May Newsletter and Events Are Online

May 2018 Newsletter is Online

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

The next newsletter issue will be September, 2018.

May Events and Field Trips Are Online

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

Mark your calendar: 2018 Annual NCAS Campout at Pearrygin Lake State Park, from May 31 through June 3. Please see newsletter and calendar for reservation details.

General Membership Meeting with Connie Sidles

     This month's exciting membership meeting! 

Avian Evolution: How Birds Got to Be Birds. Master birder and author Connie Sidles takes you back in time when dinosaurs roamed the Earth and nature began to experiment with a new approach to flight- birds. Exciting new fossils of extraordinary detail are being found in northeast China, dating back to the time when dinosaurs began to evolve into birds. Both strange and wondrous, these creatures - and others being discovered all over the world - open our eyes to the ways that evolution has shaped the biome and the birds that we enjoy today.Constance Sidles is a former member of Seattle Audubon’s board, and current chair of Seattle Audubon’s Conservation Committee. She acquired her degree in Egyptology from the University of Chicago, where she also studied paleontology. Connie has written four books about nature and has published more than 500 articles on various topics. Recently she and her husband organized a “Jurassic Park” film fest at their house, where she was thrilled to see flying pterodactyls but disappointed there were no proto-birds in these documentaries. All kidding aside, the real fossils being unearthed now are truly exciting and wondrous. Come and share them with Connie.

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


2018 Officer Nominating Committee

The nominating committee has compiled the following list of members running for positions for the coming year:President- Steven HarperVice President- Jamie HusonSecretary- Pam BorsoTreasurer- Sue ParrottBe sure to attend the May membership meeting to vote for the next NCAS Officers.You may vote for a write-in entry if you have someone else in mind for a position.

NCAS Conservation News

Conservation News: Legislative Roundup from Olympia and BeyondThe following is a summary of an article by Pam Borso that’s available in its entirety on the NCAS website. Pam drew on information from various Audubon and Sierra Club sources, and from the Washington Post for the information on the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Local News 

  1. Whatcom Council rejects DNR’s proposed plan for motorized trails in commercial forests: East County residents and environmentalists turned out in force to the Whatcom County Council meeting on February 27 to oppose the Washington State Department of Natural Resources’(DNR’s) motorized trail system proposal. The Council unanimously voted to remove the proposal from their 2018 work docket. The DNR was requesting a zoning change on their lands to allow for the development of motorized trails on DNR’s Commercial Forest-zoned lands in Whatcom County, in particular on Sumas and Red Mountains. This proposal would directly affect habitat set aside by DNR for marbled murrelets. This is an ongoing process and for now has been stopped, but all members are encouraged to monitor the progress.  See the DNR’s Baker to Bellingham Recreation Plan on their website for more details.


  1. Whatcom County Council extends moratorium on certain fossil fuel projects at Cherry Point:The Council extended an interim moratorium on new permits for shipment of unrefined fossil fuels at Cherry Point for another six months. The extension will give the Council time to study their options outlined in a report which was presented by the Cascadia Law Group at the February 27 Council meeting. The Council will contract with Cascadia to help them draft County code changes in the next few months.

 Washington State News 

  1. In this year’s short session we did get some good things accomplished. After much hard work, the Legislature passed HB 2957 which phases out all non-native fish net pen farming in our State by 2025. It passed both the House and Senate and was signed by the Governor.
  2. Oil transport spill prevention was improved by passage of SB 6269, which extends the oil tax per barrel to include oil in pipelines. This helps fund spill prevention work at the Department of Ecology.
  3. Despite great efforts no progress was made on addressing climate change even after the introduction of two separate bills. The oil industry and utility lobbies were working in full force. We may have a chance to revisit this later if I-1631 is placed on the ballot for voter approval.
  4. The Washington Department of Ecology has issued a tentative determinationto deny the permit for use of the insecticide imidacloprid in Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor. This is a tremendous victory for our coastal estuaries and the birds and fish that rely on them. Oyster growers have been using pesticides to control native ghost and mud shrimp since the early 1960’s. Audubon Washington has been working to oppose pesticide use and advocate for a stronger consideration of potential impacts to the broader ecosystem since 2014, when the permit process for use of imidacloprid (the grower’s preferred replacement for carbaryl) was first underway.

 Federal News 

  1. Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) Reinterpreted. From the Washington Post: In an opinion issued Wednesday April 11, 2018 to federal wildlife police who enforce the rule, the Interior Department said “the take [killing] of birds resulting from an activity is not prohibited by the Migratory Bird Treaty Actwhen the underlying purpose of that activity is not to take birds.” For example, the guidance said, a person who destroys a structure such as a barn knowing that it is full of baby owls in nests is not liable for killing them. “All that is relevant is that the landowner undertook an action that did not have the killing of barn owls as its purpose,” the opinion said.

            The MBTA will no longer apply even after a catastrophic event such as the Deepwater Horizon or Exxon Valdez oil spill that destroyed or injured up to a million birds. After an oil spill, Interior would pursue penalties under the Natural Resources Damage Assessment program that is not specific to birds. In the past, “the department has pursued MBTA claims against companies responsible for oil spills that incidentally killed or injured migratory birds. That avenue is no longer available.” This law was enacted in 1918 after several species of common birds became extinct; the Audubon Society and other organizations named 2018 the Year of the Bird in honor of the MBTA’s centennial. The new interpretation reverses decades of action by Republican and Democratic administrations to protect the animals as they migrate to and from their nesting grounds.            Ultimately, this means that the 950 species of birds not covered under the ESA or Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act would be left with fewer or no protections, from backyard birds like the Baltimore oriole, to raptors like American kestrels and red-tailed hawks, waterbirds like the great blue heron and great egret, waterfowl like blue-winged teal and wood ducks, along with the great horned owl, sandhill crane, wood thrush, and hundreds more. Conserving these species proactively due to MBTA protections reduces the likelihood for ESA listings. While important progress has been made in rescuing birds from the brink, now is not the time to roll back vital protections. The MBTA is needed now as much as ever, and Audubon urges opposition to any effort that undermines America’s cornerstone bird conservation law.            We urge you to contact your Representatives and Senators to strongly oppose the administration’s position and any legislative effort that would weaken the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. 

  1. Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF)in danger: The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) has protected birds and the places they need in every state and nearly every county for over 50 years. LWCF conserves our natural heritage, local parks, areas of cultural and historical significance, and provides recreational opportunities across the country.

Every state in the country has benefited from LWCF. For every dollar invested in federal land acquisition through LWCF, there is a return of $4 in economic value. Since 1964, the fund has helped conserve more than 5 million acres of public lands throughout the United States like national parks, national forests, and national recreation areas. October 2018 marks the potential expiration of one of the country’s oldest and most important conservation programs.            To defend America’s conservation legacy, we urge members of Congress to support permanent reauthorization for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) by cosponsoring H.R.502/S.569. With your support, LWCF can remain a critical piece for the protection of natural landscapes and outdoor spaces that serve as habitat for birds and opportunities for recreation across the country.             Please contact your Representatives and Senators, and urge your family and friends from other states to contact theirs as well, about the MBTA and LWCF.

March Newsletter and Events Are Now Online

March 2018 Newsletter is Online

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


March Events and Field Trips Are Online

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


General Membership Meeting with Pam Borso and Rae Edwards

     This month's exciting membership meeting! 

Landscaping for Wildlife. Discover how thousands of people across the nation are welcoming wildlife from butterflies to birds into their communities. Private citizens throughout our state have made Washington the leader in this movement, creating wildlife habitat in their yards, school grounds, parks and even business landscapes. NCAS President Pam Borso and Bellingham Parks Volunteer Coordinator Rae Edwards will share ways to enhance or create landscapes using native plants to support birds and other wildlife. Making room for wildlife creates more livable and enjoyable communities for citizens of all species!

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


2018 Officer Nominating Committee

Officer nominations for President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer must be submitted by April 15 to be published in the May newsletter issue. If you are interested in these positions, or want to nominate someone else, please contact Steven Harper who is coordinating the 2018 nominating committee at committee members:Steven Harper, Paul Woodcock, Owen BamfordBe sure to attend the May membership meeting to vote for the next NCAS Officers.

Full Article from Newsletter: Spiva Butte

Creating a Nature Preserve in Central Washington or A Conservation “Field of Dreams”By Ferdi Businger A little over five years ago I made a trip to central Washington to look at a large piece of property that was listed for sale. It was more an excuse to go on a road trip than any serious intention to buy a 1000- acre “rattlesnake ranch” as one friend later dubbed it. Nevertheless, the realtor Mike Jernquist insisted on driving five hours to show me the land. As we walked it, I asked him jokingly how much he had paid the hawks, ducks, and herons to put on a good show for me that day. He laughed. Needless to say, it was love at first sight and this magic place, having called me, now owned me.To understand what a stretch it was to buy this land, one should know I had no money in the bank, but owned two properties on Sinclair Island, which included my primary residence - a beach cabin I had built. So I needed to borrow money for the down payment, and then to sell almost everything I owned to make it work.In spite of my lifelong interest in conservation (I was on the board of the San Juan Preservation Trust for eight years) I did not initially set out to create a wildlife preserve. I had no idea what I was walking into when I bought the property. I didn’t know it was prime sage grouse habitat or even that sage grouse were a threatened species. I didn’t know that the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife had tried to buy it years earlier, and that the Nature Conservancy had also expressed an interest. All I knew was that this was an exquisite landscape, appealing first and foremost to my aesthetic sensibilities.After I had taken the plunge, one of the first people to contact me was Michael Brown who worked with Pheasants Forever and the US Department of Agriculture. He was interested in applying for grants to do wetland restoration work on the property. About the same time I reached out to the Foster Creek Conservation District and its Director at the time, Jon Merz, and to the US Fish & Wildlife’s Wenatchee office where a friend of mine, Tim McCracken, worked. I also contacted the Chelan Douglas Land Trust. Tours of the property followed. There was enormous enthusiasm for protecting this land and I was easily convinced that this was its highest use. More difficult was figuring out how to do it. I couldn’t just donate it since most of my life savings were tied up in it.This is where a very good friend of mine and fellow conservationist, Valerie Tarico, stepped in. (Everyone needs such a friend!) Valerie and her husband, Brian Arbogast, offered to put up a $25,000 matching grant, and she offered to partner with me on the fundraising campaign. Early on it became clear to us that public funds were going to be hard to come by in this political climate, and that a private effort was our best hope. I also felt that the land might be in better hands if it was owned by a private land trust. Needless to say, Valerie’s encouragement provided the catalyst to move things forward.So where do things stand today? Wetland restoration work is mostly completed. A campaign is underway to raise money so that the Chelan Douglas Land Trust (CDLT) can buy 1000 acres, including Spiva Butte, a four-acre lake, three springs and riparian corridors. The plan is that CDLT will own the land in fee and the Foster Creek Conservation District will be given a conservation easement. They will then co-manage the property. I have also bought an additional 600 contiguous acres, most of which I would like to add to the preserve. That will require a second round of fundraising.As of today, we have raised half of the total $550,000 campaign cost, which includes the discounted cost of the land. (I have agreed to sell it for $44,000 less than I paid for it.) A very generous couple has donated the entire $180,000 stewardship cost and the CDLT has kicked in its staff costs to the tune of $20,000. We have also raised an additional $75,000 to date from private donors, including a $7000 donation from Conservation Northwest.So what does this property have to offer in the way of conservation? There are sage grouse leks on two adjacent properties. It is also used by sharp-tailed grouse. Sage thrashers are fairly common here. There is a resident great horned owl. Short-eared owls and northern harriers are often seen. A western king bird pair nests in the same aspen grove every spring. Pheasants and quail are common and mountain bluebirds are occasionally seen. Both the black-crowned night-heron and the great blue heron make use of the lake, in the company of duck species too numerous to list here. Beavers, badgers, porcupine, mule deer, jack rabbits, cottontail rabbits, and coyotes are just some of the mammals that have been seen. There is also a good population of pygmy short-horned lizards and western skinks. Snakes include wandering garter snakes, western yellow-bellied racers, great basin gopher snakes, and northern Pacific rattlesnakes. The top of Spiva Butte is a location where butterflies of several species do their “hill-topping”, a wonderful sight. And the wildflowers are epic.Since I’m an avid photographer, I’ve created a book, Spiva Butte Nature Preserve. Spiva Butte is the name of the high point on the property, a prominent hill that was named after the original homesteading family. I’m currently working on a second volume. And when the project is completed I will make a third and final volume and credit everyone who has donated to, and in other ways supported, this effort. I feel enormously grateful for all the help, both financial and moral, that this “field of dreams” has inspired. A big thank you to the entire conservation community, as well as to my ranching and wheat farming neighbors who have been most gracious in their support.

Yakima River Canyon Bird Fest May 11-13, 2018

Come bird with KEEN for 3-days during the second weekend of May, 11th -13th, and discover the natural beauty of Central Washington State! 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.The Yakima River Canyon Bird Fest will offer expert-led field trips, vendors, extended field trips, lectures and keynote speakers, social events and music, and a plethora of bird watching during early spring!”Find us online at:

NCAS Annual Camp Out Pearrygin Lake State Park

Join us for a fun time at Pearrygin Lake State Park May 31-June 3, 2018.  Pearrygin Lake Campoutand Field TripsThursday afternoon – Sunday morning, May 31-June 3, 2018Our eleventh annual NCAS Campout will be held at PearryginLake State Park group camp with great people, greatweather and of course great birding. There is lots of roomfor people with tents. Vans or pickup toppers are allowedin the parking area. RVs and trailers are not allowed. Picnictables and grates are available for cooking (bring yourown food) and water and a toilet are on site. A swimmingarea is also on site to enjoy after a warm day of birding.Showers and full service bathrooms can be accessed 1½miles away in the main campground. Anyone not enamoredwith or unable to stay in the group camp site canmake reservations in the main campground or stay at amotel in the Winthrop area.Of course the primary focus of the campout is birds.Field trips, led by leaders familiar with the area, will bescheduled for Saturday and Sunday. Campers are free toroam on their own on Thursday and Friday. There will beplenty of time for lounging and enjoying the sunny andclear weather and for visiting. In past years a number ofpeople have brought their musical instruments and wehave had a sing-along each evening. Cost is $10/night for each party.Reservations are required. If you want to make areservation or if you have any questions pleaseemail or call Steven Harper and 360-650-9065.

February Newsletter and Events Are Online

February 2018 Newsletter is Online

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


February Events and Field Trips Are Online

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


General Membership Meeting with Dick McNeely

     This month's exciting membership meeting! 

Birding Adventures with Videos. Join Dick McNeely for a wonderful and insightful program on how video observations can give us insight into the complex world of birds. Habitats, competition between birds, migration, survival in adverse conditions and attracting birds to feeders are areas explored in videos taken during countless hours observing the bird life of Whatcom and Skagit Counties. Dick will place special emphasis on the importance of involving youth in different types of learning experiences; something he has learned during his 30 years as an Educator for the Burlington-Edison School District.Dick’s background includes a B.A. Ed. from Western Washington University and a M.A. Ed. (Creative Learning) from Lesley University. Dick taught for 17 years in the ACTS PROGRAM (Active, Creative, Talented Students) during his time with the Burlington-Edison School District. Classes were held after school and included weekend field trips throughout Skagit County, Whatcom County, and British Columbia. Students learned about bird identification, habitats, survival, daily observations, storytelling, art and presentation skills. They developed their own individual projects to use across the curriculum and to share with parents and community members at a special ACTS Program Presentations Event.Dick’s birding experience began in Pennsylvania at age 9. Observing and photographing birds has been a major part of his life ever since. Being able to share this rewarding experience with others is a special joy. He has been involved with Audubon as a volunteer and CBC leader for over 40 years and has participated in Breeding Bird Surveys. Dick has also led tours for ELDERHOSTEL, Wings Over Water, and whale boat tours and has been active in efforts to preserve salmon. His photos of birds have been used in bird guides and on a book cover.

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

January 2018 Newsletter and Events Are Online

Happy New Year

     Thank you to all our members for your participation with our chapter in 2017. Here's to many more shared experiences in the future!


January 2018 Newsletter is Online

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


January Events and Field Trips Are Online

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


General Membership Meeting with James Walker

     This month's exciting membership meeting! 

Discovering Dragonflies. Did you know that dragonflies and damselflies have excellent vision, but can’t hear; have six legs, but can’t walk; are fierce predators of other insects, but are harmless to humans? Retired Professor James Walker, “Dragonfly Whisperer,” is the author of Common Dragonflies and Damselflies of the Pacific Coast, a unique field guide that combines state-of-the-art features for identifying dragonflies—such as range maps, flight season charts, life-size and annotated photos for each species—as well as exciting new discoveries about their lives. An example of the latter is the splash-dunk/spin-dry behavior, in which a dragonfly plunges into the water multiple times to bathe, and then spins at 1,000 rpm in mid-flight to shed the water—the fastest known spinning motion of any animal! The guide also introduces the intriguing happy-face dragonfly—whose official name is the paddle-tailed darner—and provides tips on how to get a dragonfly to perch on your finger. Filled with beautiful photos and original illustrations, this field guide will help to get you on a “first name basis” with these wonderful, yet little-known, creatures. Dragonflies, and their close relative the damselflies, have been the focus of Professor Walker’s interest for the past ten years. He has led numerous dragonfly field trips, along with his wife Betsy Walker, and has given numerous presentations on dragonflies in both Washington and Arizona.James S. Walker is an Anacortes resident and retired professor of theoretical physics from Washington State University, where he was the Boeing Distinguished Professor of Science and Mathematics Education. He received his Ph. D. in theoretical physics from the University of Washington, and has also taught physics courses at Western Washington University. The author of several university-level textbooks on physics, Professor Walker and his wife Betsy divide their time between Washington and Arizona, and enjoy birding and dragonflying in both locations.Don’t miss Jim’s engaging presentation on the amazing and unusual behavior of dragonflies and damselflies of the Pacific Coast.

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

Audubon Holiday Tree at the Museum

NCAS' first Audubon Holiday Tree is now a bird haven at the Whatcom Museum, thanks to tree decorators! From November 24 to December 31, visitors to the Old City Hall building can see all the community Holiday trees AND the John M. Edson Hall of Birds for a donation rather than the regular admission fee, hours are Wed-Sun, noon to 5.Don’t forget Audubon at the Museum November 26, 1:30 to 3:30

November and December Events are Online!

Support Your Local Chapter

     Make a donation to North Cascades Audubon Society this holiday season. We are a chapter run by volunteers, and your support allows us to continue upholding our mission. Donations can be sent to the address below, or you can donate online through our membership application:

Click here to donate online.North Cascades Audubon SocietyPO Box 5805Bellingham, WA 98225 

Nov/Dec 2017 Newsletter is Online

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


Nov/Dec Events and Field Trips Are Online

    Visit our website to see what's coming up this month. Save the dates for special seasonal events such as:

- NCAS Holiday Potluck, December 11- San Juan Ferry Christmas Bird Count, December 16- Whatcom County Christmas Bird Count, December 17- New Family Holiday Bird Count, December 30 

General Membership Meeting with Dr. Evelyn Brown

     This month's exciting membership meeting! 

Stuck in the Middle: The Ecology, Knowledge Gaps or Misunderstandings, and Issues Surrounding Forage Fish. Forage fish occur in the middle of the marine or freshwater food chain, generally feeding on plankton in open waters. They are important prey for larger fish predators, seabirds, marine mammals, and humans. In the North Pacific, many of these species became economically important to non-indigenous humans in the 1800s. Stories of epic-sized sardine, anchovy, and herring fisheries are familiar to many. In recent times, forage fish have been caught in the crossfire of ecological conservation versus fisheries. Locally, the focus of interest has been on the schooling forage fish that utilize the nearshore for spawning and/or rearing.  Dr. Brown will focus on these species, presenting basics about forage fish marine ecology and population dynamics as well as challenges for research and monitoring.  Her presentation should provide a holistic understanding of the political and ecological controversies that are fueling heated discussions, litigation, and legislation.  She will describe an approach to help solve these controversies, calm the debate, and provide for increased research and monitoring. Finally, she will discuss the critical role organizations play in citizen science efforts that fill the gaps in our understanding of forage fish. Partnerships among citizen’s groups, agencies, organizations, and industry involved in scientific monitoring need to be increased not only because it is cost-effective, but because public engagement increases the awareness that ultimately leads to better policy decisions.Dr. Evelyn Brown got her B.S. in chemistry and zoology at the University of Utah, and her M.S and Ph.D. in fisheries oceanography from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She has worked as a fisheries scientist and biologist, a marine mammal observer, and a commercial fisher. In 1989, with the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, she was assigned Principal Investigator for herring damage assessment.  In 2005 she moved to Washington State to do research as a consultant and contractor. This continued until 2014 when she accepted her current position at Lummi Natural Resources as their fisheries analyst. Her current focus is on salmon, crab and clams but her research extends to other topics in marine ecology, new forage fish monitoring programs, marine survival, climate change, and resource protection.  In 2015, she was selected to serve on the Statistical and Scientific Committee (SSC) for the Pacific Fisheries Management Commission.

Always on the 4th Tuesday of the month:November 28th, 7pm at the Whatcom Museum,** free & open to the public!

October Events and Newsletter Are Online!

October 2017 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. Save the dates for special seasonal events such as:

Winter Birds of Whatcom County: October 7, October 21, and November 4 at several local libraries (see this newsletter issue for location and more information)- Annual Holiday Potluck, December 11- Annual Christmas Bird Count, December 17- New Family Holiday Bird Count, December 30 

General Membership Meeting with Ed Deal

     This month's exciting membership meeting! 

Seattle's Adaptable Urban Cooper's Hawks. 25 years ago, Cooper’s hawks began colonizing urban and suburban landscapes throughout the United States, developing a tolerance for living in proximity to humans. Ed Deal, from the Seattle Cooper’s Hawk Project (SCHP), will provide insights into these common but elusive raptors through photos and videos taken during the breeding season. The SCHP study, one of several in large U.S. cities (e.g., Tucson, Milwaukee and Albuquerque), is monitoring the Seattle population’s nesting density and annual productivity. In addition, a banding program looks at fledgling dispersal, longevity, and adult breeding and winter site fidelity. The results show annual increases in productivity, little evidence of migration, strong site fidelity, and (mostly) short dispersal distances by offspring.You would think someone born in Cooper Hospital and raised in Audubon, New Jersey would be a child prodigy birder. But Ed’s mid-life conversion resulted from taking Bud Anderson’s Hawk identification class in 1991. He went on to volunteer on fall migration hawk banding projects in Nevada, the Florida Keys, Cape May, Diamond Head, and Chelan and Entiat Ridges in Washington. He also volunteered with the Falcon Research Group’s 17-year study of nesting peregrine falcons in the San Juan Islands and just completed his 24th year monitoring nesting peregrines in the Seattle area. For the last six years he has worked with a group of volunteers studying the expanding urban population of Cooper’s hawks in Seattle. He holds a Federal Master Raptor Banding Permit, is a graduate of the Seattle Audubon Master Birder Program, and is a recovering lister.

Always on the 4th Tuesday of the month:October 24th, 7pm at the Whatcom Museum,** free & open to the public!

Chelan Ridge Hawk Migration Festival!! Pateros September 16

Visit with Raptors: September 16, 2017Eighth Annual Chelan Ridge Hawk Migration Festival Join the Chelan/Entiat Ranger District, North Central Washington Audubon Society and HawkWatchInternational this fall for the eighth annual Chelan Ridge Hawk Migration Festival! This free family eventcombines educational activities in Pateros with a field trips to the Wells Wildlife Area and Chelan Ridge HawkWatch site. On Friday the 15th, there is a raptor ID and migration workshop at the local Fire Hall with Dr. Dave Oleyar from HawkWatch International. This all happens in Pateros, Washington on the weekend of September 16th. Register in advance for the field trips and workshop at, or visit the exhibits at Pateros any time during that Saturday. This festival is scheduled to coincide with the peak of southbound migration of raptors at Chelan Ridge — the best place in Washington to view fall migrating raptors. Past festivals have brought several hundred people to see hawks up close, enjoy Memorial Park, and spend the day learning all about raptors. So please join us for the 2017 festival! To sign up for any of the activities or to learn more about the festival please visit our website:    

Come Visit North Cascades Audubon at the Bellingham Farmer's Market

Come Visit North Cascades Audubon at the Bellingham Farmer's MarketNCAS wants to increase the public’s awareness that global warming and climate change put birds at risk. Our Bird and Climate Change Action Group has organized a display for tabling at the Bellingham Farmer’s Market on the third Saturday of the month in May, June, and July, and possibly through September.  Come visit us!  For more information visit our website, or contact Sue Parrott at 650-9065 or, or Pam Borso at 319-9004 or

Whatcom Land Trust Bird Survey Summary: 2017

Whatcom Land Trust Bird Survey Summary for 2015 and 2016Project DescriptionBird surveys were initiated in 2015 on twelve Whatcom Land Trust (WLT) properties and three Whatcom County Parks & Recreation (WCPR) properties with conservation easements held by WLT.  The WLT properties included Bottiger’s Pond, California Creek, Catalyst, Edfro Creek Preserve, Ladies of the Lake, Maple Creek Reach, North Fork Eagle, Port Blakely, Riverstead, Samish River Headwaters, Fenton Tract, and Kelsey. The WCPR properties included Squires Lake Park, Lily Point Marine Park, and Point Whitehorn Marine Reserve. North Cascades Audubon Society (NCAS) recruited 20 birders to work in pairs, surveying their assigned properties three times a year: during spring migration (early May), breeding season (June), and fall migration (September). Surveys were continued in 2016 and will likely continue in 2017 and into the foreseeable future. These surveys will give WLT and NCAS baseline data on bird species and numbers, enabling us to track changes over time and to identify properties with species of significant concern or importance.  The data may also support future grant requests and guide decisions about habitat enhancement, especially if critical species are found.ResultsIn 2015 a total of 116 species of birds were observed on the properties surveyed, with 128 species in 2016. 104 species were observed in both 2015 and 2016, 12 species were observed only in 2015, and 16 species only in 2016. The largest number of species and greatest diversity were found at Ladies of the Lake, Riverstead, Samish River Headwaters, Catalyst, Lily Point, and California Creek (see accompanying table).  All of these properties have a number of features favorable to birds, including wetlands, expanses of water, flowing water, forests, and openings such as fields. Given that the survey is only two years old, it’s difficult to describe any trends or to point to specific species or properties that deserve special attention.  However, a good start would be to look more closely at those properties with the largest number of species and greatest diversity.  Another year’s results should allow WLT and NCAS to better understand the data.

  WLT Bird Survey-Summary of Observations by Property 2015 and 2016
  # of Species Observed  
Property 2015 2016 Most Prevalent Species Seen Unusual Species or Species of Concern
Bottiger's Pond WLT 34 43 Willow Flycatcher, Pacific-Slope Flycatcher, Tree Swallow, American Robin, Common Yellowthroat, Red-Winged blackbird Vaux's Swift, Red-Breasted Sapsucker, Willow Flycatcher, Pacific Wren, Varied thrush, MacG+E16illivray's Warbler, Black-Throated Gray Warbler, Evening Grosbeak
California Creek WLT 39 50 Wood Duck, Olive-Sided Flycatcher, Willow Flycatcher, American Crow, Swainson's Thrush, American Robin, Cedar Waxwing, Orange-Crowned Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow Warbler, Song Sparrow Black Swift, Rufous Hummingbird, Pileated Woodpecker, Olive-Sided Flycatcher, Western Wood-Pewee, Willow Flycatcher, Pacific-Slope Flycatcher, Red-Eyed Vireo
Catalyst WLT 52 55 Turkey Vulture, Willow Flycatcher, Red-Eyed Vireo, Northern rough-Winged Swallow, Barn Swallow, Swainson's Thrush, American Robin, Common Yellowthroat, Wilson's Warbler, White-Crowned Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Black-Headed Grosbeak, Red-Winged Blackbird, American Goldfinch Turkey Vulture, Rufous Hummingbird, Red-Breasted Sapsucker, American Kestrel, Willow Flycatcher, Red-Eyed Vireo, Savannah Sparrow, Evening Grosbeak, Lazuli Bunting
Edfro Creek Preserve WLT 28 24 Common Merganser, Red-Breasted Sapsucker, Pacific-Slope Flycatcher, Warbling Vireo, Pacific Wren, Swainson's Thrush, Wilson's Warbler, Spotted Towhee Red-Breasted Sapsucker, Pacific-Slope Flycatcher, Pacific Wren, Black-Throated Gray Warbler
Fenton Tract WLT 47 44 Wood Duck, Hooded merganser, Black-Capped Chickadee, Chestnut-Backed Chickadee, Pacific Wren, Swainson's Thrush, American Robin, Cedar Waxwing Hooded Merganser, Red-Breasted Sapsucker, Pileated Woodpecker, Olive-Sided Flycatcher, Willow Flycatcher, Pacific-Slope Flycatcher, Pacific Wren, Black-Throated Gray Warbler
Kelsey WLT   39 Western Wood Pewee, Black-Capped Chickadee, Swainson's Thrush, Cedar Waxwing, Yellow Warbler, Black-Headed Grosbeak Rufous Hummingbird, Willow Flycatcher, Red-Eyed Vireo, Pacific Wren, Yellow Warbler, Savannah Sparrow
Ladies of the Lake WLT 49 72 Band-Tailed Pigeon, Mourning Dove, Rufous Hummingbird, Red-Breasted Sapsucker, Hairy Woodpecker, Willow Flycatcher, Pacific-Slope Flycatcher, Steller's Jay, Violet-Green Swallow, Black-Capped Chickadee, Pacific Wren, Swainson's Thrush, American Robin, Cedar Waxwing, Orange-Crowned Warbler, Yellow Warbler, White-Crowned Sparrow, Golden-Crowned Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Western Tanager Ruffed grouse, Band-Tailed Pigeon, Vaux's Swift, Rufous Hummingbird, Red-Breasted Sapsucker, Pileated Woodpecker, Willow Flycatcher, Pacific-Slope Flycatcher, Pacific Wren, American Dipper, Orange-Crowned Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Macgillivray's Warbler, Yellow-Breasted Chat, Evening Grosbeak
Maple Creek Reach WLT 46 42 Canada Goose, Red-Breasted Sapsucker, Willow Flycatcher, American Crow, Northern rough-Winged Swallow, Barn Swallow, Swainson's Thrush, American Robin, Common Yellowthroat, Red-Winged Blackbird Ruffed Grouse, Turkey Vulture, Rufous Hummingbird, Red-Breasted Sapsucker, Willow Flycatcher, American Dipper, 
North Fork Eagle WLT 34 36 Pacific-Slope Flycatcher, Black-Capped Chickadee, Swainson's Thrush, American Robin, Wilson's Warbler, Black-Headed Grosbeak Ruffed Grouse, Pacific-Slope Flycatcher, Macgillivray's Warbler, Evening Grosbeak
Lily Point Marine Park 39 51 Harlequin Duck, Surf Scoter, Common Loon, Bald Eagle, Glaucous-Winged Gull, Pacific-Slope Flycatcher, American Crow, Black-Capped Chickadee, Chestnut-Backed Chickadee, Red-Breasted Nuthatch, Pacific Wren, Swainson's Thrush, American Robin, Orange-Crowned Warbler, Spotted Towhee, American Goldfinch Harlequin Duck, Common Loon, Pileated Woodpecker, Pacific-Slope Flycatcher, Pacific Wren, Hermit Thrush, Black-Throated Gray Warbler, 
Point Whitehorn Marine Reserve 33 34 Surf Scoter, Pelagic Cormorant, Black-Capped Chickadee, Chestnut-Backed Chickadee, Pacific Wren, Swainson's Thrush, American Robin, Song Sparrow, Spotted Towhee, Black-Headed Grosbeak Horned Grebe, Olive-Sided Flycatcher, Brown Creeper, Pacific Wren
Port Blakely WLT 8 17 Swainson's Thrush Black-Throated Gray Warbler
Riverstead WLT 63 66 Common Merganser, Turkey Vulture, Spotted Sandpiper, Rufous Hummingbird, Western Wood Pewee, Willow Flycatcher, Warbling Vireo, American Crow, Black-Capped Chickadee, Bushtit, Swainson's Thrush, American Robin, European Starling, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow-Rumped Warbler, Song Sparrow, Spotted Towhee, Black-Headed Grosbeak, American Goldfinch, Evening Grosbeak Common Merganser, Turkey Vulture, Spotted Sandpiper, Barn Owl, Rufous Hummingbird, Red-Breasted Sapsucker, Pileated Woodpecker, American Kestrel, Western Wood Pewee, Willow Flycatcher, Pacific-Slope Flycatcher, Warbling Vireo, Red-eyed Vireo, Gray Catbird, Common Yellowthroat,  Black-Throated Gray Warbler, Catbird, Bullock's Oriole, Evening Grosbeak
Samish River Headwaters WLT 64 61 Canada Goose, Mallard, Red-Breasted Sapsucker, Willow Flycatcher, Pacific-Slope Flycatcher, Warbling Vireo, Steller's Jay,  American Crow, Tree Swallow, Black-Capped Chickadee, Bushtit, Marsh Wren, Swainson's Thrush, American Robin, European Starling, Cedar Waxwing, Common Yellowthroat, Wilson's Warbler, Song Sparrow, Black-Headed Grosbeak, Red-Winged blackbird Wood Duck, Turkey Vulture, Band-Tailed Pigeon, Rufous Hummingbird, Red-Breasted Sapsucker, Pileated Woodpecker, Willow Flycatcher, Pacific-Slope Flycatcher, Warbling Vireo, Marsh Wren, Common Yellowthroat, Evening Grosbeak
Squires Lake Park 29 28 Wood Duck, Pacific-Slope Flycatcher, Pacific Wren, American Robin, Wilson's Warbler, Song Sparrow Wood Duck, Pileated Woodpecker, Pacific-Slope Flycatcher, Pacific Wren, Black-Throated Gray Warbler
* Species which may be affected by climate change or decrease in habitat in the future.
        Compiled 3/5/2017

April NCAS Board Minutes

North Cascades Audubon SocietyBoard of Directors Meeting Agenda619 E. HollyApril 3, 20177:00 PM Board Members Present: Pam Borso, Paul Woodcock, Kelley Palmer-McGee, Steve Irving, Judy Kreiger, Steven Harper, Sue Parrott, Jamie Huson, Nicole Huson, Chris Brewer, Twink Coffman, and Ken Salzman 

  1. Additions to Agenda- Added below.


  1. Approval of March Minutes – Approved by the board.


  1. Treasurer’s Report- Sue explained the report and it was accepted by the board. Benevity (the administrator for the companies that are matching donations for our members) made a pitch for Apple Pay and Jamie will investigate to see if it has value to NCAS for use as a payment option and whether it will work on our website.


  1. Communications & Input

      Newsletter – Kelley asked everyone about items they intend to submit for the next newsletter. She reminded everyone that the info needs to be submitted by April 15.      Wings Over Water Event update- Because of the rain it seemed that attendance was lower than in the past at many of the events although Chris had lots of people at her presentation.  We will await more information.      Carol Roberts has resigned from the board and has appreciated all of the experience and interactions through the years on the board.  We appreciate all of her assistance as a host for the meetings and the holiday party as well as other contributions.      Mature trees letter to City of Bellingham update – Rae finished the letter and it was sent to all of the people at the City that were recommended by Rae and the rest of the board.      Museum update: Audubon will be at the Museum from 2-4pm on the 4th Sundays in May – August. Pam is looking for volunteers for May 28, June 25 (Paul), July 23(Sue and Steven), and Aug 27.      Washington Ornithological Society (WOS) annual conference update- Ken is still looking for a few field trip leaders for this event to be held at Semiahmoo, Sept 21-25.      Google Doc update – Jamie has submitted information to Google to see what they can offer for a cloud storage system for all of Audubon's documents. She is waiting to hear back.      April 29 - Backyard Habitat and Native Flora Fair at Village Green – Sue, Steven, Judy, Paul and Chris have volunteered to attend this event.      Climate Group update- Sue has found volunteers to be at the Farmer’s Market for every shift this spring (April 15 and May 20).  Stands, displays and materials have been developed for the tabling.      Background Checks Account Application – Pam is waiting to hear from the Washington State Patrol (WSP).      Waiver liability form – There were concerns by Ken about using these forms since he feels it is duplicating the intent of our liability insurance coverage and would be difficult to manage. After discussion, the board agreed to try using the forms to see how they work.       New meeting room needed for board meetings – WECU will be converting the Education Center into offices in April so we will be having meetings in the old Baskin Robbins building through June.  The board decided to use the Unitarian Fellowship Hall as our new meeting space beginning sometime after June.      The Audubon NW meeting is June 17. A lot of people would like to attend and Pam is looking into possibly having the date changed to accommodate higher attendance from our board.      We will be co-sponsoring a presentation, along with RE Sources, on May 25 at 6:30 pm at the Unitarian Fellowship Hall.  The presentation and reading is by Angela Day author of the book Redlight to Starboard: Recalling the Exxon Valdez Disaster.      Whatcom Land Trust survey update – Steven gave an update on the meeting he and Paul had last week with WLT’s Rich Bowers and Eric Carabba.  WLT is very pleased with the survey work to date. They  would like to expand coverage on some of the properties that are in areas where expanded purchases or conservation easement activity may occur.  We discussed prioritizing the areas depending on the ability to recruit surveyors and possible grant funding in the future (especially from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology) to facilitate our efforts.  

  1. Old Business

      Swan taxidermy update –  Paul has not talked to the taxidermist lately but noted that we will need a plaque to go along with the swan in the display.  Paul will coordinate this and wants everyone to think about what we should inscribe on the plaque.      Membership software – Jamie will keep investigating this but did not work on this during the past month.      Scholarship for WCC Community Ed Birding classes – Ken talked to WCC and they agreed to put the blurb regarding the scholarship in their catalog for the fall quarter. Nicole will develop the application form and bring it to the board. Nicole will be also be the lead person deciding on potential scholarships for the eligible class members.      City of Ferndale bird walk May 10 – Pam is looking for volunteers to help lead a bird walk.  Paul agreed to assist. Judy is a possibility as well. 

  1. New Business

       Go Solar – Pam described a contact with someone working on a campaign to pass a solar resolution at the Bellingham City Council.  She asked them to send us more information regarding the role we might play.       Summer board meetings – We will not be having a June board meeting and may skip July as well if we don’t have any urgent business to attend to. 

  1. Committee Reports as needed

       Education Committee             Birds and Brew – The Audubon sponsored event will be Saturday, May 20 with Jamie and Nicole coordinating. Others are  invited to participate. Board members were asked to help distribute the great posters that were designed and produced for the event.             Scudder Pond walk April 7 at 9:30 am – Everyone is welcome to help out. Chris has put a great deal of effort into planning the event. People coming to the walk will be divided up into groups depending on skill level and age.             The committee is looking at two autumn activities to be held in rural Whatcom County. Chris has contacted Wild Whatcom and the Whatcom County Library System regarding programs in the future.       Nominating Committee – Nicole will be the nomination committee. Nominations must be in the May newsletter. 

  1. Programs

    April 25-      Jonathan White:         Tides: Science and Spirit of the Ocean     May 23-       Kathleen Bander:        It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, No It’s a Bat    May 25-       Angela Day:                 Red Light to Starboard    Oct. 24-       Ed Diehl:                      Coopers Hawk Study in Seattle 

  1. Adjourn - Next Meeting, May 1, 2017, Unitarian Fellowship Conference Hall, Bellingham, WA


  • Pam is coordinating volunteers for the Sunday Audubon at the Museum events and WSP background check information along with Chris Brewer. She will also coordinate logistics for the move to Audubon’s new meeting space, the City of Ferndale bird walk, and follow-up with the Go Solar campaign.
  • Ken is continuing to look for WOS conference field trip leaders.
  • Jamie will continue to work on the Google docs idea and investigate a new membership database, and will coordinate the upcoming Birds and Brew event.
  • Sue will continue to look for volunteers for possible summer tabling at the Farmer’s Market.
  • Steven continues to coordinate the WLT survey and upcoming presentations.
  • Paul will coordinate the swan taxidermy and the plaque that goes along with the swan.
  • Nicole will develop the form for the WCC bird class scholarships, coordinate nominations for the 2017-2018 board officers and coordinate the Birds and Brew event.
  • Chris will continue to investigate upcoming education events.


Birdwatching on the Nooksack – Centennial Riverwalk Park

Birdwatching on the Nooksack – Centennial Riverwalk Park – May 10th at 10amStrap on your walking shoes and discover some of the incredible birds and plants along the Nooksack River. The walking tour will be provided by the North Cascades Audubon Society, and will begin at the Centennial Riverwalk Park. The walk will cover under a mile, although participants are welcome to go as far as they feel comfortable. Bring your own binoculars.This is part of City of Ferndale’s “Summer of Fun”, a series of recreational activities in Ferndale Parks. For more information, check out

Pearrygin Lake NCAS Campout: June 1-4

Pearrygin Lake Campout and Field Trips June 1-4Steven Harper, SecretaryOur tenth annual NCAS Campout will be held at Pearrygin Lake State Park group camp Thursday afternoon, June 1 – Sunday morning, June 4 with great people, great weather and of course great birding. There is lots of room for people with tents. Vans or pickup toppers are allowed in the parking area. RVs and trailers are not allowed. Picnic tables and grates are available for cooking (bring your own food) and water and a toilet are on site.  A swimming area is also on site to enjoy after a warm day of birding. Showers and full service bathrooms can be accessed 1 ½ miles away in the main campground. Anyone not enamored with or unable to stay in the group camp site can make reservations in the main campground or stay at a motel in the Winthrop area.Of course the primary focus of the campout is birds. Field trips, led by leaders familiar with the area, will be scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.  Campers are free to roam on their own on Thursday and Friday. There will be plenty of time for lounging and enjoying the sunny and clear weather and for visiting. In past years a number of people have brought their musical instruments and we have had a sing along each evening. Cost is $10/night for each party.Reservations are required.  If you want to make a reservation or if you have any questions please email or call Steven Harper at and 360-650-9065. 

Gardening Green: FREE Sustainable Landscaping Class

April 24 – May 10Mondays and Wednesdays 9:00 AM – 2:00 PMMeets at WSU Extension: 1000 North Forest St., BellinghamClass size is limited. Pre-registration is required: 360-671-3891Landscapes are considered sustainable if they reduce water demand, filter and reduce storm water runoff, provide wildlife habitat, and increase outdoor recreation. Sustainable Sites Initiative Gardening Green provides practical information and simple yet powerful actions toprotect the environment. This is a relaxed, fun class that incorporates presentations,demonstrations, hands-on experiences, and tours of sustainable landscapes.Participants can have an on-site consultation to help plan their sustainable changes.Topics include: Water Wise Landscaping, Healthy Soil, Sustainable Design, Pick GreatPlants, Maintenance Strategies, Rainwater Harvesting and Wildlife Habitat.Participants are asked to pay for this FREE class with outreach to friends and neighborsabout sustainable landscaping for environmental and human health.