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 

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.

April Board Minutes

North Cascades Audubon Society Minutes Board of Directors Meeting1207 EllsworthApril 2, 20187:00 PM Board Members Present: Pam Borso, Paul Woodcock, Steven Harper, Sue Parrott, Nicole Huson, Jamie Huson, Chris Brewer, Robert Kaye, Kirsten Anderson, Judy Krieger 

  1. Additions to Agenda – added below.
  2. Approval of February Minutes – approved as written.
  3. Treasurer’s Report – Sue noted that there was one small mistake on the worksheet in banking fees. It will be corrected in the next report. We seem to be getting more donations possibly because of our presentations and notices for renewal.


  1. Committee Reports as needed

Vote on and welcome new board members – The board voted to have Kirsten and Robert join as board members. Board and governance committee: Nicole described the process for creating and revising all board position descriptions.  There are a few more comments and edits and she will send the draft final versions out one last time before the board is asked to approve them.    Nicole has created a draft welcome packet for new board members and it will be sent out to new board members once reviewed and approved.  Sue led a discussion on discrepancies in the bylaws in regards to who is officially a board member and how they are chosen. It is not clear according to the bylaws whether advisory board members are voting members.  However, the practices are that all persons acting as committee chairs have been considered to be full voting board members. We have a number of open Board Committee Chair positions.  It was recommended and agreed to by the board that Robert will be Conservation chair, Pam will be Volunteer Coordinator chair, Kirsten will be Publicity chair and Paul will be Field Trip chair.  Pam will follow up with Annie to make sure she can continue as Hospitality Chair with the responsibilities as noted in the draft position description. Education update: (see attached committee report) The native plants and birds programs have been very successful and a number of organizations have requested additional programs. We now have great materials for nurseries and for the general public and Deborah Kaye is working with the nurseries to distribute handouts. Birds and Brew is scheduled for May 19th and the committee will be attempting to expand the event to include additional dates and locations. Next committee meeting is April 9. Scholarship committee update – The scholarship announcement has now been released and we are waiting for applicants. Nicole has distributed the necessary materials to WWU. Website update: Website Review, Membership software, Google Docs – Jamie is working on the web page and needs a high resolution picture to place on the website of all board members. Any other public digital documents should be sent to Jamie for placement on the website.  The new website will be going live very soon. Nominating committee update – The slate proposed for next year (staring June 2018)  includes Steven Harper for President, Jamie Huson as Vice-President, Pam Borso as Secretary and Sue Parrott as Treasurer.  The board agreed to extend Sue’s term for another year. Paul will present this slate to the May membership meeting for a vote. Program report – Steven reported on upcoming programs and noted that the Sept – January programs will all be related to the Endangered Species programming scheduled by the Whatcom Museum.    

  1. Communications & Input 

State board changes and State and National Funding channels – Pam described the work that Jenn Syrowitz of WA Audubon has done in the past 5 years and noted that she is leaving to become Exec. Director of Washington Wildlife Federation.  Allan Gibbs, Regional Representative, is coming to the next board meeting to get our feedback on Jenn’s  position. Newsletter input due April 15 for May; It has been suggested that we include a “Year of the Bird” article.Audubon at the museum April 22 (Sue), May 27(Pam).At a later board meeting the board will discuss criteria for sending out time sensitive, environment related issues email messages to members.  It was noted that NCAS lacks clear policy on many issues and that at some point in the future the Board may want to develop policies.  It was suggested that we keep a list of issues that arise that would benefit from a NCAS Board policy.VARC field trip for Board members: Steven will organize the carpooling for the May 6 event.Audubon table: What’s the Point: Whatcom Land Trust – We will host a table at this event on June 16.NW Region 1 meeting will be at Padilla Bay from 10-2 pm on April 21.  All board members are welcome.2018 Audubon State Chapter gathering will be somewhere in the Seattle area on May 19ACOW October 13, 2018, Brightwater Center, Woodinville, WA.  There will be more details later.      

  1. Old Business

Duck sign for City of Bellingham:  No update as Rae is traveling.Cornell/ Whatcom Land Trust/ Audubon Grant collaboration on: Harrison property, Kendall: No news until April 30 

  1. New Business

Audubon Grants available – There are grants from Audubon ($1,000 - $25,000) available for chapter efforts. There is specific criteria associated with these grants and we will potentially pursue a grant for the WLT Harrison property project and for working with WWU birding club to establish an associated college program.  Education Committee will follow up at their meeting.    

  1. Programs & Events

April 8: Family Bird Walk: Scudder Pond/Whatcom Falls 9:30April 14: Native Plants and Birds: Deming Library 3-4 April 17: Native Plants and Birds Ferndale Garden Club 11:30-1:30April 21: NW Regional Meeting at Padilla Bay 10:00-2:00 pmApril 24:  Dan Streiffert: Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Whatcom MuseumApril 28: Backyard Habitat and Native Flora Fair/ WNPS Plant SaleMay 19: Birds and Brews at 3 pm at Stones Throw BreweryMay 22: Connie Sidles; Bird Evolution, Whatcom MuseumMay 31- June 3: Pearrygin Lake CampoutJune 16: What’s the Point tabling at Point Whitehorn 10:30-3:00pmSeptember 25: George Divoky: Black Guillemots of Cooper Island, Whatcom MuseumOctober 23: Richard Gammon: Global Climate Change: Impacts in the Pacific NW and Salish Sea, Whatcom MuseumNovember 27: Fenner Yarborough: Threatened and Endangered Wildlife in Washington State, Whatcom MuseumDecember 10: Holiday Party, YWCADecember 16: CBC Potluck, Downtown Coop (Community Connections Room)January 29, 2019: Maria Ruth: Rare Bird: Pursuing the Mystery of the Marbled Murrelet, Whatcom Museum        Adjourn - Next Meeting: May 7, 2018. 7 to 9 PM Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship 1207 Ellsworth Bellingham.  Education  ReportApril 2018 Education Committee met on January 31 and will meet again April 9th. Joining us is Kristen Fredericks Murray! Completed Education ProgramsNative Plants and BirdsPrograms have been successfully presented at the Blaine, South Whatcom and Ferndale libraries (March 3, 10, 24) as well as at the March membership meeting. Thanks, Pam! The program is getting Audubon out in many areas to share some excellent resources and info. Roz Spitzer has done a terrific job helping to get some local materials completed. Thanks too, to those who helped out tabling: Deborah, Gayle (Stebbings), Kristen Murray. Upcoming Education ProgramsApril:Family Bird Walk: Chris Brewer and Gayle Stebbings will be leading the walk-through Scudder Pond and Whatcom Falls Park to Darby Pond Native Plants and Birds.April presentations include the Ferndale Garden Club, Master Gardeners and Deming Library as well as having materials at the Backyard Habitat and Native Flora Fair on April 28. May Birds and BrewsMay 19, 3 pm at Stones Throw Brewery. New and Upcoming Program Planning Youth ProgramPaul Woodcock and Chris Brewer will be sharing ideas at our upcoming meeting about engaging local youth and offering an opportunity in 2019 that encourages teen / young adult birding. Bald Eagle Interpretive ProgramChris Brewer is leading the development of a fall program for educational presentations and bald eagle field trips on the Nooksack. Anyone interested in leading a trip between late November and the end of December contact Chris. Endangered Species Programming and Holiday TreeSteven Harper has been locating a fall presenter on endangered species. Chris is looking for someone to research endangered/threatened birds (mostly from State of the Bird Report!) to identify birds to highlight in the Holiday Tree as well as someone to help contact artists for creating artwork for it.

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.

NCAS Board Minutes: February

North Cascades Audubon Society MinutesBoard of Directors Meeting1207 EllsworthFebruary 5, 20187:00 PM Board Members Present: Pam Borso, Paul Woodcock, Steven Harper, Sue Parrott, Rae Edwards, Owen Bamford, Nicole Huson, Jamie Huson, Chris Brewer, Kelley Palmer-McGee, Steve Irving  Guests Kirsten Anderson and Robert and Deborah Kaye were in attendance. The guests introduced themselves to the Board describing their past work and interest in being on the Board. Current Board members also introduced themselves. 

  1. Additions to Agenda – added below.
  2. Approval of January Minutes – approved as written.
  3. Treasurer’s Report – Sue explained some changes in categories in the working budget and asked for feedback from the Board. She will use the new categories and see how they work.


  1. Committee Reports as needed

Education update - Chris gave an update on the last committee meeting, including an update on the “Birds & Brew” event, Tech Soup (discounts for non-profits), sign-up and purchase of software, volunteer survey outreach results, and Native Plants and Birds programs.Native plants and birds educational program guide – Pam is working on this guide along with other materials to be distributed at select nurseries and at the educational programs this spring and in the future.Membership Committee update – Owen requested assistance and Jamie volunteered to assist in the new efforts to recruit new members and to increase donations to Audubon.Scholarship Committee update – Nicole met with Don Burgess, on sabbatical presently, and noted that he enjoys being the contact person and part of the grant process.  He works with students to help them improve their grant applications.   He suggested that the deadline be extended to May 15.  All of the materials will now be online, and the applications will be submitted online.Website update: Website review, membership software, Google Docs – Jamie continues to work on the new website.Nominating Committee – Steven, Paul and Owen volunteered to be on the nominating committee.Board Building and Governance – Nicole went through the main findings of the group that met to review the job descriptions of the different Board positions. The committee will meet again to fine tune and clarify all of the responsibilities for each position and to talk about Board structure in light of goals for this year and changes in Board composition.  Nicole will send out a doodle poll.

  1. Communications & Input

Board Resignations – Pam will write a thank you to the members that have resigned (Twink Coffman and Ken Salzman).Newsletter input due February 15 for March. Sue suggested that we include more educational articles rather than Board minutes in the newsletter.  The Board agreed to do that but also to continue to provide a summarized version of the minutes along with yearly accomplishments in the newsletter.  Kelley requested that Board members send her articles of interest to help fill the newsletter.4th Sundays at the Whatcom Museum - February 25(Steve Irving), March 25(Jamie and Nicole), April 22(Sue), May 27(Paul).  Sue will make sure there are NCAS brochures and Climate Ambassador cards at the museum.Provide bird feeding and seed type recommendation brochures to Wild Bird Chalet – Jamie will follow up. 

  1. Old Business

Meeting space determination for Board meetings -   The Board has shown a preference for the BUF space and we will plan on meeting at BUF in the future.  The cost will be $40 per meeting.Duck sign for City of Bellingham – The cost of the structural frame is approximately $700. Possible sites include Whatcom Falls Park Derby Pond, Bloedel Donovan Park, Lake Padden, and North Ridge Pond.  The Board agreed to fund one structural frame at Derby Pond and request that the City fund the sign to fit in the frame. Rae will lead the effort and coordinate with the City and others. Money will need to be added to the budget for this.  If this first sign is successful, the Board may consider fundraising with NCAS membership for more signs at other locations.  The Board emphasized that the sign should be educational and include information on the detriments of feeding ducks bread.Membership Meeting Structure – Discuss laterFarmer’s Market – Discuss laterHoliday Potluck – Tentatively scheduled for Monday, Dec. 10 and we have requested the YWCA meeting room.Intern Fair at Huxley – We will not participate this spring but will discuss and consider for next fall.CBC – The Community Room at the Downtown Coop has been reserved for Dec. 16, 2018 for the CBC Potluck.     

  1. New Business

Volunteer Appreciation program; how to implement and apply. – Discuss laterVARC field trip for Board members – Board members are interested, and Pam will request a May date.Cornell/ Whatcom Land Trust/ NCAS Grant collaboration on Harrison property, Kendall - Board approved a $1,000 match to the grant proposal being submitted to Cornell Labs for educational programs at Harrison property.    

  1. Programs & Events

    February 27: Membership meeting - Dick Mc Neely: Bird VideosMarch 3: Native Plants and Birds; Blaine Library 2-3March 10: Native Plants and Birds: Sudden Valley Library 2-3Wings Over Water Festival Booth and Bird Watching Stations: 10-4March 24: Whatcom Conservation District Plant Sale; Plants and Birds table 10-1?March 24: Native Plants and Birds: Ferndale Library 2-3March 27: Membership meeting – Pam Borso and Rae Edwards: Landscaping for WildlifeApril 8: Family Bird Walk: Scudder Pond/Whatcom Falls 9:30April 14: Native Plants and Birds: Deming Library 3-4 April 17: Native Plants and Birds: Ferndale Garden Club 11:30-1:30April 24: Membership meeting - Dan Streiffert: Arctic National Wildlife RefugeApril 28: Backyard Habitat and Native Flora Fair/ WNPS Plant SaleMay 22: Membership meeting - Constance Sidles: Avian Evolution: How Birds Got to Be Birds        Adjourn - Next Meeting: March 5, 2018; 7 to 9 PM at BUF 

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!

Swan Watch at Tennant Lake

The Friends of Tennant Lake and Hovander Park invite you to Tennant Lake, near Ferndale, at dawn Feb. 10 to see as many as 300 Trumpeter and Tundra Swans form into small groups, bob their heads simultaneously, then lift off the water for the day’s forage. On a clear day, swans will lift off promptly at sunrise, so plan to join us at 7 a.m.A guest speaker will be on site in the warm Interpretive Center after the swans fly. Refreshments and hot drinks will be served. As in years past, rehabilitated swans healthy enough to be returned to the wild might be released after the presentation.Dress for the weather. Binoculars will be useful. Bring your camera! This event is free, and all ages are welcome. The Friends are supported by the Whatcom Parks and Recreation Foundation and operate in partnership with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and Whatcom County Parks.Find us at 5236 Nielsen Ave. just outside Ferndale, Washington. Take the Ferndale exit (west) off of 1-5. Follow the signs to Hovander Park. Instead of a final right turn into Hovander Park, continue straight on Nielsen Road through the gate to Tennant Lake.

January Board Minutes

­North Cascades Audubon SocietyBoard of Directors Meeting and Retreat Agenda1011 Girard St.January 8, 2018                                                                                                                              5:00 PM 

  1. Additions to Agenda – added as needed.
  2. Approval of December Minutes- Approved by board with no amendments.
  3. Treasurer’s Report – Sue went over the report for December and explained expenses and revenue items of interest. She noted that our expenses for the year were quite a bit more than our revenue, but that we have adequate reserves to cover the gap between expenditures and revenue. We will need to address this issue in the future if this trend continues. Sue will provide a short article on how money was spent in 2017 and there is a pie chart that will accompany the article that illustrates the different areas of expenditures and revenue sources.

Prioritize infrastructure for 2018NCAS Ongoing Programs and Events (including who is responsible for each)

  • Membership Programs and Presentations – Steven Harper – The current mix of 9 programs is good. There was a discussion of changing the format of the meeting to encourage more engagement (social interaction) and a more welcoming environment for new members. One possibility is starting at 6:45 pm and not starting the actual program until 7:15 pm. This will be investigated in the near future.
  • Annual Campout – Steven Harper – The site has been reserved again for this spring and we will continue with a similar format as in past years.
  • Backyard Habitat and Native Flora Fair – Pam Borso– We will continue doing this event.
  • CBC – Doug Brown – We will investigate holding the potluck at the YWCA or the Community Food Coop Community Room. We will not be using the Squalicum Yacht Club in the future. We need to figure out how to generate more interest in the potluck.
  • Cherry Point Bird Surveys – Lyle Anderson – We will continue to be an active partner.
  • Farmer's Market Tabling – Although everyone believes that there is value, we did not make a decision on whether to continue the event. No one stepped forward to coordinate all the logistics and we do not know if we have the volunteer capacity to staff a monthly booth.  We will continue to discuss this opportunity at the February Board Meeting.
  • Field Trips – Ken Salzman – Continue with field trips as in the past.
  • Holiday Potluck – Hospitality Committee - Dec. 10 at YWCA is proposed for 2018. Pam will check this out and make the reservation if it is available.
  • Hospitality Chair/Alternate – We need a new hospitality chair and alternate for our events. Pam will actively attempt to recruit these persons.
  • Membership – Owen Bamford – The board decided that we need to increase memberships (engagement) as well as encourage people to give more money as donations to cover NCAS expenses. A membership committee will be formed to explore different ways that we will accomplish this.
  • Museum Presence: We agreed to continue to have Audubon members present on the 4th Sunday of each month in the Edson Bird Gallery. The next scheduled Sundays are January 28, February 25, March 25, April 22, and May 27. Steven Harper has volunteered for January 28.
  • Nest Box Construction and Dispersal – Ken Salzman– Will continue to build boxes as needed and currently has plenty of wood procured.
  • Newsletters - Kelley Palmer McGee – Newsletter deadline continues to be the 15th of the month before publication. November and December are a combined newsletter and no newsletters are published for June – August. The next newsletter will include the articles on the swan’s installation in the Whatcom Museum exhibit and the availability of scholarships for the WCC Community Education class “Birding in the Pacific Northwest”.
  • Plants and Birds Presentations – Pam Borso and Chris Brewer– The National Audubon Plants and Birds program has been adapted to fit Northwest birds and plants. There are also pamphlets and a laminated resource guide being developed for tabling and for use at local nurseries. This is being co-sponsored by the Native Plant Society. Pam and Chris have scheduled a number of events using the presentation.  Pam has submitted a grant application to National Audubon to help fund the costs for this project.
  • PR/Marketing -Jamie Huson(temporary) until we find a new person. Pam is working on finding a new person to take over this function. Jamie will continue to be responsible for Facebook and social media postings as well.
  • Scholarships – Nicole Huson – She has a meeting with Don Burgess in the next couple of weeks to coordinate publicity for the research scholarships at WWU.
  • Membership Software, Google Docs, Website– Jamie Huson – He is working on the new web page which should be ready for switch over in about 2 months. He gave a brief demonstration of the new website which is supported by Square Space.  The board was impressed and we will move ahead with conversion from our present format.  The new website will also support a payment link.  Jamie is also continuing to work on possibilities for membership software and getting people set up for Google Docs.
  • Whatcom Land Trust Surveys – Steven Harper– WLT, along with NCAS, will explore submitting a grant proposal to Cornell Bird Lab for money to provide support for the bird surveys and habitat restoration and management. The board agreed to provide some matching funding for a proposal. Steven will bring this back to the board in February for discussion. We will also continue to conduct field trips on WLT lands.
  • Wings Over Water Festival– Paul Woodcock– NCAS is participating again but there is no update until Paul returns from his overseas travels.

 Board Building & Governance: Jamie and Nicole – We need to get new officers as Pam and Paul cannot be President and Vice-President (according to by-laws). Nicole will send out the descriptions of all of the officers and other committee chair positions to all of the board members for their information and consideration. Huxley Environmental Career and Internship Fair: scheduled for Thursday, Feb.8; 4:30 – 6:30 PM. We will possibly have representation at the Fair or consider having an internship later.  This needs to be discussed and decided upon by the next meeting.Storing Education/Outreach Material:  for consideration at later meetings.Education Committee 2018 Plan: Chris Brewer provided a summary of the goals for 2018 listed below. 

  • Expand Outreach to Whatcom County

--Whatcom County Library programs--Birds & Brews--Additional field trip locations if possible

  • Develop Conservation Education

--Native Plants and Birds Program/Plants for Birds grants--Endangered species focus in conjunction with Whatcom Museum exhibit

  • Explore Youth Birding Possibilities and Continue Family Programs

--Sponsorship of state Youth Field Trip in Whatcom County (WOW) – 2019 WOW                                    --Continue developing collaboration with Wild Whatcom with Family Programs                                                      and offer family walks/programs as time permits                                    --Consider additional collaborative programs for children/families

  • Develop Bald Eagle Interpretive Programming

  Recruiting  and Incentivizing Volunteers:  Nicole Huson provided a summary of the Volunteer Interest Questionnaire. She had 35 responses and approx. 20 people that indicated an interest in volunteering with NCAS.  The board agreed that we need to understand exactly how we will be using the additional volunteers and then assign volunteers based on their interests indicated in the questionnaire results. Until then, board members will contact individuals and find out more specifically their interests in helping out NCAS.  Nicole will collect the information and people should send her all of the results of the inquiries. Jamie Huson presented a proposal (outlined below) for incentivizing volunteers and for creating a Google doc, tracking hours and areas of interest.Incentives Proposal                  --Volunteer recognition at Holiday Potluck through brief acknowledgement                  --Summer picnic for volunteers                  --Gift Incentives based on hours of volunteering                                    2 hours                      Audubon patch                                    7 hours                      Wild Bird Chalet $10 gift certificate                                    15 hours                   Audubon nest box                                    25 hours                   Signed book                  --Create a Google doc of volunteer interests (from Outreach Survey and other sources)                                    including volunteer tracking.  Budget:  Sue presented a draft 2018 budget based on anticipated NCAS activities and programs for 2018 and related expenses and revenue.  The board reviewed the budget and some changes were made.  Expenses will exceed revenue again in 2018.  The board discussed that although there are very adequate reserves at this time, in the future a balanced budget will be necessary.  Also, it is likely the actual expenses for 2018 will be less than projected.  Projected revenue for 2018 is $11,295 and projected expenses are $19,885. Upcoming Programs & EventsJanuary 11 :            Whatcom Museum- Audubon Presentation for Museum Advocates groupJanuary 23:             James Walker: Dragonflies and DamselfliesFebruary 27:           Dick McNeely: Birding Adventures with VideosMarch 27:                Pam Borso and Rae Edwards: Plants and BirdsApril 24:                    Dan Streiffert: Arctic National Wildlife Refuge        Next Meeting: February 5, 2018; 7 PM at Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship- 1207 Ellsworth St., Bellingham, WA 98225.  Someone will lead meeting unless Paul is present. Steven will contact the person from BUF to find out which meeting room we will be using. Adjourn

December Board Minutes

North Cascades Audubon Society MinutesBoard of Directors Meeting1011 Gerard St.Dec. 4, 20177:00 PM Board Members Present: Pam Borso, Paul Woodcock, Steven Harper, Owen Bamford, Nicole Huson, Jamie Huson, Chris Brewer, Kelley Palmer-McGee, and Steve Irving 

  1. Additions to Agenda – Additions added as needed below
  2. Approval of November Minutes – Approved by board as amended with date changed for January presentation
  3. Treasurer’s Report – Steven discussed the treasurer’s report and it was approved.
  4. Committee Reports:

      Education Update – We have 3 new pairs of binoculars to try out at a total cost of about $300.  We continue to look at projectors and the laptop and will probably purchase by the end of the year.  The Whatcom Library System was really pleased with the programs presented by NCAS and we will present at the Skagit Bald Eagle Festival as well.  Pam and Chris are working on the Native Plants and Birds educational program to be presented at least 3 times in March in time for the Whatcom Conversation District plant sale.  Chris is working with Wild Whatcom on the Family CBC on Dec. 30, although they changed leadership and everything is delayed slightly.  Chris discussed possible funding for youth birding, possibly sending some youth to the Wings Over Water festival.  Nicole indicated that we have 28 -33 people that have responded to our volunteer survey and she will compile the data in time for the retreat in January.      Scholarship Committee – Owen has updated information on the website.  The next step is to reach out to Don Burgess in January. Owen e-mailed the persons receiving the scholarships last year to request a report on the research that the money was used for.      Website Update – Jamie will demo the new website template at the retreat.  No progress on Google Docs as our nonprofit status has not been acknowledged.      Board Building and Governance Report – The committee met and it was very productive, looking at the position descriptions and how they relate to the by-laws. The committee will continue to meet and perhaps provide information for the retreat.

  1. Communications & Input

     Museum holiday tree was decorated and looked great.     Pam asked about continuing the Sunday Audubon at the Museum events and the board agreed to continue. We should make the quarter-sheet information handouts on our presentations, etc. available at the Museum on the Sundays when we are present.     CBC – There was an update that everything is under control, all people placed so far, some new leaders, some people dropping out, and the Squalicum Yacht Club is arranged. Chris will see if we can get an article in the Herald regarding the 50th Anniversary of the CBC for Bellingham and the Family CBC. Jim Duemmel has written up a nice piece that can perhaps be used.  Terry Wahl should be acknowledged for all his efforts in starting the CBC and the other contributions he has made as an amateur ornithologist in the State of Washington.      Spiva Butte –  Steven talked with Ferdi, the gentleman that purchased the property. Steven will write an article for the newsletter about this purchase and the protection efforts that are continuing for Spiva Butte.      Newsletter input due by December 15 for the January newsletter.      Holiday Party – Everything is all set. Pam has food covered, Nicole is working on decorations and a request has been made to Ken to make sure the projector is ready.      Retreat is Jan. 8, 5-9 pm at the Improv Space.  Nicole will bring pizza and salads.  Committee chairs and members are asked to communicate with Pam regarding plans for the coming year and other items that should be discussed at the retreat.      Starting in Feb. the meeting will be at Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship.      Sue would appreciate it greatly if 2017 invoices are submitted at the holiday party.  Of course any purchases after that can be submitted later.

  1. Old Business

      Swan Donation – Victoria at the Museum has promised that the swan will be in the display by the end of the year.  We will donate the remaining $60 to the Museum to defray costs.  When the swan is finally in the display we will place an article in our newsletter regarding the donation and the new display.      Advertising Update – All advertisers in the newsletter have committed. Valerie at the Wild Bird Chalet would like someone to discuss our relationship.  Nicole and Jamie volunteered to stop by to talk with her.      Presentation for the Museum Advocates Group – Paul would like to do this on January 18 even though he will be just back from Australia.  He knows the most about the cooperation between NCAS and the Museum in putting the exhibit together and knows most about the history.

  1. New Business

      Wings Over Water – It will be happening March 16-18. Paul will be attending but will be gone until Jan. 15, so someone else needs to put a call out for viewing station volunteers in the Feb. newsletter.       Donation – The board decided to make the following donations for 2017: Whatcom Humane Society $300, VARC $300, Sardis $200, Wild Whatcom $200, and Northwest Swan Conservation $200.       Huxley Environment Career and Internship Fair Thursday, 8 Feb 2018, 4:30-6:30 PM – Pam would like to consider whether it would be valuable for NCAS to have an intern.  Everyone should think about what we could do with an intern and whether we have enough projects or enough leadership to be able to guide an intern.  More discussion between now and the retreat.

  1. Programs & Events

     December 11 Doug Brown                         Birds of Belize     January 18      Paul Woodcock                   Whatcom Museum - Audubon presence (presentation for                                                                                                   Museum Advocates group)     January 23      James Walker                     Dragonflies and Damselflies     February 27    Dick McNeely                      Unusual Bird Videos     April 24            Dan Streiffert                    Arctic Wildlife Refuge Presentation Adjourn - Next Meeting: January 8, 2018, 5-9 retreat.  Improv Playworks 1011 Girard St, Bellingham, WA 98225

November Board Minutes

North Cascades Audubon SocietyBoard of Directors Meeting AgendaWECU Ed Center on HollyNovember 7, 20167:00 PM Board Members Present: Carol Roberts, Pam Borso,  Kelley Palmer-McGee, Steve Irving,  Judy Krieger;  Ken Salzman, Owen Bamford, Rae Edwards, Steven Harper, Sue Parrott, Jamie Huson, Nicole Huson Guest: Jamie Donaldson presented a request for a letter of support from NCAS in favor of preventing loss of mature trees in the City of Bellingham. 

  1. Additions to Agenda


  1. Approval of October Minutes- Approved


  1. Treasurer’s Report- Sue went over the latest report and explained some corrections she made to errors found in past reports. She discussed money that has been donated as part of an estate and whether we should put a thank you in the January newsletter. Board agreed to discuss the issue of asking for estate contributions and what we do with any money bequeathed at the annual retreat.


  1. Communications & Input

Climate Change Group and I-732 – Sue told us that the group is planning a booth at the Farmer’s market starting in April and staffed by members of the group or other people in Audubon assuming there are enough people to staff the booth.  Cost is $20 per day. Facebook interface – The Facebook interface is being updated and will eventually be working correctly.  Currently a work around is available so that Jamie and Twink can add events to the Facebook Page.CBC update – Board suggested that there be an article in the January newsletter recounting the history of the 50 years of CBC in Bellingham.Cherry Point Bird Surveys – NCAS board believes the surveys should be continued for continuity purposes and for the sake of citizen science.  Pam and Lyle are planning on doing a workshop instead of training this year as well as training additional people that have already passed the test.ACOW – Pam reported that ACOW was a very good conference this year with lots of DNR and BLM people presenting.  Pam and Paul also had a great experience at the banding site above Lake Chelan. 

  1. Old Business

Garlick Memorial Award Report and Swan Update – We have raised the money needed. The state permit is in hand and the Federal permit is being worked on and when in hand we will move ahead. Owen will contact donors for approval to acknowledge their gifts in the January newsletter.            Holiday Potluck update – Carol and Nicole are working on the Potluck and requested that people save cedar boughs if they have them available.Whatcom Land Trust Collaboration – Pam reported that she will be signing the MOU document in the coming week.AV Technical Support- Steven and Jamie will meet at the Museum to better understand the technical parameters of Museum AV equipment.  This information will be sent to all program presenters to avoid future glitches at our monthly meetings.  They will also determine the cords necessary for various computer connections.  

  1. New Business

Board discussed the issue of saving mature trees in the City of Bellingham as presented by Jamie Donaldson. Rae will draft a letter supporting this position which will be submitted to the board before submission to the city.Birding on Lummi Property – Ken noted that it is possible to receive a yearly permit allowing birding on Lummi lands from the planning office at tribal headquarters. This can be applicable for as many as 3 persons. 

  1. Upcoming Programs

 November 22: Jim Watson - Raptors of Western WashingtonDecember 12: Holiday Potluck – Doug Brown SlidesJan 24: Belinda Rotton and Richard Kessler - Birding on the Skagit and Whatcom Wildlife RefugesFeb 28: Steve and Martha Ellis - Loons of the Salish SeaMarch 28: Matt Christensen and Sarah Brookes - Friends of Semiahmoo Bay Society – Stewardship North of the 49th ParallelApril 25: Jonathan White - Tides: The Science and Spirit of the OceanMay 23: Adjourn - Next Meeting; December 5, 2016  7 PM WECU Ed Ctr., 311 Holly St, Bellingham, WA                                                            

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!