Come join us at our next meeting and program on December 10, 2013!
Back Again by Popular Demand--
Picture Potpourri and Potluck
By Skagit Audubon Society Members
Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013
6:45 Social; 7:30 Program
Padilla Bay Interpretive Center
10433 Bayview-Edison Road
Mt. Vernon, Washington
Please bring potluck food to share. After the meal we will view each other’s favorite nature photos, a collective view of how Skagit Audubon Society members have seen nature both here and abroad.
Ronan Ellis is gathering the submitted digital photos and making a “slide show” of them for projection. Pictures must be received no later than December 1. (Send to: firstname.lastname@example.org.)
This show is open to EVERYBODY. We look forward to an evening of sharing. It’s not a contest, just a show! Thanks to those participating!
SOUND WATERS -- Saturday, February 1, 2014
Keynote Address: William Steele, University of Washington Seismology Lab
Topic: Cascadia Fault Zone, Earthquake Hazards and Effort for Early Warning System.
Of special interest to birders are these 4 classes of the 65 classes offered:
“On an Incoming Tide: Seabirds, Marine Debris and Citizen Science”
“Feathered Architects: The Fascinating World of Bird Nests”
“Fishing for a Living: The Grebes”
“Bald Eagle Ecology”
Date: February 1, 2014 Where: Oak Harbor High School, Whidbey Island.
Registration: $40 per person, discount of $25 for students and active military.
Certified teachers 5 clock hours continue ed. credit through Washington State University.
Sound Waters website has further information: www.beachwatchers.net/soundwaters.
Online registration January 2014, or Phone for info: (360) 678-7837
Hope to see you there!
SKAGIT AUDUBON SOCIETY DECEMBER CONSERVATION MESSAGE By TIM MANNS, CONSERVATION CHAIR
The parade of conservation issues, large and small, continues without pause. Skagit Audubon commented on Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife’s (WDFW) proposal to restore wildlife habitat on the 103-acre Welts Property near the mouth of the Samish River. This seems a positive project for birders as well as for the hunters the department serves and the fishermen and women accessing the river when salmon are running.
In 1997 WDFW established the 331-acre Johnson/Debay’s Slough Game Reserve as a refuge for swans to rest, feed, and roost. About 3 miles northeast of Mount Vernon, this area is closed to all hunting. For some years significant portions of the refuge have not been functioning as intended. Now WDFW and The Trumpeter Swan Society want data about how and when swans, ducks, geese, and other birds use the area. Skagit Audubon Society was involved in getting the refuge established, and we can better have a say in its future by helping obtain this information. If you can assist with surveys this winter, please contact me (Tim Manns, 360-336-8753, email@example.com). Martha Jordan of The Trumpeter Swan Society is working with WDFW biologists to design a protocol for us to follow.
A third WDFW item is the start of management planning for the Leque Island/Eide Road property between Stanwood and Camano Island. The agency faces a daunting task in reconciling interests of birders, waterfowl hunters, photographers, and pheasant hunters with needs for estuarine restoration to bolster salmon stocks, dealing with deteriorating dikes, and untangling road access problems. Several Skagit Audubon members attended the kick-off meeting and will probably participate on the stakeholders committee reviewing alternatives.
In early November Skagit Audubon commented to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration on proposed stronger standards for railroad tank cars. About one train a day delivers crude oil to the Anacortes Tesoro Refinery, and there will be more such trains if Shell also constructs its proposed rail holding facility at March Point. The new standards would reduce chances of these tank cars leaking or of them breaking open in a collision or derailment. Spills could end up in Padilla Bay, one of only 28 National Estuarine Research Reserves, or in Fidalgo Bay, one of Washington’s 7 Aquatic Reserves, both areas of very high biological importance.
Besides the increasing shipping of crude oil to Washington’s refineries by train, there is also a Tesoro plan to deliver North Dakota crude (and eventually tar sands crude too?) to a Vancouver, Washington shipping terminal, thence by ship to West Coast refineries, or overseas if federal law prohibiting export should change. The state’s Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council has expanded the comment period for the scope of an environmental impact statement on this project to Dec. 18. The council will make a recommendation to Governor Jay Inslee, who will decide on state approval. For more information and to submit comments: http://www.efsec.wa.gov/Tesoro-Savage.shtml. See also information about oil shipping on the Washington Audubon website: http://wa.audubon.org/oil-trains.
PADILLA BAY CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT
Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013
Audubon Chapters nationwide organize and run hundreds of count circles; these good efforts are the reason the longest running “CITIZEN SCIENCE PROJECT” in the world is so successful.
CONTACT: Tim Manns at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-336-8753
SAS Education Committee at Work
Throughout 2013 the Skagit Audubon Society (SAS) Education Committee, Jean Ashby, Irene Perry and Sheila Pera, have been doing outreach programs in Skagit, Snohomish and Island Counties. The goal of the outreach programs is to share with all people, young and not so young, about the wonderful and exciting world of birds.
During the summer Jean volunteered with the North Cascade Institute Kulshan Creek Program and the Girl Scouts at Camp Kirby. Irene and Jean volunteered with Campfire Days on Samish Island, and Sheila was a docent at Cama Beach State Park. They also represented the Skagit Audubon Society at the Stanwood Snow Goose Festival, the Mt. Vernon Science Night, Edison Bird Festival and the Mt. Vernon Salmon River Festival.
If you would like to become involved in these education programs please contact:
Jean Ashby email@example.com
Skagit Audubon Society Income & Expenses
Fiscal year 7/01/12 - 6/30/2013
Submitted by Wendy Walker, Skagit Audubon Society Treasurer
Chapter Memberships …………..……. $4,065
Nat’l Audubon Baseline Funding .…… $1,434
Nat’l Audubon Dues Share .………..… $ 70
Interest Income ……………..………..… $ 81
Donations ………………………..……... $ 927
Hospitality (Coffee Can) ………………. $ 126
Total ………………………… $6,703
Audubon Washington …... …………. $500
Conservation donations ……….….. $2,950
Education Programs $ Supplies ….. $ 1,759
Hospitality …………………..……..… $ 85
Insurance ……………………….…... $ 313
Office Expenses …………….……….. $ 209
Printing …………...…………... $ 961
Postage ………......…………... $ 274
Speaker Expenses ………...……… $ 75
Website …………………………….…. $ 105
Total ………………………… $7,231
Two New Skagit Important Bird Areas of Global Importance
In early August the U.S. Important Bird Area (IBA) committee added two Skagit County areas to the IBA list as areas of Global Significance. As described in the March 2013 Skagit Flyer, the IBA program is an international effort to identify, conserve, and monitor a network of sites that provide essential habitat for bird populations.
The lead organization is BirdLife International, based in the U.K. Audubon is the lead entity for the program in the U.S. and has been working since 1995 to identify and conserve IBA’s all across the U.S. (http://www.audubon.org/bird/iba/index.html).
In 2008, the only IBA so far designated in Skagit County joined the list: Padilla and Samish Bays. During the past two years, Pam Pritzl, Skagit Audubon Past President, reactivated the program working with Ruth Milner (WA Dept. of Fish & Wildlife) to nominate Skagit Bay. Pam collected information from a wide variety of sources on the species and numbers of birds that frequent the bay and completed the complex nomination.
It readily passed muster with the Washington State IBA committee and moved on to the national level committee. Because the data shows that Skagit Bay supports over 5% of the North American population of at least 4 species during a season or more than 1% at a given moment (Trumpeter and Tundra Swans, Lesser Snow Goose, and Dunlin) it meets the IBA criteria for “Globally Significant.” This is the highest designation a site can receive.
Also last year, Pilchuck Audubon’s Larry Schwitters, Vaux’s Swift expert and another great volunteer, used data from Skagit Audubon and other volunteers to nominate the smokestack at Old Northern State Hospital near Sedro-Woolley where up to 20,000 migrating swifts roost nightly. This nomination, titled “Vaux's Swift Chimney Corridor” combined 4 significant swift roosts, Northern State plus Monroe Wagner Elementary School, Joint Base Lewis McChord Building, and Selleck Old Schoolhouse. The U.S. IBA committee confirmed that the high numbers of Vaux’s Swifts using these chimneys during their annual migration met the criteria for designating them as Globally Significant.
So what happens now? The IBA program has official recognition in Washington State through 2004 legislation creating a tie with the Dept. of Natural Resources.
Natural Heritage Program. The designation shines a light on the importance of these places in a way which should give pause to those who would propose actions detrimental to them and to the birds the sites support.
Skagit Audubon members will monitor the IBA’s to ensure their conservation. Congratulations and thanks are in order to Pam and Larry and all the volunteers who over the years gathered the data at the heart of these successful nominations.
Audubon Council of Washington ~ 2013
Eastside Audubon Society and the King County chapters are hosting the 2013 annual meeting of the 26 Audubon chapters in Washington. The Audubon Council of Washington (ACOW for short) will convene for one day at Bellevue College on October 5. This year’s agenda highlights citizen science with presentations by Kathy Dale, National Audubon Society’s Director of Citizen Science, and Dr. Trina Bayard, Director of Bird Conservation for Audubon Washington. There will also be an opportunity to meet with other Audubon members from the Northwest 1 region, which includes Skagit Audubon. Find all the details you need to register at http://wa.audubon.org/events/audubon-council-washington-2013.
All Audubon members are also welcome to attend the meeting of the Washington State Audubon Conservation Committee on October 4th, also in Bellevue.
WOLF HOLLOW WILDLIFE REHAB CENTER
REPORT INJURED OR ORPHANED WILDLIFE IN SAN JUAN AND SKAGIT COUNTIES
If you find a SMALL ANIMAL:
Put in a covered box with air holes and soft material on bottom
Keep in a dark, quiet warm place
Please, don't offer food or water
Large/Difficult to Handle Animal:
Call us: (360) 378-5000
Great Washington State Birding Trail
The now-completed Great Washington State Birding Trail consists of 7 maps describing and locating good birding spots across Washington State. This 10-year effort, from the first map, the Cascade Loop including numerous sites in Skagit County, to the Puget Loop completed this year, this has been the project of many volunteers ably organized by Christi Norman.
In appreciation for her great contributions to Audubon in Washington, Tahoma Audubon is honoring Christi with its Distinguished Service Award – Community. All the maps are at http://wa.audubon.org/great-washington-state-birding-trail. At this website you can also buy paper copies of each map or an app with them all.
Bird video of the monthView Nesting Birds on Webcams
NOTE: WHEN YOU CLICK ON THE ABOVE LINK, YOU ARE LEAVING SKAGIT AUDUBON WEBSITE, WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR CONTENT ON THE LINKED SITE.