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Christmas Bird Counts

Field Trip: Waterville Plateau

Saturday, February 8

Join us for a birding trip to the Waterville Plateau, Bridgeport Bar, and Columbia River.

Meet at 8:00 am at 208 West Nixon Street in Chelan. We will spend the day birding a variety of habitats where we expect to find a nice mix of resident and migrant species that winter in our area. Please bring a lunch, snacks, liquids, and dress for the weather. Carpool cost: $25 per vehicle to be shared equally by riders. Back by 5:00 pm.

To sign up, please email Mark at s697striata@frontier.com or call 253-297-0705.

Limited to eleven birders.

Winter Raptor Survey Project

New routes available in your neighborhood


I am project coordinator for the East Cascades Audubon Society’s (Bend, OR) Winter Raptor Survey Project. The project was initiated in Oregon fi fteen years ago and then expanded into Idaho, into southern Washington along the Columbia River from the mouth up to the Tri Cities and east to Walla Walla, and into the California portion of the Klamath Basin starting eight years ago. Last winter we ended up with 312 active routes in the project covering more than 18,000 miles of transects surveyed by over 240 primary project volunteers.

We are expanding the project into eastern Washington this coming winter, focusing on the areas around Pullman, Spokane, Ellensburg, Moses Lake, Othello, Wenatchee, the Okanogan and north of the Tri Cities. I have several dozen routes available to off er you in these areas.

The primary survey season is December through February and we ask our volunteers to conduct one survey each of these months on a day that fi ts their own life schedule. In addition to the three primary months, volunteers have the option of doing surveys in November and March as well if interested. These months do have migratory activity, and this is a wintering survey project. These optional months are valuable though as they serve as bookends for the primary survey season. Volunteers are encouraged to do these added surveys if that is their wish.

Participants need to feel comfortable with identifying at least the more common species of raptors. More than 90% of all birds counted on these surveys consist of the following species: Red-tailed Hawk, American Kestrel, Northern Harrier, Bald Eagle, and Rough-legged Hawk. If you are comfortable with identifying these fi ve species, we would be grateful for your participation in the project! We have found thirty species of raptors on project surveys in the fifteen years including all three accipiters, all five species of falcons, several other buteos, and a wide variety of owls along with a few other species not in these family groupings. If you are comfortable with identifying some or all these additional species, your knowledge would be invaluable in advancing this project. It is not necessary that you know them all. This is a communitybased science project with one of the objectives being to learn more about these regal creatures.

I have concentrated the new routes in areas surrounding the key towns in order to minimize excessive driving. If any of you live some distance away from these towns and wish to do surveys near your home area, I would be more than happy to put together a route close to where you live, just let me know! I should mention that the average length of these routes is fifty to seventy miles and they are designed to be completed in one day. Winter driving will also be a consideration; folks should feel comfortable dealing with winter conditions.

If this project sounds like something that you would be interested in, please email me as soon as you can. I will be fi lling these routes on a fi rst-come fi rst-served basis so if you have a favorite area, let me know as soon as possible. I will also provide you with a survey protocol, a data collection form to be used on the surveys tailored specifi cally to your route, and be available to answer any questions you may have. my goal is to insure that every participant is comfortable with what they will be doing on these surveys. I would be glad to answer any questions you have prior to making a commitment. I might mention that these surveys are addicting! I have quite a few folks involved that helped me initiate this project fi fteen years ago. Learning about these birds in a systematic way will off er you not only increased knowledge of raptors but you will enjoy the activity and what you see; the 240 folks that participated last winter will attest to that.

Routes are currently available for Othello, Warden, Moses Lake, George, Quincy, Ellensburg, Beverly – Smyrna, Orondo - Waterville – Palisades, Methow Valley and under consideration for the Okanogan Valley area. Contact Jeff Fleischer at raptorrunner97321@yahoo.com if you are interested in participating.

More information about this long-running project can be found at http://www.ecaudubon.org/winter-raptor-survey

2020 Third-Wednesday Bird Walks at Horan Natural Area

Third-Wednesday dates: Jan 15, Feb 19, Mar 18, Apr 15, May 20, Jun 17, Jul 15, Aug 19, Sept 16,
Oct 21, Nov 18, Dec 16.

Bird Survey Opportunities

Beebe Springs

Beebe Springs has re-opened, and the citizen science bird surveys are resuming on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month! Come for a leisurely 1 1/2 mile walk to see spring migrants, waterfowl and riparian/wetlands species. Contact Virginia at vwpalumbo@gmail.com for start times and details.

For a map of Beebe Springs' location, cick here.

Surveys occur on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month, with start times variable with the season. E-mail Virginia at vwpalumbo@gmail.com for start times and to confirm attendance.