Rob Taylor to kick off 2019 Bird Festival

Friday evening, May 17, Rob Taylor will present “From Guns to Goonies: Transforming a Military Base into a Refuge for Birds and Other Wildlife,” the story of Midway Atoll.

Born and raised in New York City by not exactly nature-loving parents, Rob isn’t sure how he ended up living in Eastern Oregon and working in the fields of science and conservation. Maybe it was his discovery, while a teenager, that if he disappeared into the small patch of woods near his house, he could avoid interactions with the thugs that roamed the neighborhood. But there probably was no watershed moment, just a slow drift away from urbanization and towards small towns and rural landscapes. In college, he studied computers and had what seemed like a good start towards a prosperous life. When he quit his job at IBM to return to school and study biology, it seemed like a good decision, but given some difficulties in finding gainful employment, there have been times he’s questioned the path. Rob moved to Wallowa County in 2002 to take a job with The Nature Conservancy where he worked to develop a scientific monitoring and research program for the Zumwalt Prairie Initiative. Then in 2016 wanderlust got the better of him and he headed west to work as a restoration ecologist at Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in the Pacific Islands. Now back home in Wallowa County, Rob still manages to make a living doing conservation science and wakes up most days thankful for his life there.

Rob Taylor at Midway Atoll with “Wisdom,” the oldest known living wild bird.
Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Rob Taylor to kick off 2019 Bird Festival

2019 Bird Festival Field Trip Preview

Check out the Bird Festival tab and click on the PDF of 2019 Field Trips for a preview of this year’s activities. Registration will open April 15 for the 14th Annual Ladd Marsh Bird Festival May 17 – 19, 2019.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2019 Bird Festival Field Trip Preview

Let’s Get Ready For Spring!

It’s a Busy Time for FOLM!

Reminder: Bird House Maintenance Day: Saturday, February 23 – This Saturday. Meet at Ladd Marsh HQ at 9:00 AM. Please refer to our earlier message for more details. Direction to HQ are below.

Owl Night, Friday, March 1: Join our intrepid leader, Mike, for an evening of looking and (mostly) listening for owls on Ladd Marsh and elsewhere. Meet at Ladd Marsh HQ (directions below) at 7:00 PM. Species noted during previous owl nights include Great Horned, Barn, Northern Saw-whet, Northern Pygmy and Western Screech Owls. Please note: It can be impressively cold while just standing to listen for owls. If you believe you are overdressed, you might just be warm enough. Wear your best, warmest winter boots, too.

First Saturday Bird Walk, March 2. This will be the last time we meet at 10:00 AM until autumn. Beginning in April the meeting time will be 7:00. So, enjoy the chance to sleep in and meet Mike at Ladd Marsh HQ at 10:00 AM. See info below.

For all FOLM activities, participants should dress appropriately for the weather, recognizing the potential for wet ground and strong wind. See note above for the Owl Night. Please leave pets at home or make other arrangements. Individual daily public access permits are not required; the walk leader will have a group permit. An ODFW Wildlife Area Parking Permit is required for all vehicles on Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area.

Directions to Ladd Marsh HQ:     From La Grande, take the Union Highway (203) to Pierce Rd (B&K Auto Salvage).  Turn right (south) on Pierce. Continue for approximately 1 ¼ mile to HQ on the right.

From Union, turn left on Pierce Rd and follow above directions.

HQ can be reached from I-84: Take exit 268 (Foothill Rd) then turn east.  At the “T” with Pierce Rd, turn left (north).  Continue about 1 1/2 mile to HQ on the left.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Let’s Get Ready For Spring!