Author Archives: vashonmauryaudubon2

Audubon climate study details increasing risks to 389 bird species

National Audubon’s new climate study, Survival by Degrees: 389 Species on the Brink, reports that two-thirds of North American birds are at increasing risk of extinction from global temperature rise.

The report also tells us that actions we can take will improve the chances of survival for three-quarters of the species at risk.

The Audubon report comes on the heels of an earlier study that found North America has lost more than one in four birds in the past 50 years.

Learn more:


Projected impacts on birds in Washington

Decline of the North American avifauna report


Navy required to reassess impacts on Marbled Murrelets

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson successfully argued in a lawsuit this year that the U.S. Navy did not adequately gauge the environmental impacts of an increase in EA-18G Growler aircraft on Whidbey Island—including impacts on Marbled Murrelets.

As a result, the Navy and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will re-examine the Growlers’ impact on the federally protected Murrelets.

Read the article in the Whidbey News Times »

What’s a “catio”? Come and find out

Vashon Audubon, the Vashon Nature Center, and Catio Spaces of Seattle are co-sponsoring the VIPP Catio Tour on Saturday, Sept. 21, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Join us to learn all about the benefits of providing an outdoor enclosure for your feline companions.

The tour includes five catio sites where you can view a variety of safe outdoor enclosures for cats (cat + patio = “catio”). Catios protect not only the pet, but birds and other small wildlife as well. These permanent catio structures range from frugal to fabulous, and are in various locales around the island, from the VIPP cat shelter near Burton to closer to the North end.

Tickets cost $10 per person (children free) and may be purchased before the event at, or on the day of the event at the VIPP cat shelter, 12200 SW 243rd St., Vashon. You will receive a map for this self-guided tour.

The event will be held rain or shine, so please dress accordingly. Sturdy walking shoes are encouraged. 

You will be asked to sign a participation waiver before the event.

Search for Salmon

Join us at the Vashon Land Trust Building on Thursday, Sept. 12, 7 p.m., to learn about Vashon Island streams and all they have to offer. The program is free and open to all.

For decades, local volunteers have informed our knowledge of Vashon Island salmon and the health of local watersheds. At this program, Vashon Nature Center Director Bianca Perla will share highlights from several of these long-term community science projects. Come and learn about what volunteers are doing and what we can do to help our local salmon populations thrive.

This program is made possible with support from the Vashon-Maury Island Land Trust and Vashon Nature Center.

Birding festivals around the Northwest

Many Audubon chapters and other organizations sponsor birding festivals around our region. Typically they offer a number of birding trips led by knowledgeable guides, and are great opportunities to see species you might not find in your own area.

Here’s a listing of festivals coming up in 2020. We’ll add more as we learn about them, so check back from time to time.

21st Annual Snow Goose Festival of the Pacific Flyway, January 22 – 26, 2020, Chico, CA. This action-packed 5-day event celebrates the millions of waterfowl and thousands of raptors that migrate along the Pacific Flyway and call the Northern Sacramento Valley their home during the winter months. Learn more »


Othello Sandhill Crane Festival, Othello, March 20-22, 2020. More information to come. Learn more »

Olympic BirdFest, April 17-19. Experience the magic of the North Olympic Peninsula…quiet bays and estuaries, sandy beaches, a five-mile-long sand spit, and a protected island bird sanctuary on the Strait of Juan de Fuca; wetlands, tide pools, rainforests, and lush river valleys. Enjoy guided birding trips, boat tour, and a gala banquet.  This year’s featured speaker is Scott Pearson, a researcher in Ecology, Marine Biology and Zoology at the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife. Learn more »

Leavenworth Spring Bird Fest, May 14-17. More to come. Learn more »

Puget Sound Bird Fest in Edmonds is an annual fall celebration of birds and nature found on the beautiful shores of Puget Sound. Watch for more information. Learn more »

We’re advocating for birds on many fronts

Vashon Audubon advocates for conservation policies that benefit birds and our environment. It’s been a busy winter/spring on that front.

In January, several Vashon Audubon members went to Olympia to lobby for environmental legislation. We joined Audubon members from around the state, as well as quite a few other folks from Vashon representing other groups. The 100% Clean Electricity bill (SB5116) was one of our priorities, and we are thrilled that the legislature passed this bill—the strongest clean-electricity bill in the nation.

The Vashon Audubon board voted to support the Vashon Parks Levy. The Park District is responsible for critical bird habitat, including Fisher Pond, Point Robinson, and Fern Cove.

The King County Council is considering a countywide parks levy, which would go on ballots in August. This levy would replace an expiring levy that was last approved by voters in 2013. The Vashon Audubon board voted to support this levy. Resources from King County parks support critical bird habitat on Vashon and elsewhere in the county.

Finally, we submitted comments on the SEPA process for the proposed Tramp Harbor Shellfish Project. We are not taking a position on the merits of the project, as there isn’t enough information right now to make that decision. But we are concerned that the environmental scoping documents ignored the presence of many wintering birds in that area. The documents made almost no mention of birds, and we are asking the County to correct that deficiency. We need to understand what impact the shellfish growing operation might have on those bird populations.

For more information, contact Conservation Chair Randy Smith at

Call for photos for our 2020 calendar

Do you have a great photo of birds on Vashon Island? We might have a place for it in the 2020 Birds of Vashon-Maury Island calendar!

This popular annual calendar raises awareness of local birds and showcases the work of local photographers. Proceeds from sales help support Audubon programs.

If you have a photo you’d like to contribute, please submit it by August 30, 2019.

We’re looking for:

  • Photos taken on Vashon-Maury Island or surrounding waters
  • Excellent photo quality
  • Photos that do something special—tell a story, show birds in action, convey a mood, show detail that makes you say wow!
  • Overall good range of types of birds
  • Overall good range of island photographers represented
  • Photos for all months/seasons

Submittal instructions
Submit digital photos by emailing them to by Friday, Aug. 30, 2019.

Files should be in JPEG format, sRGB colorspace. The ideal finished size for a main calendar page photo is 11” wide x 8.5” high at 300 DPI (3300 x 2550 pixels). If you have a wonderful image that doesn’t meet these size requirements, feel free to submit it; it might work. We also use smaller photos throughout the calendar. Photos should not have watermarks.

Please include the photographer’s name, address and phone number in the email. List each photo submitted and identify the bird species and when and where the photo was taken.

Download the calendar submission guidelines »

A committee of photographers and birders will select photos for the calendar. If your photo is chosen, we will notify you.

We assume that photographers whose photos are selected are giving Vashon Audubon nonexclusive permission to publish their photographs in the calendar and promotional materials. Photographers must own all rights to any photos submitted. Photo copyright will remain with the photographer. Photographers will be credited and will receive a free calendar.

The calendar will be sold at Vashon Audubon programs, local stores, and on our website.

Questions? Contact Sarah Driggs, or 206-408-7051.

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