Ronan asks: Send no more than 8 photos in .jpeg format
Videos can be no longer than 1 minute and in .mov, .mp4 or .avi format
IncludeName of Photographer, Description ofSubject, and Location
Topics include Wild Nature, Flowers, Birds and other Animals,
Landscapes, Trips, Backyard Habitat, and Hikes
Pictures should have sufficient resolutionto project well:
The photo size should be of at least 3 megabytes
Please Send Your Pictures ASAP ~ NO LATER than DECEMBER 1
Conservation Report, December 2016
By Tim Manns
In this first Conservation Report since the election I can do no better than quote National Audubon President David Yarnold to give an idea where your organization stands:
“Some things didn't change last Wednesday morning (Nov. 9). An overwhelming majority of Americans still believe climate change threatens their future and the lives of birds and they want real solutions. … Many business leaders believe in a predictable set of environ mental regulations. Americans didn't vote against clean air or clean water. Most people still believe in science… It's clear that the incoming administration will have new conservation priorities and that most of the opportunity to make progress on climate change will shift to the states. … We're a durable, respected, trusted conservation network and we’re local everywhere. With 463 chapters and 22 state offices and a membership of one million that’s almost evenly divided between D's and R's — we're authentic messengers for birds in every state in the U.S. — and that sets us apart from every other conservation non-profit. ..You are the lifeblood of Audubon, part of a community of caring people, from Sacramento to Helena to Lincoln to New York. That’s who we are. And that's not going to change.”
Yarnold goes on to express Audubon’s strong belief in the principles of fairness, tolerance, and inclusion. It’s a time to reflect on what America is about in every phase of our lives, from how we treat the environment to how we treat each other.
For a half century we’ve depended on the Clean Air Act (1963), the Wilderness Act (1964), the Endangered Species Act (1973), the Clean Water Act (1972), the National Environmental Policy Act (1970), the Environmental Protection Agency (1970), and many more to guard what we value and to ensure its perpetuation. Where some see excessive regulation, we see necessary protection and restoration of environmental conditions damaged or put at risk by past practices. The election campaign and outcome alert us all to the fragility of this system of environmental protections so painstakingly built over many years and so vulnerable to rapid unraveling.
In the area of environmental concerns, particularly global warming and issues of wildlife conservation, particularly for birds, you can rest assured of National Audubon’s very active and outspoken involvement and expertise. More voices for environmental protection, restoration, and conservation are always needed at every level, including locally here in Northwest Washington. We’re fortunate to live in a state with a higher level of interest in and concern about environmental matters but that is by no means universal in Skagit and adjacent counties where Skagit Audubon’s members live or probably anywhere else in Washington State. More and more we’re learning the importance of showing up, standing up, speaking out.
If you haven’t already, please look at National Audubon’s website about its conservation advocacy work and sign up for action alerts: http://www.audubon.org/takeaction . In addition to the national issues described there, many local and regional issues relevant to Skagit Audubon’s mission continue to arise. November’s outcome should only increase our determination to do whatever we can to protect and restore the place we live and care about so much.
President's Message, December 2016
By Irene Perry
Annual Report Highlights
At the end of each calendar year our chapter submits an annual report to National Audubon. This is an opportunity to reflect on our goals and accomplishments. Our chapter continues to reach our goals and accomplish more each year with the support of our membership.
This year our chapter took on a special project. The success of the Purple Martin Project is a chapter highlight for 2016. Volunteers built and installed 56 new nesting boxes. We now monitor 76 boxes in four different locations. Nearly all new boxes were used during the nesting season. This project was accomplished with the donation of supplies, talent and time. We had members with carpentry skills and tools volunteer to build the boxes. A local hardware supplier donated materials at cost along with many members donating supplies. Volunteers came out to install posts and the boxes on existing pilings. This project also included those dedicated to citizen science, monitoring Purple Martin activity at each site. There is more to do and fine-tune as this project continues into 2017.
Another highlight of 2016 is our education programs and outreach activities. We continue to grow and reach more people throughout our communities. We have taken programs to schools, after school programs, community clubs, community organizations, and local parks. Our education volunteers reached 1,922 people participating in 33 programs. Of those programs 1,169 participants were children. We continue to receive requests for our education and outreach activities. Consider volunteering as our education committee develops plans for 2017. Please contact Sheila Pera for more information at email@example.com.
The last highlight to mention is our strong membership. We have 226 member families. There are members who attend just programs, field trips or hikes. And some members who participate in all three activities. We have members who are strongly interested and support our conservation efforts. Most of all, we welcome anyone who shares our mission to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and the earth's biological diversity. On a recent field trip, a birder from Edmonds said, “I heard Skagit Audubon was friendly and welcoming. You really are doing a good job.”
Finally, I would like to thank you for your continued support in our growing chapter. We had 91 volunteers contribute 4,196 hours in all chapter activities including conservation, education, publications, programs, citizen science, hospitality, and board meetings. Also included are those who organize field trips and hikes. This data is collected annually by yet another dedicated volunteer, Phil Wright, who is a past President and currently our Finance Committee chair.
As you consider your New Year's resolutions and plans for 2017, include Skagit Audubon. Plan to attend programs, field trips, and hikes. Consider volunteering for a board position or as a committee member helping with publications, conservation, or field trips. Resolve to assist in our education outreach efforts. Better yet, extend a welcoming invitation to a neighbor or friend to join us. Together we can make a difference in the New Year connecting people to nature.
Padilla Bay Christmas Bird Count 2016
This year is the 117th for the Christmas Bird Count (CBC), sponsored by the National Audubon Society and the nation’s longest-running citizen science project. The CBC has been around 5 years longer than the National Audubon Society itself. Each year between December 14 and January 5, thousands of volunteers across the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, Latin America, Bermuda, and the Pacific Islands count bird species and individuals within established count areas. Count volunteers scour a designated 15-mile diameter circle, noting every bird they see or hear. There are almost 2,500 counts with about 2,000 of those in the U.S.
In western Skagit County the count circle centers on March Point by Padilla Bay. That’s why this count is officially known as the “Padilla Bay Christmas Bird Count” though it includes a much larger area than Padilla Bay. Skagit Audubon Society has sponsored and organized this count for several decades, each year recruiting birders to work in teams focused on 16 or more sub-areas of the circle.
This year’s Padilla Bay Christmas Bird Count will take place December 31st. It may seem unusual to choose the day before New Year’s, but we are constrained by the allowed count period and the need to avoid weekends traditionally used for other Christmas Bird Counts nearby. Many Padilla Bay CBC birders are needed to help with several of those counts, so we need to avoid conflicting dates. Later this fall, details, forms, and maps will go out to area leaders for the count.
The winter gathering of Bald Eagles converging on the Skagit River for a salmon feast is one of Skagit County’s great avian phenomena. For 20 years the Skagit River Bald Eagle Interpretive Center at Rockport has helped visitors from near and far see and appreciate these birds (http://skagiteagle.org/). Located in Howard Miller Steelhead Park (a Skagit County park) along the Skagit River and operated by the Skagit River Bald Eagle Awareness Team, the center is open weekends December through January and during Christmas week. The nonprofit Awareness Team is dedicated to providing education about bald eagles during the peak of eagle migration and salmon spawning on the Skagit River through a variety of programs and visitor information. The organization depends almost entirely on volunteers and could use your help. Volunteers at the Bald Eagle Interpretive Center welcome guests from across the region, provide information about prime eagle watching spots, assist with guided nature walks, and support general facility operations. Training for volunteers will take place Saturday December 3 from 10am to 1pm, co-hosted by the US Forest Service Skagit Eagle Watchers Program. For more information and to sign up, write to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 360-853-7626.
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.