begun considering whether to drop the Audubon name. Last Wednesday, March 15, NAS announced its Board of Directors’ decision to keep the name. You can find more information on the decision in a press release at https://www.audubon.org/news/national-audubon-society-announces-decision-retain-current-name and in an open letter from NAS CEO Dr. Elizabeth Gray at https://www.audubon.org/news/open-letter-ceo-audubons-name. Now that NAS has announced its decision, our Board of Directors will discuss the implications of this for our chapter.
Our chapter Vice President, John Farnsworth, adds his personal commentary on John James Audubon the man and on the NAS decision in a separate column in this issue.
On a different note, I want to welcome spring! As proof of its arrival, the Pacific chorus frogs began calling in our pond earlier this week. A couple of days ago, I spotted a female wood duck fly up from the pond to check out one of our two nest boxes, both of which I recently cleaned out, and from the broken eggshells both of them contained, appear to have hosted successful broods last year. We watch pairs of wood ducks on the pond early in the season (as well as hooded mergansers), but once the females start nesting, we don’t see them much. Occasionally I’ll catch a glimpse of one rapidly winging away, presumably for some more favored foraging spot, or bombing straight into the entrance hole of one of the boxes from elsewhere. I have never been lucky enough to see a brood after they leave the nest. Where their mother takes them and how they manage to get through all the perils of roads, dogs, cats, coyotes, hawks, etc., is a complete mystery to me. Here’s to mystery!