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Yakima River Canyon Birding Festival

May 12 - 14

Come bird with Kittitas Environmental Education Network (KEEN) for three days during the second weekend of May and discover the natural beauty of Central Washington State!

Kittitas County features diverse and spectacular habitats ranging from snow-capped mountains, thousands of acres of public forest, lush riparian corridors and endangered shrub-steppe open space. The Yakima River Canyon is an Audubon Important Bird Area (IBA) with some of the highest densities of passerines and birds of prey in the State, some of them obligates to the shrub-steppe habitat.

The Yakima River Canyon Bird Fest will offer expert-led field trips, vendors, extended field trips, workshops, lectures, and keynote speaker, Paul Bannick, social events, a silent auction, and a plethora of bird watching during early spring! Come join us for spring in the shrub-steppe May 12-14! Contact: www.ycic.org or kittitasee@ycic.org

Wenas Campout

May 26 - 29

You’re invited to attend a celebration of birds, botany, and the beauty of spring in eastern Washington!

The annual Wenas Audubon Campout takes place on Memorial Day Weekend (May 26-29) at the Wenas Creek Campground, SW of Ellensburg. This casual and friendly gathering offers a variety of activities, including birding field trips, flower walks, field sketching, and bat and owl prowls. All are welcome!

Visit the Wenas Audubon website for directions, an outline of field trips and programming, and more information (2017 program coming soon). Pre-registration is not required. The campout is free and open to all ages; however, donations are encouraged.

Every vehicle must display a Washington State Discover Pass.

Contacts: Doris Johnson, dellenj@comcast.net or Laura Johnson, lejohns13@gmail.com.

Spring Bird and Wildflower Walks

The Chelan Douglas Land Trust has numerous spring wildflower walks planned in April and May. They will be at the Leavenworth Ski Hill, the Wenatchee Foothills, Icicle Ridge, and other locations. Guides will include Connie McCauley, Susan Ballinger, Mall Boyd and Ann and Don Schaechtel.

These are wonderful opportunities to experience spring wildflowers and birding in Chelan County. They are scheduled at diff erent times of the day and days of the week to give everyone a chance to participate. For more information see http://www.cdlandtrust.org/whats-new. Sign up early since some groups have a limited size.

The Methow Conservancy will also be offering spring naturalist walks and talks led by Mary Kiesau. Dates will soon be announced. Contact Mary at mary@methowconservancy.org or 996-2870 for more information and to sign up.


Shrub-steppe Restoration

April 20, 22, 25, and 27 and May 4

The Washington Native Plant Society (WNPS) is off ering a course on shrub-steppe restoration. This no-cost program combines classroom learning with fi eld trips, giving participants an opportunity to better understand the importance of native plants in grasslands and shrublands and how to use this knowledge to protect and restore these habitats.

Classes will meet on April 20 and May 4 from 6:00 to 8:30 pm and on April 25 and April 27 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. An all-day field trip on April 22 will explore examples of shrub-steppe habitats around Wenatchee. The course will provide fi fteen hours of direct training in shrub-steppe ecology, identifi cation of native and invasive plants, restoration skills, and other conservation actions, supplemented by selected readings and videos for study at home. In return, participants must provide 15 hours of service to local conservation and restoration projects within 18 months of course completion.

The Chelan-Douglas Land Trust, Chelan County Noxious Weed Control Board, and other local organizations will be partners in this training and have projects that need stewards’ help. Anyone can apply! Participants must be members of WNPS. It’s easy to join! Visit www.wnps.org/join.html. For more information or to request an application, contact Jim Evans, State Stewardship Program Manager, Washington Native Plant Society, at 206-678-8914 or jimevans@centurytel.net.


Wildlife Tracking Intensive

Join local wildlife tracker and educator Nate Bacon for a six-month wildlife tracking series that will meet one day per month from April through September. Explore the lives, behavior, and ecology of local wildlife through the art of track and sign identifi cation and interpretation.

Both beginning trackers and seasoned veterans are welcome and encouraged to attend as there will be plenty of opportunity to learn from and with each other. The series will take place at various field locations throughout the Methow and will be a great opportunity to explore the wonders of this valley including protected conservation easements.

The course will meet from 8:30 am to 4 pm on April 15, May 13, June 10, July 8, August 19, and September 9. Tuition is $450. Space in the course is limited to 12 people. Contact Mary at mary@ methowconservancy.org or 996-2870 for questions or to register.

Bird Survey Opportunities

Beebe Springs

Come join a twice-monthly e-Bird survey at Beebe Springs, led by Virginia Palumbo.

This walk covers 2 miles of trails along riparian areas along the Columbia River and side channels. The count data will be shared with Ron Fox, the WDFW wildlife biologist for Beebe Springs.

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

This is an interesting and important time to contribute to the knowledge of bird populations at Beebe, given the burns that occurred on surrounding hillsides last summer, the recent completion of a new fishing pond, and the newly permanent beaver pond and resultant wetlands.

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.

Walla Walla Park and Horan Natural Area

Beginning in 2011, Susan Ballinger has led monthly bird monitoring walks on Wednesdays, and records species at two point count stations and along a one-mile loop in the Horan Area. A protocol is followed and data is entered into e-bird. Dates are listed on the Chelan-Doulgas Land Trust wesite at: https://www.cdlandtrust.org/whats-new. Outings are free and open to all. Contact Susan directly to learn more at skylinebal@gmail.com.

To see a map of the location of Walla Walla Park, click here.

One question the project seeks to answer is: How has the de-watering of open water ponds in Horan Nature Area changed the observed use by bird species, especially shorebirds and waterfowl?

Email Susan to learn more: skylinebal@gmail.com