by Judi White
Another year has gone by, and the many volunteers who have contributed their time and talents in 2019 to help OPAS fulfill its mission deserve special appreciation. Bob Boekelheide organized his 24th annual Christmas Bird Count on December 16th, followed by compilation with a chili dinner at the Grange Hall in Sequim (many thanks to Vanessa Fuller and our chefs). Field trips have been well attended, with thanks to John Gatchet and Marie Grad as new co-chairs this year. Bob Phreaner and Pete Walker have led the OPAS conservation committee on complex and important issues, advocating for birds and the places they need. The Pigeon Guillemot Survey, Puget Sound Seabird Survey, Purple Martin Nest Box Project, Trumpeter/Tundra Swan Survey, Western Bluebird/Climate Watch Study, and Towne Road Dike Project Bird Count continue with enthusiastic Community Science volunteers. Many of these projects are in partnership with neighboring conservation organizations. Ken Wiersema leads the popular Backyard Birder classes at Dungeness River Audubon Center. Enid Phreaner, Audrey Gift, Wendy Hirotaka and Sandy Boren keep our records, membership, finances and publicity in order. Rob Hutchison keeps Harlequin Happenings a great read. Mary Porter-Solberg has undertaken our website make-over; check out the new look at olybird.org in the next few weeks. Our other Board members contribute their time and talents to lead our organization. If any of these OPAS activities are of interest, our website has the contact information of leaders; drop them an e-mail. New volunteers are always welcome!
On a personal note, best wishes for a healthy New Year – to you, our birds and our world. New Year’s resolutions I’m making to live a more bird-friendly life from //www.3billionbirds.org/7-simple-actions, a website in partnership with the National Audubon Society: 1) Make Windows Safer by installing screens, films, paint or string to avoid collisions which kill 1 billion birds a year in the US and Canada; 2) Keep Cats Indoors to save 2.4 billion birds in the US and Canada, mostly fledglings, from the top human-caused reason for the loss of birds after habitat destruction. Keep cats healthy too; indoor cats may live 15 years, outdoor cats live an average of 2-5 years; 3) Reduce Lawn; Plant Natives; 4) Avoid Pesticides; 5) Drink Shade-Grown Coffee (more than 40 species of North American migratory songbirds winter in the forest canopy of coffee plantations; 6) Avoid Single-use Plastics; 7) Watch Birds and share what you see on eBird or Project FeederWatch.