Skagit Audubon
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Watching birds, protecting habitat, connecting with nature

Presidents Message - February/March 2015

In December many of us spent a great day outdoors participating in the National Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count, along with tens of thousands of others across North America.  This count started in 1900 and is now in its 115th year.  Skagit Audubon’s Padilla Bay CBC was started in the 1990s and, like all count areas, is a 15-mile diameter circle.  Ours is split into 16 areas. It starts in the northwest near the northern tip of Samish Island and extends almost to Edison in the northeast, and continues east of the Skagit County Airport to La Conner, then west to Deception Pass and the north end of Whidbey Island.  It’s an ideal area since it includes most of the best birding areas in Western Skagit County.My first direct involvement with the CBC after we moved to Skagit County in 2000 was in the Similk Bay area where I tagged along with Steve and Gail Aslanian and learned how the count was done. The next year I accompanied John Douglass on March Point/East Anacortes and I’ve done that area ever since. About ten years ago,

Joe Halton organized our section into 3 sub-areas, with Joe, Ivar Dolph and me as leaders. Nearly 65 people participated in our count.  The weather wasn’t ideal, as we had some rain, but the sun actually shone briefly in the afternoon. The count wouldn’t be possible without Tim Manns, who along with Alice Turner organized all the area leaders and participants ahead of time, and Bob Kuntz who has compiled and submitted the results for many years.  These results will be available on our website (http://www.skagitaudubon.org/birding/christmas-bird-count) by the end of January.  These are both time-consuming tasks and we owe them a big thanks.  Many thanks go out to all of you who participated.  The CBC is an important part of what Audubon calls Citizen Science.  Data has now been collected for more than one hundred years and helps researchers study the long-term health and status of bird populations across North America and provides a picture of how bird populations have changed in time and space over this period of time.If you would like to participate in a bird count, you don’t have to wait until next December. You can participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count, which takes place February 13 – 16, 2015.  Launched in 1998 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, the GBBC was the first online citizen-science project to collect data on wild birds and to quickly display results.  Since then, more than 100,000 people from across the world have joined the count to create an annual snapshot of the distribution and abundance of birds.  You can find the details here:  http://gbbc.birdcount.org/

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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.