Tuesday, January 8 ; 7:00 Social; 7:30 Program Padilla Bay Interpretive Center 10441 Bayview-Edison Road Mt. Vernon, Washington
Join Ron and Sheila Pera on their photographic journey through Alba (Gaelic name for Scotland). Scotland is part of the United Kingdom (UK) and occupies the northern third of Great Britain. It has 7,330 miles of coastline which provides homes for many seabirds including Atlantic Puffins and Northern Gannets. As they traveled through the Highlands and the Inner Hebrides Islands, mystical castles and the beautiful landscapes came into view around almost every turn. During the 14 day tour 120 species of birds were recorded. It did rain, which probably explains why the raincoat was invented in1824 in Scotland by Charles Macintosh - garment is still called a “Mac”.
Conservation Report, January 2019
By Tim Manns
Early December brought the good news that a long-absent species is returning to the North Cascades. The fisher, a relative of the pine marten and river otter, was long ago trapped out for its fur. Last month several agencies and non-profit partners working to restore this species to the Olympic Peninsula and the Cascades released 6 fishers near Newhalem.
We begin the new year with well-grounded hope for more good news. Governor Inslee’s budget released last month proposes considerable investments that would, in the short and long terms, reverse the decline of the Southern Resident Killer Whales (orcas). Audubon’s mission to protect wildlife habitat includes restoring degraded habitat and the wildlife it supports. Protecting and restoring the habitat chinook salmon need, in and along rivers and streams, tidal wetlands, and the Salish Sea support the orca’s principal food while also helping many other species. Restoring populations of the small forage fish which chinook eat, for example, also benefits many species of fish-eating marine birds – loons, grebes, mergansers, the federally listed marbled murrelet. These birds will benefit from proposed measures to more quickly restore the water quality of Puget Sound which now adversely affects the health of orcas and other animals high on the food chain.
The Governor’s proposals for the legislative session beginning January 14th also include measures to address climate change which are on Audubon Washington’s priority list. One example is committing Washington State to a 100% clean electricity standard; that is, to using only electricity from renewable sources by a specific future date. We all have a role to play in seeing that practical measures pass that protect and restore the environment for the well-being of wildlife and for our own sakes. Here are some things we can all do:
Sign up for Action Alerts from Audubon Washington (http://wa.audubon.org/) and National Audubon (https://www.audubon.org/). On both websites, click the red button labelled “Take Action” at the top of the page and sign up to receive action alerts on issues important at the state and national level. One of the current national issues is preventing removal of protections from Teshekpuk Lake in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. The great majority of this publicly-owned reserve is open to fossil fuel extraction, but 5 years ago a management plan was completed that protected Teshekpuk Lake and surrounding wetlands extremely important for hundreds of thousands of shorebirds, nesting loons, and waterfowl. Many species that migrate through Washington State or winter here breed in the Arctic. Teshekpuk Lake, Izembek Lagoon, and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, all now under threat from energy development and climate change, are vital to many thousands of birds we think of as “ours”.
This year has real possibilities for being better for Audubon’s goals and the environment generally than the one just past. Be part of the change you want to see. We can make a difference!
FROM YOUR EDITOR of the Flyer
What the well-dressed hummingbird feeder is wearing this winter, and my resident hummers must have spread the word to every other hummer in the neighborhood that the food doesn’t freeze at my house! I am still working full-time, so I jealously guard those mornings that I don’t have to be up before the chickens (and hummers) so no worries when the nighttime temperatures dip below freezing and I don’t need to bring the feeder inside. For the upcoming winter days when a bitter cold snap leaves temps below freezing during the day, the little birds will have a constant supply of warm food. I purchased this one online from Hummers Heated Delight (https://hummersheateddelight.com/xcart/heated-feeders/) and am very happy with the feeder and the company’s customer service. It performed perfectly during the cold spell a couple of weeks ago and I’ll be plugging it in when the next cold spell arrives!
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 email@example.com
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.