Tag Archives: featured

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 randy.vashonaudubon@gmail.com.

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