Day: May 19, 2010

Park is a bonafide birdland

By JASON COX Of the Keizertimes Since its inception, Keizer Rapids Park has gotten an amphitheatre, miles of trails and even a dog park. The birds were there before. But soon the park will be getting significant recognition for its ornithological diversity. Joel Geier, a project coordinator for the Willamette Valley Birding Trail, said Keizer Rapids Park will be added to its next map as an officially-endorsed designation. Geier was there last Wednesday, May 5, as part of a National Park Service tour of the park. “What I noticed being there was actually what I heard,” Geier said. “When you’re in the forest you’ll hear  lot of bird songs, which happens in that kind of habitat – a multi-layered high canopy forest.” The gravel bar on the Willamette River will likely be of the most interest to birdwatchers, Geier said. Among the more spectacular bird species there are the bright-yellow Western tanager, and he said the black-headed grosbeak makes itself known. “It’s extremely loud when it sings,” Geier said. Councilor Richard Walsh, who has championed the park for almost a decade, said such a designation has tangible benefits. According to the federal Departments of Commerce and the Interior, some 23 million people are active birdwatchers, going away from home to do so. In addition, their statistics show a birdwatcher spends an average of $37 per day on trip spending,...

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