by Judi White
As fall brightens the hillsides, and Dark-eyed Juncos and other “elevation migrants” return to our lower elevation, we have a broad range of OPAS activities to make the most of this beautiful season. The new “Ascent of Birds” Lecture and Discussion series continues on November 12th and December 10th (second Tuesdays) at 4 PM at the Dungeness River Audubon Center. Led by Jim Karr, OPAS Conservation Committee member and University of Washington Professor Emeritus, the series explores the book by John Reilly – The Ascent of Birds: How Modern Science is Revealing Their Story (2018), with illustrations, photos, and maps. Jim is a great speaker, and this is a series not to be missed!
Looking for other activities? Thanks to Stacey Fradkin, Judy Mullally and John Gatchet, we have numerous upcoming field trips. The Christmas Bird Count is also around the corner on December 16. Marie Grad continues her “Beginners and Newcomers” birdwalks in December; her September 21st walk drew 25 enthusiastic new Sequim area residents, including a bird house builder and his wife, who promptly joined OPAS. With new residents moving to Sequim, help us spread the word about OPAS and why you are a member. Invite new folks to our membership meetings, classes and bird walks.
Birds have been in the news, and even those of us who try to stay up to date on conservation issues were stunned by the new data from Rosenberg et al., published in the well-respected journal Science. The number of birds in the United States and Canada has declined by 3 billion, or 29 percent, since 1970. National Audubon called the findings “a full-blown crisis”, and the NY Times wrote a September 19, 2019 article “Birds are Vanishing from North America.” Also in October, a new study from National Audubon Society revealed climate change is the number one threat to birds. Here in Clallam County, 56% of our bird species are vulnerable to climate change on our current trajectory. The good news is that the model also shows that if we take action now we can improve the chances for the majority of species at risk from climate change. For more information on this new National Audubon study, please take a look at the Conservation article in this issue of Harlequin Happenings.
See you on November 20th at the next Membership Meeting.