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Giving birds a new home

SUBMITTED PHOTO: ROGER LONG - The Giving Tree on Evergreen Road in Lake Oswego is dying. Artist Roger Long intended to drill holes in the snag to create small bird habitats. Those interesting in helping can call Long at 503-635-2677.

Lake Oswego’s octogenarian, working artist and nature lover Roger Long has noted that one of the Douglas fir trees he planted on Evergreen Road is dying. Rather than remove the tree, he plans to turn it into a sanctuary for small birds.

“Many little miracles have taken place over the year on Lake Oswego’s downtown Evergreen Road but August 2016 presents a joyfully special announcement,” he wrote in a release to The Review. “The state tree, the Douglas fir I planted, is celebrating its 43rd birthday this year. It’s the first public place to study and draw a new personal way of composing from the heart the love of life into poem, haiku and song. The tree today is dying, giving its life to the native birds of Oregon, as all snags do.”

The tree, which Long has named the Giving Tree, sports carvings in Long’s Living Script and colorful images, including a Mars Mother face. Long has further adorned the tree with spiraling beads and two 4-foot-long satin rainbow sleeves. The tree can be viewed on Evergreen Road behind Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Parish.

His intent is to drill nesting places in the snag for small birds to roost, to enhance the bird population in our area. He is drilling 1-inch holes for nuthatches, 1 1/2-inch holes for tree swallows and 2 1/2-inch holes for red-shafted flickers.

Long is the keeper of much lore about the community, and he recalled that in Lake Oswego’s early days, realtor Helen Millette would match buyers to homes with yards inhabited by their favorite birds.

“Next spring, you Audubon fans can bring your camera to capture a Kodak moment,” he said. “Please come see this. Bring an open rose to float any day in the pond at Eighth Street and Evergreen Road. Birds will be here next spring, like the two ducks who came each spring for three years, each day from 8 a.m.-1 p.m.”

Long knows there are many bird lovers in Lake Oswego, and he invites them to help with the project. If interested, call Long at 503-635-2677.

Since the 1950s, Long has planted 54 trees on his property and on Evergreen, including evergreen, cherry, walnut, red alder and big leaf maple trees.

Contact Barb Randall at 503-636-1281 ext. 100 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..