Utah County Birders Newsletter
September 2000


Wednesday September 20th at 7:00 pm in the Bean Museum Auditorium on the BYU Campus. FEATURING CLARK MONSON. Clark is a visiting professor at Brigham Young University and an expert on Osprey and other birds of prey. He has written several articles on Osprey and has been the individual for erecting nesting platforms for these birds north of Deer Creek and at other locations. Largely because of his efforts, this species now nests much more extensively in Utah. He has also studied many other raptor species and is particularly knowledgeable about raptors in Utah County. He promises to be an informative and interesting speaker.


Thursday-Friday, September 21-22 - Grand and San Juan Counties. Details at Wednesday Meeting

Saturday, September 30 - Half Day 7:00 - 1:00 Elberta and Goshen Canyon - Meet at Bean Museum at 7AM

Out of the Duldrums
by Darlene Amott

August was without a doubt one of the most unexciting months of the year, as usual. There were no fun holidays, and it was hot, and it was dry, and birding was slow. What could be worse. One of the only bright spots I could see was that I no longer had to go back to work. I know my feelings about August are slightly warped by the fact that I used to have to start back to school on the first, which seemed to cut my summer very short. Hitting the magic "200" species goal didn't help either. I hit kind of a contest slump. Fortunately, August is over and wonderful September is here. September has always been a fall renewal. It has been as much of a "new year" for me as January is for most others. I recognize that technically it is still summer, but the feeling is one of coming fall. Cool and cold are far better temperatures than hot and hotter, so I look forward to the colder seasons. September lifts me out of the August doldrums and gives me a sense of excitement once again. The fall migration is under way, and we can look forward to new species, or, perhaps I should say, the return of old friends. The usual birding haunts begin to take on a new look, and I feel like I need to go visit all of them again. This is the time to go back to all the fun places, particularly in the mountains, before winter storms hit and close some of the roads. In fact, there are hideaways which have been missed this year. It is time to have a look at them. I am aware, as well, that there are counties which have not been visited. If September would last two months, I might make it. Here I go dreaming again. The idea, though, is to take advantage of the time and the weather and enjoy. September needs to be a birding month.

Robin's View

Writer's Block
by Robin Tuck

So many topics, so little substance. Learn from mistakes. I really felt like I had blundered when I made the bird song CD for the UCB Pot Luck dinner last month. I selected 67 common birds and had my son record them randomly on a CD. Playing the entire CD would have taken an hour, so I played just the first 20 bird calls, and they weren't the ones I'd have chosen if I knew I was only going to play so few. So, I confused everyone. Even Dennis, our resident expert only got 15 of them. I felt bad. Sorry. Team up whenever possible. Tuula Rose wrote in her last Birdnet letter: "My good luck today was to run into Dana Green and Julie Van Moorhem at the Provo airport dike." Tuula is right. Our birding luck improves when we run into other birders. This works both ways, Dana and Julie's luck improved that day as well. It always pays to team up on birding outings. If you meet each other out birding, join forces and your birding will improve. Strengthening friendships is an added benefit. Leadership. Just three more months to the end of the year. Among the many things that will happen at the end of the year is the changing of the Utah County Birders leadership. This past two years was wonderful under the capable leadership of Darlene Amott and all the others that worked hard to make the club work. And work it did. We had many great trips, a lot of great meetings and we have one of the best web pages around. Now the term is up and we have the opportunity to step aside and let others man the helm. Whom among you should be the next President? The Field Trip Chairman? The whatever? Think about it. I would like to see leadership transfer to younger and more energetic birders. (It'll be hard though. I've tried to follow Dennis up a mountain and I challenge anyone to even keep up.) Migration. Shorebirds are mostly gone and the passerines are soon to leave, and the winter migrants are not here yet. The birds are moving as the days grow cooler and shorter. Someone said that, if I was lucky I might be able to see a flock in migration against the full moon. Most birds seem to migrate at night. I cannot recall ever seeing a true flock of small birds migrating during the daylight hours. I've seen Canada Geese and White Faced Ibis but not much else. One fall evening Julie and I stood out with Lois Clark and scanned the heavens but to no avail. Maybe someday.

Make Your E-mail Readable
by Robin Tuck

E-mail is getting scary. Every three to four months another wave of viruses go around the world causing havoc and destruction to the unwary computer user. The experts say "Don't open mail attachments if they look strange or are from people you don't know and trust." This is good advice, but even when you know and trust someone e-mail from them just might be hazardous to your computer's health. Many viruses, such as the "love bug' virus e-mail copies of themselves to everyone in the infected computer's address book just prior to erasing all the files. If I am listed in your e-mail address book when you open the virus then I get a copy of the virus. Then if I open the virus everyone in my address book receives a copy of the virus. This is how viruses spread so fast. So, what's to be done? Simply put, delete the e-mail unread and don't open any attachments. This is harsh and rather brutal. However, there are some things that can be done to keep most viruses from being destructive. Note that there are a number of different types of computer viruses, each requiring different preventative measures. Their common attribute is that they all must execute on your computer or network to do their damage. If the virus doesn't run, it doesn't do its thing. Viruses are computer programs that have been authored to do whatever bad thing they do. They can be written in any computer language available, the most common being written in VB Script. Virus writers often write and share tools that make writing destructive scripts very easy such that a relatively non-technical person can write one. The more knowledgeable virus writers have a derisive name for script writers, "Script-Kiddies."It is possible to turn off script execution in most e-mail programs but many install with script execution turned on by default. Script execution should be turned off on all e-mail programs. Read your help files to determine if script execution is enabled or disabled for your e-mail system. There are things you can do as an e-mail writer that will keep me from deleting your message unread. First, do not have attachments. Virus writers most often hide the virus in an attachment. If I don't recognize your name or the title of your attachment looks weird, I will delete your message and the attachment unopened. You can avoid having an attachment by copying the attachment content into the body of your message. If you do this, I can see the information without having to open an attachment. Having a clear and descriptive title will increase the likelihood that I will read your message. I delete e-mail with attachments from unknown senders, e-mail with offers (especially if it states "this is not spam...") and all mail with weird titles. If I recognize your name and you send me e-mail with an attachment, I may phone you before deleting your message to find out if it is OK too pen. So, plan accordingly. Write your e- mails to be read, not deleted.