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Education Notes

Education Notes
by Ken Wiersema

Learning and enjoying birds and the habitat of our home Olympic Peninsula continues to be a fascinating endeavor. This past year we’ve added to several of our popular Backyard Birding programs, and drawn in new speakers to provide you their different perspective on important birding subjects.

And this year I’ve collaborated with Powell Jones and Jenna Ziogas to put together a new “Focus On” series which takes an in depth look at selected species of birds that enrich our Peninsula.

Both of these series have drawn receptive and interested participants to our Chapter and to the Audubon Center. I encourage you to watch for these programs as they are announced, and come spend a few Saturday mornings with us. After the May “Focus On” program on Swallows, the series will take a 2 month hiatus, and come back with a new set of programs. Watch for announcements on our newsletter, the OPAS web site, and the Audubon Center’s web sites.

I’d also urge you to check out the new “Learn by the light of the moon” speaker series, which will be offered on the night of the full moon throughout the summer months in the newly refurbished River Stage amphitheater. Watch the Audubon Center’s web site for dates and subjects.

Backyard Birder programs for May and June
Backyard Birding is a series of classes hosted by members of the Olympic Peninsula Audubon Society, and is intended for residents of the area who are interested in knowing more about birds seen locally each season of the year, and in learning how to develop good habitats for wild birds.

All sessions are at the Dungeness River Audubon Center in Railroad Bridge Park from 10 am until noon. The public is invited to attend any or all of the sessions. Backyard Birding can be taken either as individual classes or in a series. The cost of each session is $5, and is free for anyone under 18. After the completion of five sessions, participants will be offered free membership in OPAS for one year.

May 5th Class — Saturday, 10a.m. to noon
“Bird Migration” by Tomás Setubal
Tomás Setubal will lead a discussion on the incredible phenomenon of migration, and the mechanisms that govern this mass movement of avian species worldwide. Tomás Setubal was born in the bountiful tidelands of Puget Sound but migrated soon after to Brazil. Years later he returned to the USA, took up birding in Virginia, and began studying birds in Wisconsin during his undergraduate years. He has been a field-biologist since, having worked in ornithology projects in Ecuador, Brazil, California, and Washington. He was a point-counter for Olympic National Park in 2014, where he now works as an aquatic ecologist.

Emphasis will be given to bird species of Clallam Co, an important component of the Pacific Flyway’s migration route. He will discuss key species, when they are here, why our varied habitats are important, and why the study of migration is an inherent component toward learning about the health and sustainability of bird populations.

June 9th Class — Saturday, 10 am to noon.
“Birds out of the nest” by Ken Wiersema

Ken Wiersema and Nina Sarmiento will present a program that includes the adult bird’s role in feeding and caring for young birds, how young bird’s food needs change as they grow, vulnerabilities of young birds, and how to make your home and property less hazardous to young birds. Different species have differing roles in raising their young. Learn to recognize these and help them thrive.

The final session of the series will be “Gulls” by Ken Wiersema on July 7th. • • • • Watch for further details!