Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

April 26, 2013

It’s for the birds

TAHLEQUAH — The “bluebird of happiness” brought Joyce and the late Don Varner together, and may even be responsible for the inception of the area chapter of the Audubon Society.

Today is National Audubon Day, and Indian Nations Audubon Society founding member Joyce Varner said the bluebird is probably her favorite fowl.

“Bluebirds are what brought Don and I together,” said Varner. “It’s important to know that eastern bluebirds nest in boxes. Well, before Don and I were married, he had a bluebird [box] trail that ran along the country roads in our home county. Our Friday night dates were checking those bluebird boxes. So, we’ve been ‘birding’ since Don was in high school.”

John James Audubon, 1785-1851, was America’s foremost ornithological illustrator. According to the National Audubon Society, after studying drawing in Paris under the French painter Jacques Louis David, Audubon struggled for years to make a living from his art. In 1820, he began a flatboat excursion down the Mississippi River to seek out new varieties of birds to paint. Eventually, he collected enough portraits to publish “Birds of America.”

George Bird Grinnell, a student of Audubon’s wife, Lucy, became the editor of Forest and Stream magazine and in 1886 organized the Audubon Society for the student and protection of birds. Today, its members honor Audubon on his birthday, April 26.

Varner said she and her husband held similar interests with two other couples: Dr. Everett Grigsby and his wife, Doris, of Tahlequah; and Jim and Marion Norman from Muskogee.

“I suppose you could say we were the founding members of INAS, back in 1978,” said Varner. “Today, the organization has about 30 active members, and over 200 members on our mailing list.”

Varner said INAS caters to all sorts of birding enthusiasts, from the hobbyist to the researchers.

“We carry out various surveys, where we are contributing to scientific knowledge,” said Varner.

“We report our findings back to the National Audubon Society. That’s why I think birding is such a neat hobby. You can participate on so many levels. You can watch birds out the back window or take it further and study habits and conduct research.”

The Indian Nations Audubon Society is active throughout the eastern part of Oklahoma and has members from Broken Bow and Broken Arrow, but most are from the Muskogee, Fort Gibson, Hulbert, Tahlequah, Welling, Vian and Gore areas.

Martha Evans, a Vian resident, is new to birding, and recently became a member of INAS and coordinates the group’s newsletter.

“We participate in activities such as maintaining the Bluebird Trails at Sequoyah and Tenkiller State Parks, Christmas Bird Counts at the Fort Gibson and Sequoyah Wildlife Reserves, Broken Bow and the Red Slough, and spring and fall migration bird walks at the Canebrake,” said Evans. “We welcome anyone to participate in those activities.”

Other INAS activities include summer bird-banding, and waterfowl surveys at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Reserve, eagle watches at the Fort Gibson dam, bird counts at the Nickel Preserve and Tall Grass Prairie of the Nature Conservancy, and interactive children’s exhibits at the Illinois River Festival.

Varner said INAS also participates in the Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS) program, which is a continent-wide network of hundreds of mist-netting stations.

Analyses of the banding data from the stations provides information relating to the ecology conservation and management of North American bird populations, and the factors responsible for changes in their populations.

 

To see the complete version of this article, subscribe to the Daily Press e-edition by following the link below.

Click here to get the entire Tahlequah Daily Press delivered every day to your home or office.

Click here to get a free trial or to subscribe to the Tahlequah Daily Press electronic edition. It's the ENTIRE newspaper (without the paper) for your computer, iPad or e-reader.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • ts-camp-cherokee-main.jpg Camp Cherokee

    About 500 area youth attending popular camp for tribal citizens.

    In reality, two camps are taking place at the Camp Heart ‘o the Hills: a day camp for children in first through sixth grades, and a residential camp for those in middle and high school.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • leatherman-chad.jpg Man gets 20 years for robbing local Walgreens store

    A Tahlequah man accused of robbing a local Walgreens this year has received a 20-year sentence.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • svw-orphan-train.jpg ‘Orphan Train’ authors visit Tahlequah

    Imagine, for a moment, being a child whose parents could not care for him, and the only alternative was to ride the rails across the country, hoping to find a new family and home.
    For local resident Peggy Kaney’s grandfather, this scenario was a reality.
    Alison Moore and Phil Lancaster shared the stories of over 200,000 children taken from New York City and then given away to families in western states from 1854 to 1929, at the Tahlequah Public Library on July 17.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • City council gives family deadline to rehab property

    Tahlequah’s city council is giving a family with local ties a little more than a month to develop and submit rehabilitation plans for two pieces of property containing six dilapidated structures in the 400 block of Lee Street.
    Members of the city’s abatement board recommended the homes be demolished, according to Tahlequah Building Inspector Mark Secratt. City officials then sent a certified notice as required by law, but the letter was returned.

    July 22, 2014

  • Man ‘howling like dog,’ arrested for APC

    When a Kentucky man pulled into an area convenience store over the weekend and began “barking and howling like a dog,” sheriff’s deputies checked on him and eventually hauled him to jail on alcohol-related charges, an arrest report shows.

    July 22, 2014

  • Man stable after crash

    A 57-year-old Tahlequah man was listed in stable condition Sunday evening after a crash on Old Toll Gate Road in northern Cherokee County.

    July 22, 2014

  • svw-Marijuana-guy.jpg Grassroots efforts

    Group seeks area support to put medical marijuana on November ballot

    Legalized medical marijuana will be on the ballots in November if Oklahomans for Health, the organization putting forward the proposed amendment, can get 155,216 signatures by Aug. 16.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • washington-marshal.jpg Man charged following June pursuit

    Prosecutors have filed formal charges against a Hulbert man accused of leading authorities on a pursuit and running a roadblock last month.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-3rd-Thurs-group.jpg Third Thursday downtown event gaining momentum

    Most new events take time to build a following and Third Thursday Art Walk is still gaining momentum.
    The cloudy weather may have kept some shoppers home, but those out were enjoying the evening and buying gifts.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Council to mull TMSA contract

    Tahlequah city councilors on Monday are set to discuss and possibly act on a request to renew a contract with the local main street program worth $25,000 per year.
    If the contract is approved for the Tahlequah Main Street Association, it would automatically renew each year unless otherwise terminated or canceled.

    July 21, 2014

Poll

Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
Undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel Clinton: "AIDS-Free Generation Within Our Reach" Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City
Stocks