Category Archives: What’s new

Our 2020 calendar is here!

The 2020 Birds of Vashon-Maury Island calendar, featuring beautiful photos taken on the Island by local photographers, is now available for $15 each.

The calendar can be purchased at the Vashon Bookshop or Vashon Thriftway. (At Thriftway, please purchase at the customer service counter, cash only. Vashon Bookshop accepts cash or checks payable to Vashon Audubon.) You can also purchase a calendar at the Saturday Farmers Market book table.

The calendars are almost sold out, so online orders are no longer available.

Vashon Audubon is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization. Proceeds from calendar sales support  our activities, such as free presentations by bird experts, participation in Chautauqua Elementary School’s fourth-grade bird program, Vashon High School scholarships, and programs that promote native plants for birds as well as climate solutions.

We’re looking for volunteers for Audubon programs, Low-tide Celebration

If you’d like to get involved with Vashon Audubon, consider these two positions:

Program Coordinator

Job description: Organizes community educational events such as speaking engagements and workshops.

Specific duties:

  • Identify and recruit speakers for Audubon programs (approximately 6 per year)
  • Secure venue for program (typically the Land Trust or Vashon Theatre)
  • Set up and tear down the venue on the night of the program
  • Work with Communication Committee to publicize events and produce posters
  • Work with Education Committee and the Audubon Board to determine topics and schedule
  • Coordinate with other Vashon organizations

Desirable skills and experiences:

  • A/V expertise for PowerPoint and videos
  • Good communication and coordination skills

Time commitment: About 6 hours per month

Reports to: Education Chair

Audubon Booth Organizer at Low Tide Celebration

Job description:
Low Tide Celebration (LTC) at Point Robinson is an annual 5-hour event where Audubon has traditionally hosted an educational booth. The organizer is primarily responsible for communicating with LTC coordinators, requesting and scheduling volunteers to staff the booth, and overseeing the set-up and tear-down of the booth.

The organizer should arrive 30-45 minutes before the event start time to set up the tent and tables, and to receive instructions from LTC coordinators. Tear-down at the end of the event typically takes 15-30 minutes. The number and length of volunteer shifts is at the discretion of the organizer, but, ideally, there should be a minimum of 2 volunteers present from the time of set-up until tear-down.

The focus of the booth has always been flexible and at the discretion of the organizer and/or Education Chair and other Board members. If the plan is to continue with what Harsi and Ezra Parker have been doing for the past several years in presenting educational bird specimens (AKA skins) to engage and teach the public, then the organizer will need to also be responsible for interfacing with Dr. Gary Shugart of the Slater Museum. This involves contacting him to reserve the skins for the intended date, arranging for pickup prior to the event, and returning them to his home near town. If any other additional teaching displays, informational handouts or membership forms are desired, these should also be arranged for and provided by the organizer before the start of the event.

Interested in these positions?

Please contact Jody Pritchard, Audubon Volunteer Coordinator, 206-920-7833,


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 »

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

2018-2019 Annual Report

Thanks to member support and participation, Vashon Audubon had notable accomplishments in 2018-2019:


100% clean electricity by 2045! Audubon members and others, seen above with Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon, successfully advocated for legislation to reduce carbon emissions.

PGVolunteers surveyed Pigeon Guillemots at Point Robinson in collaboration with Vashon Nature Center, contributing to our region’s understanding of these birds.

We also conducted the annual Christmas Bird Count and our popular monthly birding field trips.

Paul Bannick wowed a standing-room-only crowd as he shared his amazing photos of owls at the Vashon Theatre. Three other programs this year focused on climate change and native plants for birds.

Our updated website,, enabled users to join or renew membership online, submit comments and questions, and find an array of birding resources.

PurpleFinch-StephenDaly-ann-mtg-2Talented young photographers—along with seasoned shutterbugs—contributed to our 2019 Birds of Vashon calendar. Stephen Daly’s Purple Finch was our April bird.


4th-grade-drawings-breeze-way-croppedAudubon participated in Chautauqua Elementary School’s 4th grade birding program, as we have for nearly 25 years. We presented educational programs and led a field trip. Artist Bruce Morser led the students in creating bird paintings that livened up the VCA breezeway.


Financial and membership reporting for the year ending April 2, 2019

Income $10,684
Expenses $7,593
Savings $6,073

Households 179
Individuals 283

2018 Board members

Julie Burman, President
Scott Anderson, Vice President
Fran O’Reilly, Secretary
Lindsay Hofman, Treasurer
Sarah Driggs, Communications Chair
Randy Smith, Conservation Chair
Steve Macdonald, Membership Chair
Dana Hofman, At-Large
Carol Eggen, At-Large

Key volunteers

Michael Tracy and Michael Sperazza, Programs; Ezra Parker, Field Trips, CBC, and more; Harsi Parker, Education; Richard Rogers, Facebook

Vote for our 2019-2020 board of directors (only Vashon Audubon members may vote)

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.

You can contribute to this vital seabird science by joining the 13th season of this exciting project. We are now recruiting enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers to help us monitor the status of our local wintering seabirds. Training on survey methodology will be provided at Fort Ward Park, Bainbridge Island Thursday, September 19, 2019, or at Fort Worden Park, Port Townsend Wednesday, September 25, 2019.

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, we’ll team you up with more knowledgeable surveyors. To help us determine each volunteer’s seabird identification skills, visit to take our quick, fun Seabird ID quiz.

Learn more, including training locations, at and email Toby Ross, Senior Science Manager if you would like more information or to take part.

Mew Gull photo by Mick Thompson
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