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New posts featuring member, staff, and volunteer profiles; reporting on current events; project updates; behind-the-scenes look at special activities; field trip reports; and more are posted throughout the month. Be sure to bookmark this page and check back regularly. You can also receive monthly updates right to your mailbox. Sign up here.


5 Great Bird Journals to Try

November 12, 2019

In the era of eBird, it's easy to log your bird sightings into the ether, but what if seeing birds conjures more creative initiative in you than an online tally? What if writing or drawing what you see is part of your birding practice?

I tossed the question out to my birding friends recently and got back a reassuring--tho’ admittedly unscientific--60 percent “Yes!” of the twelve or so people who responded. “Yes!” to scribbling down birds seen from the yard, during a trip, either as part of an existing journal or separately in a notebook for a birding life list. 

Read more about 5 Great Bird Journals

Window Bird Strike

Birds in a Human World: Understanding Urban Hazards

September 30, 2019.

On September 19, 2019, just one day before four million people around the world participated in Climate Strike, a shocking new research study was published in the journal Science. The study revealed a dramatic decline in bird populations over the last 50 years. North America now has 2.9 billion fewer birds than in 1970. This amounts to more than a quarter of the total North America bird population being lost in less than a single human lifetime.

Yet, even in the midst of this news, there is reason for hope. Along with the study, the organizations behind the research provided a primer on "7 Simple Actions to Help Birds". Seattle Audubon is proud to report that many of the suggested actions and strategies are ones we are already addressing through our education, conservation and science programs.

Read "Birds in a Human World: Understanding Urban Hazards"

Belted Kingfisher

Birding My Neighborhood: Lake Forest Park

September 19, 2019. 

Seattle is a city of neighborhoods, each with its own unique flavor—from the Scandinavian enclave of Ballard to bustling South Lake Union, from funky Fremont to vibrant Columbia City, and everywhere in between. This is a series for the blog, Birding My Neighborhood, with volunteer, writer, and amateur photographer Caryn Schutzler. In this installment, Caryn joins Byrony Angell and her daughter, Vesper, to explore Grace Cole Nature Park in Lake Forest Park. Read about their adventure.

New Life for Arboretum Creek

August 30, 2019. The last time you walked, biked, or drove past Arboretum Creek, you may have assumed it was a drainage ditch. That’s understandable. It has that air, especially in late summer. There’s no year-round water supply for the upper portion of the creek and in the hotter, drier months, it becomes a series of warm, stagnant pools. Read more.

Great Bird Books for Kids at The Nature Shop

August 13, 2019. Seattle Audubon’s Nature Shop is a familiar destination for your birding needs (optics, seeds, feeders, guides), as well as a hub bookstore for nature and culture titles. You might notice a well-stocked shelf of kids’ picture books among the diverse selection, aimed at children of all ages. Read more.

Birding My Neighborhood: Ballard

July 2, 2019. This is a series for the blog, Birding My Neighborhood, with volunteer, writer, and amateur photographer Caryn Schutzler. After her outing in  Magnolia with award-winning author and wildlife photographer Paul Bannick, she heads to Ballard with Seattle Audubon Community Engagement Manager and master birder program graduate, Wendy Walker. Read more.

June (4). April 2019 marked the end of the largest season of the Puget Sound Seabird Survey in volunteers engaged and geographic range. Check out what we've been able to learn with our new data tool, Tableau.

June (3). Coming up on its second year of existence, West Seattle Nature Camp is a place where children and adult naturalists get to know each other and nature personally.

June (2). Columbia as a birding destination is not to be missed. With the tallest coastal mountains in the world, extensive areas of tropical Amazon lowland forest, and high altitude grasslands, Columbia offers birders an amazing array of habitats and nearly 1,900 bird species.

June (1). Light rail is coming to Lynnwood. In early May 2019, Sound Transit began clearing trees along I-5 to make way for the track. This tree loss is difficult for many in our community, particularly because this removal coincides with peak nesting season.

May (2). When Notre-Dame de Paris burned a couple of weeks ago, it came as a surprise to some that the attic of this stone edifice was made of wood. The attic, which was called “The Forest,” was constructed of enormous oak beams, each one milled by hand from a single oak. 

May (1). Seattle Audubon is interested in protecting our city’s urban forest. When the opportunity arose to serve as the NGO Representative on Seattle’s Urban Forestry Commission, we jumped on it. Explore Seattle's urban forest with Urban Conservation Manager Josh Morris.

April (1). Birds are everywhere these days; singing at dawn, nest-building, courting, playing cards...Playing cards? There’s another bird-themed game on the scene, this one with a distinctly local angle.

March (1). For Tiffany, her love for wildlife and wanting to connect with others who enjoyed the same first led her to birding in New York City.

February (2). In the same way, birders’ experiences are as diverse as the hues of the birds themselves. For Black History Month and quickly approaching Women’s History Month, we are highlighting a few black women birders who are members of the Seattle Audubon community. 

February (1). Seattle Audubon’s Nature Shop is quietly becoming a destination bookstore for books about environmental justice and nature titles by authors of color, thanks to the purposeful curation of store manager, David Garcia.

January (2). I was walking in Discovery Park with naturalist, photographer, and author Paul Bannick—appropriately dubbed “The Owl Whisperer”—and he asked, “What are your hopes and expectations?” 

January (1). The Trans Mountain Pipline expansion would triple the pipeline’s capacity, increase oil tanker traffic in the area by approximately 700%, and elevate risk to wildlife and human communities. In response to the proposed expansion, Seattle Audubon submitted a comment letter to Canada’s National Energy Board for several reasons.

December 2018 (2).  In its second year, the Youth CBC had a spike in popularity, with a record number of 43 participants on hand this year. Birders ranged from parents with strollers, to adolescents and teens with their own binoculars, allowing us to split into two groups. 

December 2018 (1).  And his family, his son Scott Minor, wanted this simple, non-materialistic nature man’s gift to be in support of the birds and the animals that live on this planet—the friends Garry Minor had grown to love.

October 2018 (2).  Birds of The Pacific Northwest is an all-in-one regional field guide, published by Seattle Audubon, is unique to any on the market today, containing an impressive depth of information, from habitat preferences to vocalizations, to feeding behaviors.

October 2018 (1). ...whatever satisfies your birding sweet tooth, good birding is what we make of it. If we tend to seek only the rare or uncommon birds, we may tend to overlook the birds we have in our midst.

September 2018 (2).  Seattle Audubon recently added three new employees: A Member Services Associate and two AmeriCorps Urban Environmental Educators. Below is a way to get to know the newest members of the flock through a fun Q & A.

September 2018 (1). Birders already have a reputation for being, shall we say, a dedicated bunch, so throwing cycling into the mix takes birding a zealous step further. 

August 2018 (2). West Seattle, a conglomeration of diverse habitats — ravines, riparian and salty shoreline — hosts many species of passerines, sea and shorebirds, migrating and resident, depending on the time of year.

August 2018 (1). Dr. Merrill Peterson is releasing Pacific Northwest Insects, a user-friendly, comprehensive guide to over 3,000 insect species. This Q & A, where the author dives into his personal interests, passion for insects, and motivation for creating the book, was conducted electronically by The Nature Shop. 

People birding with app

July 2018 (2). From the annoyance of realizing a song you heard is someone’s cell phone to the justified concern of playback overuse and possible disturbance of the very birds we revere, playbacks can be a contentious issue.

David of Seattle Audubon

July 2018 (1). Seattle Audubon partnered with local organizations to create space for discussion. The event, Diversity in the Outdoors: Presentations & Conversations, included presentations from Glenn Nelson, founder of The Trail Posse, Michelle Piñon, Washington Program Coordinator for Latino Outdoors, Sarneshea Evans from IslandWood’s graduate program, and Syren Nagakyrie, founder of Disabled Hikers.

Author on Mountain

June 2018 (2). The first bird I ever noticed was the American Robin, an experience heightened by a contest my kindergarten teacher created. Mrs. Beak told my class that she would reward the first person who saw and reported seeing the first robin of the spring. 

June 2018 (1). Seattle Audubon is proud to introduce a new series for the blog, Birding My Neighborhood, with volunteer, writer, and amateur photographer Caryn Schutzler. Caryn appropriately begins the series with a birder’s view of her own neighborhood, which she shares with our Nature Shop—Wedgwood.

May 2018. A cold brew on a sultry summer evening disarms the typically serious birder crowd gathered for a session of bird-themed trivia at a local pub. No birds here to add to your life list, but you’ll be sure of the companionship of fellow birders, ready to knock one back and show off their bird-nerdery.

March 2018. Over 10 days in February, a group of nine, intrepid travelers set off with Seattle Audubon in partnership with National Audubon’s International Alliances Program and Holbrook Travel. Read about their encounters with Long-tailed Manakins, Roadrunners, and more on the Seattle Audubon blog!

February 2018. Bundled up against the coastal winds with a steaming cup of tea at his side, Seattle Audubon science committee chair Peter Hodum peers through a scope at a small, silhouette on the water. He and a cadre of over 200 volunteers are counting seabirds this afternoon, as part of the Puget Sound Seabird Survey (PSSS), the only multi-month survey of live seabirds in the Puget Sound region.
A Sense of Place
August 2017(1). Attending the 2017 Audubon Convention last month in Park City, Utah, broadened Community Engagement Manager Wendy Walker's perspective, and helped her place the local urban work we do in Seattle in a national context. Wendy shares just a few of the many things she brought back.
Trip Report: Young Birders
July 2017(1). This year, Melissa Melloy, Americorps Service Member and Education Coordinator, was lucky to be the Young Birders leader and chose to celebrate the close of our program year with a weekend of birding around Wenatchee and Leavenworth. Along with trip co-leader (Seattle Audubon’s Community Engagement Manager Wendy Walker), the Young Birders headed east of the Cascades.
Staff Perspective: John
June 2017(2). With the recent declaration that the United States would be withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement, it’s easy to feel like the rug has been pulled out from under us when it comes to action on climate change. Fortunately, Seattle Audubon is developing a very thoughtful approach to these issues.
Nature Camp
June 2017(1). When June arrives to Seattle, restless parents and school kids are one foot in the schoolroom and one foot out the door into the priceless three months of summer in the Pacific Northwest. And at Seattle Audubon, the education staff are ramping up for the biggest educational program of the year, Nature Camp. 
Birdathon Trip Report
May 2017(2). Bryony Angell recounts her "Big Day" for Bird-a-thon 2017. The idea for a Birdathon (similar in concept to a walk-or-read-a-thon) is exploiting a birder’s obsession for detail, love for travel, and drive to one-up our fellow birdathonners for most species seen or heard on our chosen day in May. Or not.
Profile: Liz Clatyon Fuller
May 2017(1). Liz Clayton Fuller is only in her mid-20s and already an accomplished artist in the scientific illustration field. Through dedicated honing of her skill through field work, art education, networking and social media (she has over 14 thousand followers on instagram), Clayton Fuller has developed a career that includes not only academic illustration but teaching, fine art, and hopefully one day, field guide illustration.
Neighborhood Flyways
April 2017(2). On a recent April afternoon of rare blue sky and sunshine, a group of about 100 Seattleites gathered at the historic Town Hall on First Hill to talk about the future of urban tree canopy preservation at the Neighborhood Flyways Symposium.
Trip Report: Ecuador
April 2017(1). There are moments of rapture in the life of a nature lover, and it doesn’t matter if you are rookie or seasoned veteran. Tropical birdsong evoked one such moment, capturing the wonderment of everyone on a recent Seattle Audubon International Birding Trip Program tour in Ecuador.
Birdscaping
March 2017(2). Keith Geller's and Penny Bolton's yards are each an urban laboratory in developing advice and techniques for others wanting to attract birds to their own yards. But more fundamentally, their yards are a stopover on the neighborhood flyway of interconnected public and private green belts that birds rely on.
Family-Friendly Fests
March 2017(1). An organized bird festival can be a transformative experience, bringing family to a new environment within a structured, curated approach that both gets you someplace new and takes the mystery out of figuring it out yourself (ideal conditions if you’re with kids). 
Profile: I. Arévalo Wong
February 2017(2). We spoke to Izzy Arévalo Wong at length about her history with the organization, her years of advocacy for diversity in the conservation movement, what she recommends for increasing inclusion, and the upcoming class on nature drawing that she is teaching this March as part of the SAS Spring class series.
Backyard Bird Count
February 2017(1). The Zimmermans--longtime Seattle Audubon members and volunteers, as well as Master Birders and former board members--host a wildlife Shangri-la on their small parcel of suburbia. It's a perfect place for a Backyard Bird Count!
WA Bird Year
January 2017(2). In the tradition of a birder’s Big Year, which can have a birder running all over the country to count birds, Jen McKeirnan instead  focused her project on Washington state birdlife.
Kids & Birds
January 2017(1). What is the moment that captures a kid’s interest in birds? When and how does that interest start? We went straight to the source: Seattle Audubon sat down with three young members to learn how each of them arrived at their “bird-nerdery.” 
NBP: Citizen Science
December 2016(2). Seattle Audubon’s volunteer citizen scientists gather every month of the year to audit Seattle’s urban parks for bird species as part of SAS’s Neighborhood Bird Project. 
Binocular Q&A
December 2016(1). Many fans of Seattle Audubon are also serious birders (or bird-watchers), and with birding comes binoculars and other optics that enhance the experience and discovery of birds in the field. 
Staff Profile: David Garcia
November 2016. David Garcia, 25, is Seattle Audubon's Nature Shop manager, a millennial, and an advocate for diversity in the environmental movement. 

 

 

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