Posted: Wednesday, April 25, 2001

Audubon cruises

The Juneau Audubon Society will sponsor its sixth annual Berners Bay cruises on Saturday, May 5.

The four-hour cruises depart Auke Bay boat harbor at 8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Audubon members will be on board as naturalists.

Tickets are available from hearthside Books at $28 for adults and $5 for children under 12 accompanied by an adult.

Cruises highlight the large numbers of predators gathering to feed on eulachon which run upstream to spawn through Berners Bay in late April and early May.

Steller sea lions and harbor seals gather at the mouths of the rivers. Gulls increase dramatically, from a few hundred birds to tens of thousands in just a few days.

Migrating red-breasted mergansers gather in the hundreds in the bay. Mallards, pintail and green-wing teal nibble on dead or dying eulachon. Shorebirds and even songbirds feed on dead fish on the shore and pick loose eggs fro the shallows. Northwestern crows hide their booty in the meadow grasses. Nesting ravens feed eulachon to their chicks and store the extras in the trees nearby. Bald eagles reach a peak of perhaps a thousand as spawning ends.

For further information contact Judy at 789-9544.

Governor honors foster parents

Governor Tony Knowles has declared the month of May as "Foster Parent Appreciation Month."

"In Alaska today, there are about 1,700 children and youth in foster care being provided with a safe, secure and stable home, along with the compassion and nurture of a foster family," Knowles' proclamation said. "Alaska's foster parents open heir homes and their hearts to children whose families are in crisis, playing a vital role in helping children and families heal and reconnect, and launching children into successful adulthood."

Knowles requested that people "consider whether they feel called to take part in this program that cares for the most vulnerable members of our society when they need it most."

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