Author Archives: vashonmauryaudubon2

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 in 2019. We’ll add more as we learn about them, so check back from time to time.


Klamath Basin Winter Wings Festival, February 14-17. Enjoy over 50 guided birding and photography field trips, workshops, receptions, keynotes, and more throughout the Klamath Basin in Oregon and California. Featured speakers are Pepper Trail, George Lepp and Julie Zickefoose. Learn more » www.WinterWingsFest.org


Port Susan Snow Goose and Birding Festival, February 24-25, Stanwood. Take part in several different free guided tours and presentations on snow geese and other birds and wildlife in our region. Festival headquarters is the Floyd Norgaard Cultural Center in Stanwood. Learn more »  discoverstanwoodcamano.com/calendar/portsusan-snow-goose-festival


Wings Over Water Northwest Birding Festival, Blaine, March 15-17. In its 17th year, this festival celebrates the migratory birds that flock to the coastal waters of Drayton Harbor, Birch Bay and Semiahmoo Bay. This major stopover on the Pacific Flyway is designated an Important Birding Area. Learn more » www.wingsoverwaterbirdingfestival.com


Othello Sandhill Crane Festival, Othello, March 22-24. For nearly two decades this event has celebrated the annual return of nearly 35,000 Sand Hill Cranes to Othello, Washington as they migrate to their breeding grounds in Alaska. The festival offers opportunities to view the cranes up close, with tours led by local experts, and also boasts tours of the flora, fauna and geology of the area, lectures, and children’s activities. Learn more » www.othellosandhillcranefestival.org/the-festival


Olympic BirdFest, April 12-14. Guided birding trips, boat tours, live auction and raffle, gala banquet, and more. Featured speaker: John Marzluff, wildlife science professor and author. Options: Enjoy a three-day pre-festival birding cruise of the San Juan Islands, April 9-11. Stay on for a Neah Bay post-trip on April 14-16: two days birding coastal Washington. Learn more » www.olympicbirdfest.org.


Leavenworth Spring Bird Fest, May 16-19. Come and celebrate this festival’s 17th anniversary! Witness an array of returning migratory birds in peak wildflower season in North Central Washington’s beautiful Wenatchee Valley. This year’s keynote speaker is Richard Crossley, an internationally acclaimed birder, photographer and award-winning author of The Crossley ID Guide series. Learn more » www.leavenworthspringbirdfest.org


Puget Sound Bird Fest in Edmonds, September 13-15, is an annual fall celebration of birds and nature found on the beautiful shores of Puget Sound. The three-day event includes speakers, guided walks, land- and water-based field trips, exhibits, and educational activities for children and adults. Plan to spend the weekend in Edmonds, birding and meeting other birders, naturalists, photographers, and people engaged in fascinating bird research projects. Learn more » pugetsoundbirdfest.org


Go birding and make a difference!

Are seabirds in the southern Salish Sea increasing or decreasing in numbers? Which species are changing their range?

Help us find out. The Puget Sound Seabird Survey (PSSS) is a community and citizen science project managed by Seattle Audubon that empowers volunteer birdwatchers to gather valuable data on wintering seabird  populations across the southern Salish Sea.

This season PSSS will be expanding the project, yet again, this time north to the Canadian border and the San Juan Islands. They received funding from the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Estuary Program through the Washington Dept. of Fish & Wildlife to add 15-30 new survey sites, develop an oil spill plan, and train volunteers on how to react to a spill.

You can contribute to this vital seabird science by joining the 12th season of this exciting project. PSSS is now recruiting enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers to help monitor the status of our local wintering seabirds. Training on survey methodology will be provided at a location near you in September and early October.

Volunteers should ideally be able to identify Puget Sound’s seabird species and be available on the first Saturday of each month, October through April, to conduct a 30-minute survey. But, if determining between Lesser and Greater Scaup is a challenge, you’ll be teamed up with more knowledgeable surveyors. To help PSSS determine each volunteer’s seabird identification skills, visit www.seabirdsurvey.org to take a quick, fun Seabird ID quiz.

Learn more, including training dates, at www.seabirdsurvey.org and email Toby Ross, Senior Science Manager, at tobyr@seattleaudubon.org if you would like more information or to take part.

4th grade birding program inspires young artists

For nearly 25 years, Vashon Audubon has participated in Chautauqua Elementary School’s 4th grade birding program, contributing presentations about birds and field trips on the island.

The Vashon Center for the Arts also participates through its artist-in-the-classroom program. In 2018, artist Bruce Morser led the students in drawing and painting birds. The kids’ work was displayed in the VCA breezeway during the summer. This video captures some of their delightful work.

Native plants for Pacific Northwest birds

Thursday, Sept. 13, 7 p.m., Land Trust building

With some careful plant choices, your yard can be a sanctuary for migrating, nesting, and overwintering birds. Come to this program and learn how to create a haven for birds—and people.

The program will feature Pam Boros, from the Northern Cascades Audubon Society.

Free and open to the public.

Vashon Audubon, the Land Trust, and Vashon Nature Center are collaborating to promote the use of native plants for birds.

Photo of Yellow Warbler on native willow by Andrew Reding

We endorse Initiative 1631

The Vashon-Maury Island Audubon board unanimously endorsed Initiative 1631 at our June meeting.

If approved by voters, I-1631 will reduce Washington’s carbon pollution by 50 million metric tons by 2050.

In addition, $250 million annually will be invested in projects to increase the resilience of our waters and forests to the impacts of climate change. This includes restoring and protecting estuaries, fisheries and marine shoreline habitats vital for birds to survive. It also includes programs to improve forest health and reduce vulnerability to changes in hydrology, insect infestation, wildfires, and drought. This is critical support that will protect important bird habitats now and in the future.

Why is I-1631 important for birds?

The National Audubon Society’s Birds and Climate Change Report details how rising temperatures influence the range of 588 North American bird species. The report concludes that 314 of those are threatened or endangered by climate change.

In Washington, 189 species of birds are at risk. During the past 50 years, more than 60 percent of wintering North American bird species have shifted their winter ranges northward. Soon, they may have nowhere left to go. To protect birds in a changing climate, we must reduce the carbon emissions responsible for climate change.

Why an initiative?

Earlier this year, Governor Inslee proposed a carbon fee system. The proposal passed out of committee in the Senate as SB 6203, but failed to pass the Legislature. Other climate-related bills also died in the Legislature.

After the legislative session ended, conservation advocates filed I-1631. The signature  gathering effort was successful, and the measure will appear on the November ballot.

More information about the initiative

A news story from the Weekly explains key points about I-1631.

Barn Swallows photo by Jim Diers

 

 

Promoting native plants

Vashon Audubon is collaborating with the Vashon-Maury Island Land Trust and the Vashon Nature Center to promote the use of native plants that provide habitat for birds and other wildlife.

We’ll be offering educational programs and opportunities to purchase native plants for your yard.

Watch for upcoming events that will help you create a haven for birds and people.

Photo of Rufous Hummingbird feeding from manzanita by Michael Elenko
« Older Entries Recent Entries »