Please join us on July 14th at 7:00 pm for a Zoom presentation by Jan Loomis about her recent work on Midway Atoll participating in the annual albatross nesting census, and other current projects at Midway Atoll. Jan is a member of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Annual Nesting Albatross Census Team and has a 35 year career as an RN and paramedic. Her true love, however, is marine biology, and in particular, shore and seabirds.
Preregistration is required and is limited to 100 attendees. Please only one registrant per household. After you register, you will receive an email with the link to sign in at the time of the Zoom presentation. Questions? Contact Carla Helm at email@example.com.
2020 BOARD ELECTION TO BE ELECTRONIC -- CONSENT TO ELECTRONIC NOTICE
Dear Skagit Audubon Society Member,
Following up on the notice given in the May Skagit Flyer, and in light of current restrictions imposed by the state on large in-person gatherings, SAS plans to hold our annual elections for the Board of Directors electronically.
First, if you received this notice by email, you have kindly provided us in the past with your email address. To help us conduct our 2020 Board elections electronically and to better manage SAS's communications with you in the future, we need your consent to deliver notices regarding SAS business by electronic transmission such as email. To simplify this consent process, SAS is going to deem that you have consented to our use of electronic transmission for notices (such as email or posting to SAS's website), unless you tell us you do not consent to such electronic transmission. Your objection to electronic transmission of notices must be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org June 5, 2020. If you take no action on this question through June 5, that will constitute consent. Please note you may revoke this consent at any time on written request to the Secretary of SAS. If your email address changes in the future, please remember to notify SAS promptly.
Second, we plan to send out by email in early June an electronic ballot for the Board elections. For those members who have not provided us with an email address, we will send out paper ballots. If you have provided an email address but do not want to vote by electronic means and want a paper ballot, you must tell us by June 5, 2020 by sending an email to email@example.com. If you have not previously provided us with an email address and wish to do so now with your consent to electronic transmission of notices, please send your email address and consent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The slate of nominees for election to the Board of Directors of SAS was provided in the May edition of the Skagit Flyer and will be provided again in the ballot itself. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact any member of the Board of Directors.
Thank you for your understanding and support.
The Board of Directors of the Skagit Audubon Society
All Skagit Audubon events Cancelled
All Skagit Audubon Society in-person events (meetings, field trips, hikes and education) are cancelled until further notice due to the risks associated with the new coronavirus. We will update this notice and resume activities when the government health authorities say that it is safe to do so.
Conservation Report - June 2020
By Tim Manns
There is never a lack of conservation issues crying out for response. They are often threats to areas we value and thought secure: the planned bike path through Ship Harbor Interpretive Preserve, Growler flights over spotted owl habitat in Olympic National Park…, but here I’d like to mention a different role Audubon members can play in conservation. Maybe you’ve seen presentations by Dr. Douglas Tallamy, an entomologist and ecologist at the University of Delaware and inspiring and pragmatic advocate for gardening with native plants as not only good to do, but urgent. Tallamy points out that just 5% of the lower 48 states is in fairly pristine ecological shape while over 40 million acres are lawn, all but dead ecologically. The problem is, “We have destroyed natural habitat in so many places that local extinction is rampant and global extinction accelerating. This is a growing problem for humanity because it is the plants and animals around us that produce the life support we all depend on.” While we need not value nature only for how it supports us, Tallamy’s urgency might convince people for whom birds, plants, and all the natural world do exist for us alone.
Tallamy’s approach (see his new book Nature’s Best Hope) adds detail and pizazz to what we’ve been told for some time: it’s important to support birds and other wildlife in our yards by replacing lawn with native plants. Tallamy emphasizes choosing natives supporting the greatest number and variety of butterflies and moths. Why? Because their caterpillars are such important bird food. To have varied and numerous birds, we need plants that support what they eat. This National Wildlife Federation website, advised by Tallamy, suggests plant species: https://www.nwf.org/Garden-for-Wildlife/About/Native-Plants. Planting native species is a National Audubon campaign too: https://www.audubon.org/native-plants. Another good source, Washington Native Plant Society: https://www.wnps.org/. And read John Marzluff’s Subirdia for his 10 principles to make your yard a place that supports birds and other wildlife. Protecting habitat in remote national parks and wilderness areas and much smaller local preserves is important but insufficient to sustain the biodiverse world we want and need. Our own yards must be part of the bigger conservation picture.
It’s been an interesting spring so far, with the closure of some of the best birding spots due to the Covid virus, and just when I thought perhaps spring migration was going to pass by, eight American Avocets landed in Stanwood. At the same time, a few hundred Whimbrels made their annual appearance on Camano Island, even a Marbled Godwit joined in. All was not lost and although I didn’t get to see the Godwit, the Avocets and Whimbrel helped to remind me to be grateful for the small things and the things we don’t expect, even when current circumstances are far from normal. A few days after the Avocets left, our public lands reopened and some of the shorebirds are still here, eagles are nesting, and a Great-horned Owl and her branching youngster at Wylie Slough have been the stars of attention for birders and photographers. Spring has sprung and with warblers and flycatchers arriving, summer promises to be full of birdsong and color. In my own yard, my eBird checklist for birds at home has never been so active, with more than 40 straight days of submissions. I plan to practice birding-by-ear skills and to continue to be grateful for the small things and the things we don’t expect. Enjoy the birds of summer and From Your Editor will see you in September – happy birding! Mary
From the Education Committee - Parents, Grandparents: Looking for something to do with kids during this pandemic?
The weather is getting nicer and everyone wants to get outdoors to enjoy the sunshine while still staying safe. There are a number of websites that have suggestions for indoor and outdoor activities kids and adults can enjoy together. The Audubon for Kids website has loads of ideas for parents and kids to enjoy together. Weekly segments focus on different aspects of birds and birding: https://www.audubon.org/get-outside/activities/audubon-for-kids. eBird (The Cornell Lab of Ornithology) website provides a series of Lessons and Activities for grades K-2 through 9-12. According to the website: “These hands-on activities are designed to explore nature and science with a combination of indoor and outdoor activities that will ease cabin fever.” https://www.birds.cornell.edu/k12/science-nature-activities-for-cooped-up-kids/. The Children and Nature Network has a number of family centric indoor and outdoor activities on their website: https://www.childrenandnature.org/2020/03/16/10-nature-activities-to-help-get-your-family-through-the-pandemic/. Another great idea is a bird journal. Our website, https://skagitaudubon.org/education has a journal ready to copy. Using an iPhone, smartphone, or point and shoot camera, have the kids take pictures of birds in their yards. Then use a simplified bird guide (or pictures on the computer) to identify the birds. Have the kids draw a picture of the birds in the journal (or attach a copy of the photo). Then have the kids note the major characteristics of the bird. We also have an area in the Education section of the website for kids to post their photos. Send photos to email@example.com.
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.