Tuesday, Mar. 12, 2019 7:00 Social; 7:30 Program Padilla Bay Interpretive Center 10441 Bayview Edison Road Mount Vernon
Flickers and Falcons, Cats and Cars Presented by Shona Aitken, Wolf Hollow WRC
Since its founding in 1982, Wolf Hollow Wildlife Rehabilitation Center has cared for more than 16,000 injured and orphaned wildlife, representing over 220 different species of birds, land and marine mammals, amphibians and reptiles. Located on San Juan Island, Wolf Hollow serves all of San Juan and Skagit Counties and northern Whidbey Island. More than half of the injured and orphaned animals cared for at the center come from Skagit County.
What are the main causes of injury to wild birds brought to Wolf Hollow? How are they cared for and prepared for release back into the wild? Join Shona Aitken, Education Coordinator at Wolf Hollow, to find out more about human impacts on our local wild birds, the work that is involved in rehabilitating them and what you can do to help.
From hummingbirds to elephant seals, the mission of Wolf Hollow is, “To promote the well-being of wildlife and their habitats through rehabilitation of injured and orphaned wildlife, public education and non-invasive research.” Visit their website at www.wolfhollowwildlife.org and call 360.378.5000 (24/7) to report injured or orphaned wildlife.
Conservation Report, March 2019
By Tim Mann
Happily, there’s something positive to report this month: the February 12th passage of the Natural Resources Management Act in the U.S. Senate. At 662 pages, S. 47, co-introduced by Senator Maria Cantwell, combines over 100 smaller bills. It’s old-fashioned, across-the-aisle law making with something for many parts of the country and much for conservation-minded Audubon people to like (along with a few unwelcome things). The bill passed the Senate 92 to 8 and should do well in the House.
A top issue for National Audubon has been reauthorizing the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). Over the past half-century the LWCF has used dollars from off-shore oil and gas leasing to buy federal, state, and local conservation lands. S. 47 permanently authorizes this important program. The bill doesn’t require a specific level of annual expenditure, but it’s a very good step in the right direction, and we have Senator Cantwell to thank.
Of local interest, S. 47 permanently withdraws from mining over 340,000 acres of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest around the Methow River headwaters near North Cascades National Park and the Pasayten Wilderness. In 2013 a Canadian mining company announced its intention to drill exploratory holes there for copper. Bi-partisan opposition arose, organized, and thwarted this multi-faceted threat to the environment. Passage of S. 47 reflects the tremendous, bi-partisan support for public ownership and protection of public lands, far exceeding such opposition as seen dramatically in the armed occupation of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge a few years ago and occasionally and more subtly glimpsed in our local elected officials.
In Olympia, Washington, the State Legislature is in the midst of its fast-paced 105-day session, slated to finish in early April. The legislature’s composition now offers real opportunity for passage of significant environmental laws. Audubon Washington provides regular legislative updates on pertinent bills at http://wa.audubon.org/conservation/legislative-session-2019 with suggestions on how you can weigh in. Our legislators want to hear from us. A very strong focus of Audubon and many other conservation groups is House Bill 1211/Senate Bill 5116 to have Washington join California and Hawaii in setting a date (2045) by when the electricity we use will be entirely from renewable sources. The Environmental Priorities Coalition, including Audubon, also posts weekly legislative updates at https://wecprotects.org/environmental-priorities-coalition/. Scroll down to “Bills to Watch.” Delve more deeply into the progress of bills on the State Legislature’s site: http://leg.wa.gov/. You can read about individual bills, see who sits on what committees, etc. Scroll down to “Let Your Voice Be Heard” and comment on introduced legislation.
Finally, there’s an easy way you can help protect the few Great Blue Heron nesting colonies in Skagit County. Attend the Skagit County Commissioners’ hearing March 11 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. about proposed changes to the Comprehensive Plan. Skagit Land Trust, which protects several heronries, has submitted an amendment, and your presence is needed to show public support. There’s a lot going on nationally, regionally, locally, and we can be part of it!
From Your Editor
by Mary Sinker
There’s nothing like a snow day to inspire a new project and it was my husband Jeff who suggested we build a nest box for a Barred Owl. We have the right habitat and two summers ago we observed a Barred Owl fledgling in the woods along our creek, so why not! With a plan-in-hand, we headed to Lowes and soon realized we were one of the few customers not in search of either a snow shovel or Ice-Melt! Back in the workshop, with the snow falling outside, the plan came together and now that the snow has melted, the box is safely mounted 15 feet up a sturdy tree alongside the creek (the branches in the photo don’t obstruct the entrance). Barred Owls begin nesting later than Great-Horned Owls, so there’s a chance we could attract a pair this year; more likely though it will be another year or two. However, in the meantime, perhaps someone else will move in – we’ll keep an eye on it.
Olympic BirdFest 2019
Come Bird With Us
Sequim, Washington, April 12-14, 2019
Grab your binoculars and join the 16th annual Olympic BirdFest 2019 celebration at the Dungeness River Audubon Center, April 12-14, 2019. The stage is set…quiet bays and estuaries, sandy beaches, a five-mile-long sand spit, and a protected island bird sanctuary on the Strait of Juan de Fuca; wetlands, tide pools, rainforests, and lush river valleys. The players are ready … Marbled Murrelets, Rhinoceros Auklets, Harlequin Ducks, Black Oystercatchers, Peregrine Falcons, Barred and Pygmy Owls will be sporting their finest spring plumage for this celebration. Enjoy guided birding trips, boat tour, and a gala banquet. Our featured speaker this year, John Marzluff, is a professor of wildlife science at the University of Washington and a noted author. Come bird with us and experience with others the spectacular landscapes of the Olympic Peninsula …you just might go home with a new bird for your life list! Check out the offerings by going online (www.olympicbirdfest.org). Precede your BirdFest weekend with a three-day, two night birding cruise of the spectacular San Juan Islands on April 9-11, 2019. Visit San Juan and Sucia Islands, and more. Stay at the historic Roche Harbor Resort. Extend your Birdfest weekend with the Neah Bay post-trip, April 14-16, 2019: two and one-half days exploring northwest coastal Washington, a region rarely seen by birders. Contact us by phone, at 360-681-4076, E-mail us at email@example.com , Or write to us at: Dungeness River Audubon Center P.O. Box 2450 Sequim, WA 98382
If you see a dead, sick, or injured swan, call the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife 24-hour hotline: (360) 466-4345, ext. 266. Do not handle the bird. Leave a short, detailed message with your name and phone number plus the location and condition of the swan(s). WDFW collects information to assess the impact of lead poisoning and power line collisions, the main causes of accidental swan deaths.
The Education Committee needs volunteers to help with a number of adult presentations coming up in the next several months. These Power Point presentations are scheduled at libraries and private organizations/clubs in the area. If you can help give part of a presentation (already written), that would be great; or, you can assist with the computer and help answer questions from the audience. If you can lend a hand, please contact Sheila at firstname.lastname@example.org
Skagit Audubon Society holds monthly meetings on the second Tuesday of each month except for the months of July and August. We meet at 7:00 pm at Padilla Bay Interpretive Center(Google map), 10441 Bayview-Edison Rd. Mount Vernon. Meetings are open to all.
The board of directors meets at the same location at 7:00 pm on the first Tuesday of each month, except for the months of July and August.