May Newsletter and Events Are Now Online

Join us for our next NCAS membership meeting.

General Membership Meeting with Jeff Duda

Elwha River Dam Removal and River Restoration: Progress Report Five Years After the Completion of Dam Removal

After decades of debate, planning, and environmental impact studies, the largest planned dam removal project in history was conducted on the Elwha River in Washington from 2011 to 2014.  The story of this river, with rugged headwaters, protected wilderness, legendary and culturally important salmon runs, and two hydroelectric dams whose placement marshaled wholesale socioeconomic and ecological changes, has become an iconic saga of change, perseverance and renewal. The two dams blocked fish migrations and disrupted sediment transport for a century, disrupting the structure and function of the Elwha River. Removal of the 64 and 32-meter tall dams and the release of a large portion of the 21 million cubic meters of stored reservoir sediment, has provided a living laboratory to study the patterns, processes and outcomes of dam removal from multiple scientific perspectives. This presentation will provide a tour of what has been called a “Science Disneyland”, share progress on the rebirth of a river ecosystem, and place this project into a larger perspective of dam removals and river restoration in the 21st century. In particular, an update of the status of salmon recolonization into waters that they had not seen in a century will be provided.

Jeff Duda is a research ecologist with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) stationed at the Western Fisheries Research Center in Seattle. At USGS for 20 years, he has conducted research to determine the ecological effects of human activities and natural disturbance regimes on a wide variety of aquatic and terrestrial organisms and ecosystems throughout the United States. Since 2004, Jeff has developed research programs in freshwater, estuarine, and marine ecosystems during and following the dam decommissioning on the Elwha River. For eight years he was the team leader of the multidisciplinary USGS Coastal Habitats in Puget Sound Elwha team. He was a Principal Investigator on a recent project synthesizing the physical and ecological effects of dam removal at the USGS John Wesley Powell Center for Analysis and Synthesis. He has published over 60 scientific journal articles and reports, which can be found online at

May 28, 2019, 7:00 pm NCAS Membership Meeting Presentation

Whatcom Museum Rotunda Room

Save the Date: Volunteer Picnic

Join a celebration of all our wonderful volunteers on Tuesday, July 30 from 6 to 8 pm at the Fairhaven Park picnic shelter. North Cascades Audubon will host a summer picnic providing food for all.

Public Hearing for Bellingham Heron Colony

There will be a Public Hearing—at the request of heron advocates— on a subdivision application of the last undeveloped plat in Shorewood in Edgemoor, adjacent to the heronry at Post Point in Fairhaven. The subdivision, if granted, will create two building lots for development with a green space in between. The hearing will be held on Wednesday, April 10th 2019 at 6:00 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, City Hall, 210 Lottie Street. Please show up to express your concern over how this subdivision and subsequent building will threaten Bellingham’s last remaining heronry. Here’s the background.

April Newsletter and Events Are Now Online

April Newsletter and Events Are Now Online!

Check it out on our website today.

Join us for our next NCAS membership meeting.

Dan McShane: Glacial and Post Glacial Influence on the Northwest Washington Environment - What Does Lidar Show Us? Between 18,000 and 13,000 years ago the lowlands of Northwest Washington were covered in nearly 6,000 feet of glacial ice. The region’s natural resources, locations of cities and towns, and transportation routes are all impacted by the glacial period. Lidar (light detecting and ranging) helps us better visualize our landscapes and allows for a better understanding of the glacial, late glacial and post glacial history of the land we live on. Understanding this history provides insights into geologic hazards, natural resource management, and how communities have grown. Join us as Dan McShane explores the glacial influence on our current environment and describes what we can expect in the future.Dan McShane has worked as a geologist and engineering geologist since 1983. He founded and is president of Stratum Group, a geology and environmental consulting company.  He has been conducting geology hazard investigations in Washington State since 1992. Dan was retained as an expert witness for the plaintiffs in the Oso Landslide case. In addition to his scientific and technical background, Dan has extensive public policy background including serving for eight years on the Whatcom County Council. As a consulting geologist, he has been the lead geologist on county and city critical areas updates, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission licensing projects, public housing development projects, forest practices projects, and Federal Emergency Management Act repair project evaluations.Always on the 4th Tuesday of the month:    April 23, 7pm       Whatcom Museum Rotunda Room    free & open to the public! 

Save the Date: 12th Annual NCAS Campout and Field Trips

May 30 through June 2 at Pearrygin Lake State Park

We're all looking forward to that time of year again when we can cross the mountains to Pearrygin Lake and celebrate birds with like-minded folks!Please contact Steven Harper for reservations or more information:

Sandy Point Hearing! March 27, 2019 1:30 PM

A public hearing for the Sandy Point development will be held next Wednesday March 27, 2019 at 1:30 PM in the County Council Chambers. There will be time for public comment. We would encourage a show of support for the conduction of the Sandy Point Bird Surveys on a monthly basis to continue and be a part of the development. More information here:

March Newsletter and Events Are Now Online!

March Newsletter and Events Are Now Online!

Check it out on our websitetoday.Also- check out page 7 of the March newsletterfor upcoming birding festivals!

Join us for our next NCAS membership meeting.

The Vancouver Avian Research Centre Bird Monitoring and Banding Program with Derek Matthews. The Vancouver Avian Research Centre (VARC) is a non-profit dedicated to wild bird research, conservation and education. VARC conducts bird monitoring, banding and research to identify causes of avian population change, and provides workshops, presentations, volunteer opportunities, and visitor programs at its Colony Farm field station.  Derek Matthew, Chair of VARC, will delight us with a discussion of VARC’s objectives in providing data and research that help safeguard bird habitats and their long-term survival by providing scientifically defensible strategies for avian and ecosystem conservation. Habitat loss and degradation is the major cause of bird population declines and is the single largest factor affecting migratory birds crossing increasingly fragmented landscapes. This is particularly relevant in urban areas like Vancouver. Starting in 2009, VARC has conducted a comprehensive monitoring program within Colony Farm Regional Park to assess the importance of this regionally unique ecosystem. VARC data has provided invaluable information to MetroVancouver on the importance of Colony Farm as a stopover site for migratory birds and as a breeding area. This information is being used to help guide the development of best management practices to integrate wildlife conservation with recreation in the park. Other components of VARC’s mandate include public outreach and education to raise awareness of environmental issues particularly as they relate to birds, and providing research and volunteer opportunities for students and the public.Derek Matthews was born in England and developed a very early interest in birds, joining a local birding group as a young teenager. A passionate ornithologist, avian researcher and conservationist, Derek is the Chair of the VARC, a master bird bander, and a North American Banding Council Certified Trainer. He also leads field trips and bird tours and hosts Bird Monitoring and Banding and Bird Identification workshops. He has traveled extensively birding throughout the world. Derek enjoys sharing his knowledge and enthusiasm for birds and the environment with others,  and is known as an entertaining educator and charismatic speaker. Derek currently lives in North Vancouver, BC.Always on the fourth Tuesday of the month:March 26 at 7pmin the Whatcom Museum, Rotunda Room    free & open to the public!

February Newsletter and Events Are Online!

February Newsletter and Events Are Now Online!Check it out on our website today. Join Us for Our Next Membership MeetingGeneral Membership Meeting with Makenna Johansen and Alysha Evans: Whatcom Humane Society Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.Tuesday, February 26, 7 PMWhatcom Museum Rotunda Room free & open to the public!The purpose of wildlife rehabilitation is to treat sick, injured and orphaned wildlife with the goal of releasing them back into the wild. The Whatcom Humane Society Wildlife Rehabilitation Center is the primary facility for Whatcom County, but often receives animals from all over the state. Housing, diet, husbandry, enrichment and medical care tailored to each species maximizes their chances of release. Join Makenna Johansen and Alysha Evans as they discuss the role the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center plays in Whatcom County and as they walk us through the rehabilitation process from intake to release. They will also delight us with details of some of the cases they receive and give us all pointers on when it is appropriate to bring injured birds and animals to the Rehabilitation Center and when we should let nature take its course. Lecture: Raptors Around the WorldSunday, February 10;  2 PMBellingham Central Library, Lecture RoomInternational raptor expert and author Sergio Seipke showcases some of the most exquisite raptor photos taken over five years on six continents. Hosted by the Bellingham Public Library, Whatcom Land Trust, Falcon Research Group and North Cascades Audubon Society, this presentation is free to the public and there is no registration required. 

January Newsletter and Events Are Now Online

Happy New Year. January Newsletter and Events Are Now Online!

Check it out on our websitetoday.

Join us for our next NCAS membership meeting with Maria Mudd Ruth.

On the Front Line for Marbled Murrelets. What happens when you encounter a strange new bird? If that bird is the enigmatic marbled murrelet, you might take note. If you are writer Maria Mudd Ruth, you start taking notes and then suddenly find yourself on a years-long journey in the Pacific Northwest to unravel the story of this endangered seabird and the contested old-growth forests where it nests. You ask a lot of questions of murrelet researchers, field biologists, forest ecologists, timber company executives, and yourself: Why does this bird matter? Why should anyone care about the murrelet? Do we have a moral obligation to save this bird or any other endangered species? Can we all move to the front line to protect earth’s beauty and biodiversity? In this slide-illustrated talk, Maria will discuss the natural history of the murrelet, current conservation efforts in Washington, and the important murrelet advocacy work of the Audubon community in the Pacific Northwest.Maria Mudd Ruth is the author of more than a dozen books on natural history topics for children and adults. In addition to her latest book, A Sideways Look at Clouds(Mountaineers Books, 2017), which won a Nautilus Award in 2018, she is the author of the critically acclaimed Rare Bird: Pursuing the Mystery of the Marbled Murrelet(Mountaineers Books reissue, 2013). From her home in Olympia, Maria works as a dedicated environmental advocate, citizen scientist, urban parks booster, volunteer reading buddy, and writer.Always on the fourth Tuesday of the month:January 22, 7pmin the Whatcom Museum, Rotunda Room

Help Students Plant at the Harrison Reserve

Join Whatcom Land Trust and North Cascades Audubon Society at Harrison Reserve to plant with the students there. 
As many of you surely know, we have been improving our Harrison property for both habitat and for students to utilize the area as an outdoor educational site. We will be having 4 mini work parties 1.5 hours in length each next week with classes from the Kendall Elementary School on Thursday and Friday. I'm looking for a few extra adult hands to help lead groups with staking willows that would also be great working with children. 
The exact time frame of the students being present ONSITE is listed below. You can commit to one, or to all 4, but know you may need to carpool separately if you can only make one in a day and I would really like to have you present a half hour prior. Let me know as soon as possible and I can further coordinate details! Happy Thanksgiving everyone and don't get too stuffed! I'll need you limber by the end of next week ;)
If you have additional suggestions for people that would like to help and would be beneficial, let me know!
Thursday, the 29th: (1) 10:15am - 11:45am & (2) 1:00pm - 2:30pm
Friday, the 30th: (3) 9:30am - 11:00am & (4) 1:00pm - 2:30pm


Jennifer Mackey, Stewardship Director
Whatcom Land Trust
412 N Commercial Street, Bellingham, WA 98225
Front Desk: (360) 650-9470   Direct: (360) 746-3158

November/December Events, Field Trips, and Newsletter Are Online!

Nov/Dec Events, Field Trips, and Newsletter Are Online

Check it out at and click on Newsletter to download the latest issue. Events and field trips are on the Calendar page.

Seasonal Events

Bellingham and San Juan Ferry Christmas Bird CountsSaturday, December 15 and Sunday, December 16See the Nov/Dec newsletter issue for CBC information and how to participate.NCAS Holiday Potluck at the YWCATuesday, December 11, from 6 to 9 pmYWCA Ballroom1026 N Forest Street, BellinghamJoin us at the YWCA Ballroom to celebrate another great year of birds, birding, and our Audubon community. There will be live music, good food, great company, and an exciting presentation to be determined. Please bring plates, utensils, and a dish to share. Coffee and tea will be provided.

General Membership Meeting with Robert Waddell

Threatened and Endangered Wildlife in Washington. As the State’s human population continues to grow, more fish and wildlife species have been put at risk by loss and fragmentation of critical habitat, disturbance, and introduction of non-native species. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) oversees the listing and recovery of those species in danger of being lost in the State. WDFW biologist Robert Waddell will give an overview of the State Wildlife Action Plan which lays out the primary threats and priorities for conservation of species and habitats throughout Washington.  Discussion will include the effects of species listing and recovery plans, the threats affecting recovery, and accounts of local species with greatest conservation needs.Robert Waddell has worked as a biologist for WDFW since January 2016, most recently as the Wildlife Biologist for Skagit and Whatcom Counties. Robert works with and manages a variety of species, from mountain goats to Oregon spotted frogs. He holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Wildlife Ecology and Management from the University of Georgia. Robert spent two years in Mongolia as a Peace Corps Volunteer assisting a secondary school with their environmental education curriculum, performing surveys for argali and snow leopard, and capturing and radio-tracking Mongolian gazelle. He then worked as a researcher with the Arizona Game and Fish Department and studied urban mountain lions, coyotes, desert bighorn sheep, pronghorn antelope, and the ecological impacts to wildlife from desert water developments.Always on the 4th Tuesday of the month:November 27, 2018at the Whatcom Museum Rotunda Room

Donate to NCAS in 2018

IRA Qualified Charitable Distribution Please consider donating part of your Required Minimum Distribution (if you are 70 ½ or older) as a Qualified Charitable Distribution to NCAS. Direct disbursements to NCAS from your retirement account are tax free. The following link provides information on this opportunity to help NCAS continue our good work.

Birds of Prey at the Pickford November 3 and 4 at 2:15 PM

The Philippine Eagle is a bird of extremes. It's the world's largest and rarest eagle, found only in the Philippines. Fewer than 800 individuals remain today, and the future of these iconic raptors and of untold number of other species is tied to the fate of the Philippine's last fragments of old growth forest.If you didn’t have a chance to see Bird of Prey October 3 at the Pickford Film Center in Bellingham I encourage you to make an effort to see it on Saturday afternoon November 3, 2018 or November 4, 2018 at 2:15 pm and get reserved tickets. The showing was sold out and everyone thought it was an amazing film about the Philippine Eagle and the efforts to save it in the Philippines. 

Go see the film and see amazing footage of the largest eagle in the world.Steven Harper, President North Cascades Audubon Society
Saturday November 3 and Sunday November 4, 2018>  Showtime: showtime: 2:15 PM

Planting Party Harrison Reserve October 27, 9 AM to Noon

Planting Party – Harrison ReserveMake a Difference Day - Saturday, October 27 (9 AM – Noon)This ~5-acre piece of land is tucked away in the foothills of Sumas Mountain along Kendall Creek. Whatcom land Trust and North Cascades Audubon Society are partnering to inter-plant beneficial shrubs and trees for wildlife in the young riparian forest. In the coming years, this site will undergo ecological restoration while creating an outdoor educational site for kids. Join us to learn more!Directions: Take Mt. Baker Hwy (SR 542) east past Deming and Welcome. At the roundabout in Kendall, take the second exit toward Sumas (SR 547). Parking will be available on the west end of the Kendall Elementary School Parking lot, in which you will then walk ~500 feet to the site down Eason Road.Please contact at the Whatcom Land Trust to join in. 

Wings and Wine at The Vault in Blaine! New Field trip

Please join the North Cascades Audubon Society for "Wings and Wine."  Saturday, November 17, 2018.  No registration required. Meet at 2:00 p.m., rain or shine, at the Semiahmoo County Park located on Semiahmoo Spit for a guided birding walk along beautiful Boundary Bay and Drayton Harbor. Birders and interested friends of all experience levels are welcome.  We will spend about 1.5 hours viewing and learning about these amazing local and transient winter birds. Those interested will then make the short drive over to The Vault, a lovely wine bar located at 277 G Street, in Blaine, Washington in time for happy hour, to taste some great wines and share lively "bird talk" (they also serve craft beer, non-alcoholic beverages and have a nice menu for those interested).

October Events and Newsletter Are Online

October 2018 Newsletter is Online

     Go to to download the PDF. (Click "Newsletter" in the menu.)

October Events and Field Trips Are Online

    Visit our website to see what's coming up this month. 


General Membership Meeting with Dr. Richard H. Gammon

     This month's exciting membership meeting! 

Global Climate Change: Impacts in the Pacific Northwest and Salish Sea. Global climate change will bring major changes to the Pacific Northwest, both on the land and in the coastal and marine environments. Dr. Richard H. Gammon will summarize these projected impacts, drawing on the published work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the latest National Climate Assessment (2017/2018), and the Climate Impacts Group at the University of Washington. The primary focus of the presentation will be on the marine environment.  He will address potential impacts including ocean acidification, sea-level rise, toxic algal blooms, changes in species diversity and the proliferation of invasive species. The global predictions of changing temperature and precipitation will be addressed at the Pacific Northwest regional scale with discussion of implications for agriculture, water resources, snowpack, and forest health.Dr Richard H. Gammon is Professor (Emeritus) of Chemistry and Oceanography, and Adjunct Professor (Emeritus) of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington. He is a former Co-Director of the UW Program on the Environment.  Richard received his BA in Chemistry from Princeton University, and his MA and PhD in Physical Chemistry from Harvard University. He was a co-author of the first Scientific Assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.  As Chief of the Carbon Dioxide Program, he directed the U.S. program to globally monitor atmospheric CO2. His research has emphasized the measurement and interpretation of atmospheric trace gases critical to climate change.  He is actively involved in improving the understanding of the climate change challenge with frequent public talks.

Always on the 4th Tuesday of the month:October 23, 7pm at the Whatcom Museum,** free & open to the public!

Become part of a new citizen science project!

Become part of a new citizen science project!
Puget Sound Seabird Survey Expands to the Canadian Border
By Toby Ross, Seattle Audubon Society
Note: Training on the survey protocol will be provided at Birch Bay State Park on Thursday, September 20, from 5:30-7:30pm.
Seattle Audubon’s Science Program will expand the Puget Sound Seabird Survey (PSSS) northward from Deception Pass to Blaine, including the San Juan Islands. However, what’s different about this project expansion is that we’ll also be creating an accompanying oil spill action plan that will be used when an oil spill occurs that impacts the U.S. waters of the Salish Sea. With the increase in oil transport traffic via rail and tanker, and the oil refineries in Anacortes, Bellingham and Ferndale, without being too sensational, it’s not a matter of if an oil spill occurs, but when. Therefore, we need an action plan that we can use in those circumstances.
The project has been in contact with North Cascades Audubon John Bower at Western Washington University,
The surveyors who already conduct the Cherry Point surveys will help us at those sites, but if anyone else would like to help us with surveys at other sites along the coast, we’d be delighted to have you join us. Training on the survey protocol will be provided at Birch Bay State Park on September 20, from 5:30-7:30pm. In addition to the survey protocol training, we’ll be adding an additional oil spill training for all volunteers – those who will survey the 20 new sites, as well as those who already survey the 122 established survey sites. The oil spill training will focus on what to do in the event of an oil spill, including conducting an ad-hoc seabird survey, and reporting on observed oil on the water and beach at the survey sites.
Please reach out to Toby Ross, Senior Science Manager with further questions or to take part.

September Newsletter and Events Are Online

September 2018 Newsletter is Online

     Go to www.northcascadesaudubon.orgto download the PDF. (Click "Newsletter" in the menu.)

September Events and Field Trips Are Online

    Visit our website to see what's coming up this month. Check back for summer events.

General Membership Meeting with George Divoky

     This month's exciting membership meeting! 

Four Decades of Change: An Arctic Seabird Struggles to Survive in a Warming World. Every summer since 1975, George Divoky has conducted research on Mandt’s black guillemot on Cooper Island off the coast of northern Alaska. Studying these birds has largely been a solitary venture for George. While the discovery and initial years of the study were part of governmental research related to oil development in northern Alaska, for the past four decades the work has been conducted with occasional grants and much personal dedication. Long-term studies, such as George’s, rarely can be conducted by the government, which typically focuses on immediate agency needs. Yet it is precisely this type of extended data set that is needed to monitor the long-term cycles and trends related to climate change and other atmospheric variation. The Arctic has experienced unprecedented warming in the last four decades and Divoky’s research documents how the resulting melt of snow and ice has affected a seabird population.  His study provides clear evidence of the reality of climate change along with detailed insights into the lives of birds coping with a rapidly changing environment. George Divoky is the founder of Friends of Cooper Island and serves as its director in collaboration with a governing board. George has been studying seabirds in Arctic Alaska since 1970 and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Please join us for an evening of research stories and amazing photos in the remote Arctic!

Always on the 4th Tuesday of the month:September 25, 7pm at the Whatcom Museum,** free & open to the public!


2018 Elected Officers

Thank you to our members for electing the next NCAS officers at the May membership meeting!President- Steven HarperVice President- Jamie HusonSecretary- Deborah KayeTreasurer- Sue Parrott 

COASST Marine Debris program training!

Beachwatchers wanted forcoastal observation and seabird survey team (coasst) On August 25th from 11:00am to 5:00pm, the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team (COASST) will deliver a free training session in Blaine, WA for citizens interested in surveying for marine debris. The COASST Marine Debris program is focused on the intersection of science, conservation, and communities. Rather than simply identifying debris, the program characterizes it and measures its abundance in particular zones of the beach.The training session will be held at Lions Camp Horizon (7506 Gemini St Blaine, WA 98230) and is free. There will be a short break in the middle of the session for lunch, so please bring your own sack lunch, or money to purchase food in the area. Volunteers need NO prior experience with scientific data collection, just a commitment to survey a specific beach at least once a month.Reserve your training spot by calling COASST at 206-221-6893 or by emailing  For more information on COASST visit