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.

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:

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

Nov/Dec Newsletter and Events Are Online

Nov/Dec 2016 Newsletter is Online

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


November and December Events and Field Trips Are Online

    Visit our website to see what's coming up this month. (Upcoming events are listed on the home page as well as on the Calendar.)

Christmas Bird Count dates:
Saturday, December 17: San Juan Ferry Transect
Sunday, December 18: Whatcom County

If you are interested in participating in the Bellingham CBC please contact Paul Woodcock at or 360-966-6549; or Doug Brown at or 360-647-1657.

Mark Your Calendar: Holiday Potluck

    Our annual holiday potluck will be on Monday, December 12, from 6-9pm at the YWCA Ballroom. 

1026 N Forest Street, Bellingham

Join us at the YWCA Ballroom on Monday, December 12, from 6-9pm to celebrate another great year of birds, birding, and our Audubon community. There will be live music and Doug Brown, a local photographer and birder, will be presenting some of his photos. Please bring plates, utensils, and a dish to share. Coffee and tea will be provided. Happy holidays!

General Membership Meeting with Jim Watson

     This month's exciting membership meeting! Mark your calendar. See below for date, time, and location.

Raptors of Western Washington: From Shoreline to Summit. Often seen, often admired, often maligned. Raptors are important apex predators in western Washington associated with ecosystems centered on water and forests. Join us for an evening discussion that will be of interest both to novice and experienced birders and avian ecologists. We’ll establish some common ground as we discuss key specialized adaptations of raptors that make them successful hunters, and learn about the ecology of species most often encountered in ecosystems west of the Cascades. Then we’ll highlight interesting findings from current statewide raptor research studies including effects of recent forest fires on golden eagle and northern goshawk nest ecology, and impacts of wind power development on golden eagles and ferruginous hawks. Both forest fires and wind power development are expected to increase over the next several years in western Washington. Finally, you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions, especially those raptor questions you’ve always pondered, whether fact or fiction. Although we may not be able to derive the answers, it will make for a lively discussion!

Jim Watson is a Wildlife Research Scientist with the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW) and the lead researcher for statewide raptor studies. He has spent the past 45 years studying raptors in the western United States and abroad. Jim’s research focus includes raptor population dynamics, migration ecology, and management of raptors in human landscapes.

Always on the 4th Tuesday of the month:
November 22nd, 7pm at the Whatcom Museum,** free & open to the public! 

**in the Rotunda Room of the Old City Hall building


NCAS Climate Change Group

     Volunteer with your local chapter.

The NCAS climate change group is planning to put an information table at the Bellingham Farmers Market one Saturday per month, starting next April. Before moving forward we need to know how many volunteers would commit to taking one or more 2-hour shifts at the table, to explain the issues to members of the public, and to hand out literature describing what they can do to help offset the effects of climate change on birds. 

If you are interested please contact Pam Borso at 360-319-9004.

January Events - Happy New Year!

January 2015 Newsletter is Online

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

Jan Events and Field Trips Are Online

    Visit our website to see what's coming up this month. (Upcoming events are listed on the home page as well as on the Calendar.)

Thank You and Happy New Year!   Thanks to everyone who participated in NCAS events this year, everyone who helped with this year's Christmas Bird Count and to everyone who attended our Holiday Potluck. See you next year! General Membership Meeting with Mitch Friedman

     This month's exciting membership meeting! See below for date, time, and NEW location.

The State of Carnivore Recovery in Washington State. Join Mitch Friedman, Executive Director of Conservation Northwest, as he presents an overview of popu- lation status and trends, recovery efforts and legal protection levels for gray wolves, grizzly bears, lynx, fishers and wolverines in Washington State. The Washington State populations of these carnivores were all drastically reduced or eliminated during the past 150 years. Mitch will discuss what is being done to bring back these ani- mals. Mitch will also talk about the Gray Wolf Conservation and Management Plan for Washington and the key role Conservation Northwest is playing investing in conflict avoidance efforts to build increased social tolerance for wolves.
Mitch Friedman founded Conservation Northwest in 1988. He has a degree in zoology from the University of Washington and has received conservation awards from Sunset Magazine, Society for Conservation Biol- ogy, The Wilderness Society, and others. At Conservation Northwest Mitch has led the effort to infuse land- scape scale conservation biology into advocacy strategies. The success of this approach is evident in great gains protecting habitat connectivity between the North Cascades Ecosystem and wild areas to the south (Central Cascades), east (the Rockies), and northwest (B.C. Coast and Chilcotin Ranges), as well as recovery of native carnivores including gray wolves, fishers, lynx and wolverines.

Always on the 4th Tuesday of the month:January 27th, 7pm at the Whatcom Museum,** free & open to the public!

**in the Rotunda Room of the Old City Hall building

Nov/Dec Newsletter and Events

Nov/Dec 2014 Newsletter is Online

     Go to Newsletter to download the PDF.

Nov/Dec Events and Field Trips

Christmas Bird Count     Mark your calendar! This year the CBC falls on December 14, 2014. Contact Paul Woodcock (360-380-3356) if you are interested in participating.
NCAS Holiday Potluck     Join us for delicious food, music, bird photos, and bird trivia on Tuesday, December 9 at the Lairmont Manor in Fairhaven. More details to come soon! General Membership Meeting with Doug Clark

Check our Calendar to see what's coming up this month. (Upcoming events are listed on the home page as well as on the Calendar.)

     This month's exciting membership meeting! See below for date, time, and NEW location.

The Glacial Development in Western Whatcom County. Join Doug Clark as he presents early results of his newest research project on the glacial development of western Whatcom County. The story is a fascinating tale of glacier advance and retreat interspersed with dramatic sea level rise and fall, all during a short period at the end of the last major ice age. This exceptional event shaped most of the landscape of the Whatcom lowlands and exemplifies the relevance of geology in under- standing the landscape in which we live.Doug Clark is an Associate Professor of Geology at Western Washington University, and has been teaching at WWU for the past 15 years. His research interests include processes related to mountain landscapes, glacia- tion and climate change, landslides, and active tectonics. His research areas include the mountains of central Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and western North America.

Always on the 4th Tuesday of the month: November 25, 7pm at the Whatcom Museum,** free & open to the public!
**in the Rotunda Room of the Old City Hall building

September Events for NCAS

September 2014 Newsletter is Online

Click "Newsletter" in the menu to download the PDF in color format. Want to receive email updates when the newsletter is online? Subscribe to our mailing list!

Our Website Is Updated

We re-did our website, so check it out and explore the new navigation and content!

September Events and Field Trips Are Online

Explore our website to see what's coming up this month. We have field trips as well as Syre Center family events happening soon! (Upcoming events are listed on the home page as well as on the Calendar.)

General Membership Meeting with Ed Swan, The Birds of Vashon Island

This month's exciting membership meeting! See below for date, time, and NEW location.From the early settlement period to the present, the Puget Sound region has experienced several waves of change that produced large alterations in the avifauna of the area.  Join us as Ed Swan takes a step by step look at those changes to show how habitat is usually the key factor in species populations and what happens to species, using birds as the example, when big change occurs. The program will also focus on how citizen science and action can protect habitat and wildlife.Ed Swan is author of The Birds of Vashon Island:  A Natural History of Habitat Transformation, now in its second edition.   His book is based on data from fifteen years of Christmas Bird Counts, a dozen or so years of Breeding Bird Surveys and about 7,000 records from dozens of observers sharing sightings over a decade. The Swan Company promotes the enjoyment and knowledge of birds and wildlife in the Puget Sound area, especially Vashon Island and the greater Puget Sound region.

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

**in the Rotunda Room of the Old City Hall building

May Newsletter is Online - May and June Field Trips

May 2014 Newsletter is Online

     Go to to download the PDF.

May and June Field Trips are Online

    Visit our website to see what's coming up this month. (Our FREE beginning birder workshop is at the end of May, more details online!)

General Membership Meeting with Gary Slater, Shorebird Ecology and Conservation in North Puget Sound

     This month's exciting membership meeting! See below for date, time, and NEW location.

Shorebirds are a conspicuous feature in the coastal estuaries of northern Puget Sound.  These long-distance travelers rely on both estuarine and terrestrial habitat as refueling sites during migration and for overwintering.  Understanding how shorebirds navigate this highly altered landscape is critical for crafting conservation strategies aimed at reversing long-term population declines.  Join us as Gary Slater presents information on shorebird ecology and life history, shares results from research in the Skagit-Stillaguamish River Delta, and describes how citizen scientists can participate in a new Puget Sound-wide monitoring effort.    Gary Slater is the founder and Executive Director of Ecostudies Institute, a non-profit organization committed to conserving birds and their habitats.  He received a B.S. in Wildlife Science from Purdue University (1989) and a M.S. in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Florida (1997). Gary oversees a diverse program that uses science, restoration, and outreach to advance bird conservation.  Some of his current research focuses on the wintering and stopover ecology of shorebirds in Puget Sound and the reintroduction and population dynamics of cavity-nesting birds in Washington State and south Florida.

Always on the 4th Tuesday of the month: May 27, 7pm at the Whatcom Museum,** free & open to the public!

**in the Rotunda Room of the Old City Hall building

NCAS Officer Nominations It is customary for NCAS to conduct its annual election of officers at the May Membership Meeting. Nominations may also be made from the floor at the meeting if there are others interested in running. The slate of officers being presented by the Board of Directors are:

Pam Borso, PresidentPaul Woodcock, Vice PresidentJudy Krieger, SecretarySteven Harper, Treasurer

Annual NCAS CampoutFriday, June 6 to Sunday, June 8For the third year NCAS has reserved the group camp at Pearrygin Lake State Park, just north of Winthrop, for a weekend of outstanding birding under the warm, clear skies of Okanogan County.  The birding was exciting last year so if you enjoyed it, please come again. If you missed it, here is another chance.  Birds such as ruffed grouse, red-naped sapsucker, common poorwill and white-breasted nuthatch visited our campsite.  Redhead, veery, MacGillivray’s warbler, Nashville warbler and lazuli bunting were seen within easy walking distance.  Our Audubon group listed over a hundred species within the 48 hour period including field trips to Beaver Pond and Pipestone Canyon. The group camp is separated from the main campground and situated in the midst of excellent habitat.  The site is accessed by a narrow, gravel drive and is designated for tent camping only but smaller RVs can be parked in the adjacent lot.  Cost for the two days is $20.00 per camping unit to cover the rental fees.   For more information please contact Pam Borso at or (360) 319-9004.

March Newsletter, Field Trips, and more...

March 2014 Newsletter is Online

     Go to to download the PDF.

March Field Trips are Online

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

General Membership Meeting with Julia Parrish - It's not Rocket Science, it's Citizen Science: the Power of Real People

     This month's exciting membership meeting! See below for date, time, and NEW location.

In spring 2005, hundreds of marine birds washed up on Pacific Northwest outer coast beaches.  In fall 2007, almost fifty murres floated in to usually empty Puget Sound beaches.  In summer 2009, thousands of wayward sea ducks washed ashore along the Olympic Peninsula.  What provoked these die-offs?  Are they connected?  How do we even know about them?  The Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team (COASST) is a citizen science program bringing together over 600 real people with marine scientists from the University of Washington.  Since 1999, COASST has collected data on over 30,000 beached birds (144 species!) from more than 320 coastal locations throughout the North Pacific.  These real data from real people form the definitive baseline against which the impacts of oil spills, fishery bycatch, harmful algal blooms, and global warming can be assessed. Julia K. Parrish is the Lowell A. and Frankie L. Wakefield Professor of Ocean Fishery Sciences, and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Diversity in the College of the Environment at the University of Washington.  An expert on the natural history, ecology and conservation of marine birds, and author of many scientific articles and books, Julia has spent the last 20 years roaming the seabird colonies and beaches of the North Pacific working to understand the forces affecting coastal marine ecosystem health.

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

**in the Rotunda Room of the Old City Hall building

NCAS Program Chair Wanted Our chapter’s meeting programs are a central part of our educational efforts.  Choosing pertinent topics, finding qualified presenters, arranging for the venue and seeing to all the necessary details required to facilitate a successful meeting is no small task.  Nevertheless, the chapter has been functioning without a Program Chair for over four years and these tasks are being performed by other board members.  Finding an energetic volunteer to fill this role would greatly enhance the functioning of our board and allow NCAS to better serve our community.  Currently NCAS presents educational programs at eight monthly meetings annually, September through May.  Those meetings, plus the Holiday Potluck in December, are the extent of our programming efforts and the responsibilities of the Program Chair.  This is the status quo and not a limitation if someone out there wants to do more.  Your board members are enjoying themselves doing Audubon work.  There is always more that could be done.  If you are interested in joining the NCAS team as Program Chair or in another capacity please contact Pam Borso at:

February Newsletter, Field Trips, and more...


February 2014 Newsletter is Available Below:

     Click here!

* Please note, the newsletter is not yet available online, so please refer to this email below for field trip details OR download the file at the link above. Thanks!

February Field Trips

Sunday, February 16, George Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary, B.C.Time: 8 AM -  full day (half day option possible)Trip Leaders: Dave Schmalz and Diane Birsner Trip limit: 12 To register and for trip details contact Dave Schmalz: 360-671-1537 Located approximately 45 minutes north of Bellingham near Ladner, B.C., Reifel Sanctuary is one of the premier birding spots in our area. Expect to see a number of different species of shorebirds, raptors, passerines and waterfowl. Passport/enhanced driver’s license required.Thursday, February 20, Samish FlatsTime: 8:30 AM - half day trip    Trip Leader: Steven Harper To register and for more details contact Steven Harper at 360-650-9065 or Explore the Samish Flats for raptors, short-eared owls, waterfowl and resident year-round birds.Saturday, March 1, Semiahmoo SpitTime: 9 AM at Semiahmoo Park - 3 hoursTrip Leader: Paul Woodcock No registration required This trip offers a wide range of bird species any time of year but the birds can be very special in winter. Spring isn’t far away so there could be some surprises. Co-sponsored by NCAS and Whatcom County Parks & Recreation, the trip covers all of the spit and is great for beginning birders.

General Membership Meeting with Sue Taylor: Garden to Make a Difference

     This month's exciting membership meeting! See below for date, time, and NEW location.

Healthy intact ecosystems perform many critical services on which we as humans are dependent for our continued well-being and existence.  About 95% of the land in the continental U.S. has been converted to cities and towns, and to some form of agricultural or recreational use.  With only 5% of the land in its natural state, habitat loss and species decline are interfering with the ability of ecosystems to successfully purify our air and water, produce oxygen, sequester carbon, cycle nutrients, pollinate plants, and to perform so many other vital functions.   Residential landscapes that are structurally complex and species rich provide an opportunity to reverse the trend of habitat loss, fragmentation, and degradation that are the primary reasons for the decline of so many species.  The choices we make on our own little piece of earth matter. Living “in” a natural oasis filled with the sights and sounds of birds, butterflies, and other beneficial insects is the perfect counterbalance to the stresses of our busy lives.    Join us to learn how to transform your landscape into an environmental asset – one small step at a time. Sue Taylor is a visionary gardener, teacher and native plant landscaper who teaches classes on sustainable landscaping at WSU’s Whatcom Extension.

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

**in the Rotunda Room of the Old City Hall building