Conservation News – The conservation committee is committed to providing up-to-date conservation news for our members and visitors to our website.
Western Bluebird Watch Program for 2017
Audubon’s Climate Watch was developed as followup to the 2014 Audubon Birds and Climate Change report that highlighted the risks climate change poses to birds across North America
The program focuses on areas of predicted change for bluebirds within each chapter’s territory and highlights areas of expected range expansion and contraction. Maps of the chapter’s territory overlaid with a grid of 10-kilometer squares that show predictions for change based on the climate models have been provided to the coordinator of each participating chapter.
Volunteers will conduct 5 minute surveys in assigned points within each square. Though the focus is bluebirds, the volunteer is asked to record all bird species viewed within the 5 minute period.
Swan Study Preliminary Data Results – November, 2016
OPAS swan study volunteers have participated in a citizen science project to count swans each winter for the last 6 years.
Bob Boekelheide, OPAS Bird Sightings Chair, has compiled the preliminary data from these swan surveys, showing how numbers of swans change through each season and the areas they occupy when they are here.
OPAS extends its appreciation to its volunteers for making the swan project a success.
2016 OPAS Conservation Award
Each year the Conservation Committee considers nominations of both members and others in our community who have made invaluable contributions to conserve and protect our natural environment.
This year, the award was presented at our September meeting to Bob Phreaner by Mary Porter-Solberg, OPAS Conservation Co-Chair
Click on the certificate below to read about Bob’s conservation stewardship.
Bluebird Watch Update
We are continuing our study of the Western Bluebird in Clallam County. There are currently three volunteers working in the program.
Our goal is to help bluebirds reach and maintain a healthy population in Clallam County and to increase the number of bluebirds that nest or winter in the area. You can help by reporting bluebird sightings regardless of nesting activity.
Reports this year include:
- Number of Individual reports received this year -12
- Number of birds reported – 14 adult Western Bluebirds – 1 Mountain Bluebird
- 2 Western Bluebird fledglings
- Number of successful nesting sites – 3, two reported nesting in nestboxes and one in a natural cavity.
- Areas with the most activity – Miller Peninsula, Knapp Rd, Thompson Rd, Deer Park, Hurricane Ridge, and an area between Sequim and Port Angeles.
For more information or to report any Bluebird activity please contact
Joyce Volmut – 785-554-6379
Doris Causey- 360-301-5724
Hanging birdfeeders, providing birdbaths, and growing native plants are among the best ways to provide food, water, and shelter to birds as they migrate across an increasingly developed continent. If homeowners want to attract and provide refuge for birds, they must also safeguard their yards against threats such as windows, toxins, and cats.
Let’s talk primarily about window collisions and ways to prevent them. Window strikes at people’s homes kill at least 150 million birds each year in the U.S. Reflections of vegetation or landscape attract birds to collide with glass. Birds tend to collide with windows in rural yards with trees and birdfeeders—the very picture of bird-friendly habitat. Many people hang birdfeeders in a tree close to their house so they can easily watch the birds from a window. This is the worst place to put them. It draws birds close to windows while also giving them space to gain the necessary flying speed to hurt themselves. Place feeders and birdbaths within three feet of the nearest window so that birds don’t hurt themselves upon liftoff; or place them more than 30 feet away so that feeding birds …..Read more
2016 Draft Integrated Roadside Weed Management Plan
In 2015, Clallam County submitted a plan to create a chapter in their Code titled Integrated Roadside Weed Management. On May 18, 2015, OPAS provided comments expressing our concerns. Now that a draft Integrated Roadside Weed Management Plan has been proposed, the OPAS Conservation Committee will review the plan and prepare additional comments.
Workshops were held July 12 & 13, 2016 for public review. After public input received from the workshops is reviewed, a revised version of the Plan will be subsequently presented to the Board of Clallam County Commissioners for adoption. If you missed the workshops, you can still read about the plan and access related materials by clicking here.
OPAS Commented on USFWS draft Eagle Take Rule
OPAS recently commented on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service draft of an eagle-management plan that could weaken protections for eagles, including the issuing of 30-year permits to wind energy and other companies that could allow the “take” (or harm) of eagles. Read our comments.
Changes in Sequim-Dungeness Bird Populations and Behavior
Bob Boekelheide, OPAS Co-Vice President, and Ken Wiersema, OPAS President, were recently interviewed by the Sequim Gazette about observed changes in bird populations and behavior as a result of over 40 years of recorded Christmas Bird Count data in the Sequim-Dungeness area.
Some noticeable trends have emerged, including a general decline in the number of seabirds, such as Western Grebes, White-winged Scoters and Common Loons.
You can read about these changes and what may be causing them by clicking on the following links:
PDF link, then scroll down the page to the “Birders” article.
Notice: Partners of Planning for Climate Change on the North Olympic Peninsula Project
We are pleased to share with you the final “Climate Change Preparedness Plan for the North Olympic Peninsula” report! This report and its many appendices and supplementary information are the culmination of all the input from participants throughout the project, as well as the expert research, writing, and process flow from consultants of Adaptation International and Washington Sea Grant.
Important Notice! What to do if you encounter aircraft disturbance at Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge.
By FAA regulation, aircraft, including fixed wing, helicopter, drone, powered or unpowered are required to maintain a safe non-disturbance distance from wildlife. Should our members note what they believe is an aircraft disturbing wildlife they should contact:
FAA’s Flight Standards District Office (FDSO Seattle)
1601 Lind Avenue SW
Renton, Wa 98057
Wildlife disturbance on or near the DNWR should also be reported to Refuge Law Enforcement, David Falzetti (David_Falzetti@fws.gov or 360-457-8451). However, without detailed information including a tail number, date, time, and detailed wildlife disturbance behavior information he can do little. It is highly recommended that reports include photos of the tail number and type of wildlife disturbance. Understandably, these details can be very difficult to get, but the effort is important for follow-up.
Audubon’s Birds and Climate Change Report – 314 Species on the Brink
Shrinking and shifting ranges could imperil nearly half of U.S. birds within this century. Read the Audubon Climate Report.